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Research Mentoring

Dr. Carroll received his PhD. from Dr. Doering at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT. So were did Dr. Doering study?


Dr. Dale Doering studied with Dr. J. Thomas Dickinson (Washington State)

Dr. Dickinson studied with Dr. Jens Zorn (University of Michigan)

Dr. Zorn studied with Dr. Vernon W Hughes (Yale University)

Dr. Hughes studied with Dr. I.I. Rabi (Columbia University, Nobel 1944)

Dr. Rabi studied with Dr. Albert Potter Wills (Columbia University)

Dr. Wills studied with Dr. Arthur Gordon Webster (Clark University, founder of the APS)

Dr. Webster studied with Dr. Hermann von Helmholtz (Berlin)


So I guess you could say we are the great great ---great--- great great grandchildren of Dr. Helmholtz.  

(Isn't google amazing!)



And the next generation? There have been more than 100 students and postdocs from 26 nations to spend time in the Carroll Research Group. I will eventually list them all, but for now here are the advanced thesis holders from the group. I am justifiably very proud of them all.

PhD: Daniel Tekleab, Scott Webster, Richard Czerw, Jiwen Liu, Nicole Levi, Faith Coldren, Jerry Kielbasa, Wanyi Nie, Yuan Li, Corey Hewitt, Alex Taylor, Greg Smith, Wenxiao Huang, Junwei Xu, Chaochao Dun, David Montgomery

MA: A. Date, P. Iyer, S. Xing, W. Wang, D.  Weston, Jillian Berjke, Eric Peterson, Eric Henderson









Keyboard and Mouse

Taking a Course from me

1. I believe that when you take a course on a subject you have made an agreement to fully engage for the sake of that subject. Some time both inside of class and out, will be dedicated wholly to its pursuit.


2. I do not use Online or Hybrid teaching models unless forced to by circumstances we can't control. To see why Read This 


3. I typically use some form of tutorial system in teaching. This usually means a required weekly meeting to discuss topics in detail and go over problem solutions, either with me or with a trained tutor. Tutorials are where you become good at working problems.

4. My lectures supplement the assigned reading, they do not follow the textbook or substitute for it. You must know the information presented in both sources. Lectures present basic ideas but quickly build upon these toward modern applications and theories. They are supposed to be more advanced than the text readings.

4. Over the years I have been told that my classes are fun. They are certainly supposed to be. If you are not enjoying what you signed up for, come and see me and we will see how to make it more palatable. Physics can be an adventure, a puzzle, an accomplishment, and a comfort if you let it.

Dave Carroll

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The Courses

Don't be ridiculous, of course I teach classes...

These undergraduate courses are a part of the Physics Curriculum. They are typically taught with a graded tutorial 


first half Fall semester

PHY 337/637

The course introduces advanced methods in classical mechanics: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of kinematics as well as reviews non-inertial problems, non-integrable/chaotic problems and coupled oscillators within this context.

The course runs 1/2 a semester and is evaluated midterm (October). 


Analytical Mechanics


second half Fall semester

PHY 339/639

A fast-paced introduction to the fields of electromagnetism as they are described through formal vector calculus methods. While the approach will use a source-theory perspective, areas of correspondence with modern quantum field theory will be emphasized.

This course runs 1/2 a semester and is evaluated endterm (December).




Spring semester

PHY 340/640

The second in the two course sequence that presents formal electromagnetism. The course is an advanced junior-level presentation, and relies heavily on the calculus of fields together with many conceptual connections to quantum mechanics. The philosophy of the class holds little back in seeking to build physical models consistent with a modern understanding of electrodynamics.



These courses are from our graduate program and they emphasize Nanoscience and Materials Physics


Spring Semester (3)

PHY 354/654

PHY 692 Quantum Computing for Beginners


A simple introduction to the foundations and hardware of Quantum Computers It covers basic algorithms, the theory of Qubits and registers, gate structure, and the physical systems that have been achieved. 

The course is presented in a simple lecture style with a lab component that emphasizes programing in Quiskit. 


For old lectures and papers of interest:


Quantum Computing


Spring Semester (1.5)

PHY 656

An introduction to the basic theory and practice of electron microscopy. The course is taught in a combination lecture / lab format and runs for 1/2 a semester. Lab reports are the only graded components. Full attendance is required.


Electron Microscopy


Fall Semester (3)

PHY 655

PHY 655 Exotic Materials

An advanced, fast paced, focused course on the dimensionality and topology of Quantum Materials Structures. This course is an excellent 3rd semester to the undergrad. + grad. solid state physics sequence.  

The course is taught using an open lecture format with no exams and only HW assignments. Lectures are based on Dr. Carroll's text on Quantum Materials


Exotic Materials


Spring Semester (1.5)

PHY 657

An introduction to the basic theory and practice of scanning probe microscopy. Both STM, and AFM are covered in the 1/2 semester course. Grades are derived only from lab write-ups. Full attendance is mandatory.

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Scanning Probe Microscopy


Fall Semester (3)

PHY 658

PHY 658 Kinetics of Materials

The fundamentals of non-equilibrium thermodynamics in solids. The basic theory of phase transitions, Onsager, and a number of exotic examples from liquid crystals to time crystals will be discussed. 


The course is taught using an open lecture structure, with two exams and several HW assignments. 


Materials Kinetics


Spring Semester (1.5)

PHY 391/691

A series of advanced level lectures on topics of experimental techniques and multi-tool validation of models, cross-correlate science, error estimates, and noise.


Nanotech Seminar


Project 266

Project 266 is an attempt at updating and modernizing the PHY 266 Intermediate Physics Lab (Mechanics) at Wake. As this presses forward, a new lab manual has been produced, new teaching assessments, assignment rubrics and educational goals have been constructed. The intention is to provide a superior experiential learning environment, teach team work and team expectations as practiced in the fields of physics research, and reinforce basic physics concepts in preparing the student for advanced classes. This exciting "new" class-room take will be unlike anything offered in comparable programs in the U.S. and is designed to help the student find his/her own passions for physics.
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