Physics Major/East Asian Studies Minor
“I don’t necessarily use all my experiences here at Wittenberg to try to only advance my career. I just love the experiences, and take them for everything they’re worth right now.”
Wittenberg students are presented with a multitude of educational opportunities, no matter their chosen field of study. Mark Stahl made the most of those opportunities during his collegiate career, and the results of his work can be seen throughout campus.
Stahl, who graduated from Wittenberg in May with a bachelor’s degree in physics, will begin graduate studies at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in August. During his undergraduate career, Stahl was a member of the East Asian Society, president of the Swing Dance Club and president of the Anime Film Club, in addition to his leadership efforts with the Society of Physics Students (SPS).
Stahl believes the most important thing to take away from Wittenberg is the learning experience, citing his extensive involvement in SPS as a perfect example. The work he did as a member, and as the organization’s president from 2008-10, not only enriched his academic experience, but it enhanced the campus.
“Every year we do one research project,” Stahl said. “Our research projects are done for a variety of reasons. This past year, the radio telescopes we built during my freshman year were used in a senior research project.”
The telescope, which is positioned on the roof of Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, is just one example of Stahl’s handiwork with SPS. He also led the effort to build an ocylinderscope, which was used during a seminar presentation and for Wittenberg’s annual Girl Scouts Science Night.
“It allows for the visualization of standing waves on strings,” said Stahl, an Eagle Scout with six Eagle Palms to his credit. “The oscylinderscope makes for a wonderful demonstration in that it is both hands-on and visual.”
Most recently, Stahl participated in work on a sonoluminescence device that demonstrates how the compression of an air bubble using sound expands and emits light.
One of his favorite accomplishments since arriving on campus is a 30×10-foot backdrop for the pendulum in the stairwell in the science center.
“I’ve been working on it since my freshman year,” he said, adding that the backdrop is a representation of the galaxy. “I can’t take all the credit for the backdrop and other SPS projects. I have had a lot of help along the way from faculty and other SPS members.”
Further work in the physics department led Stahl to develop his senior research project on nano-second timing that develops a circuit to enable the measurement of the decay of atoms on a nano-second scale.
“Such a circuit could be used in advanced labs at other universities,” Stahl added.
Senior research projects allow students to work on their own time with professors to enrich their educational experience.
“I don’t necessarily use all my experiences here at Wittenberg to try to only advance my career,” said Stahl, who aspires to be a lab coordinator who designs and constructs educational equipment. “I just love the experiences, and take them for everything they’re worth right now.”
He has also conducted physics research for the United States Armed Forces, and in 2009 he attended the Ohio Region section of the American Physical Society at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he presented the results of original research he conducted.
“I presented work on non-linear dynamics, or ‘chaos’,” Stahl said. “Our research is based around discovering new ways to engineer existing linear devices.”
Stahl said he was “tremendously blessed with experiences and lab time.”
“Not every student gets this opportunity,” he concluded.
Written By: Amber Reyes ‘12