Elizabeth George, Ph.D.

Elizabeth GeorgeProfessor of Physics
Sub-Atomic Physics, Physics Education
BDK Science Center 308B
(937) 327-7854


As an undergraduate, Dr. George spent several summers working with a research group at the University of Missouri, using the wave properties of neutrons to investigate questions in quantum physics. This experience motivated her interest in teaching and doing research with undergraduate students. After earning an MS in medical physics and a PhD in experimental nuclear physics and teaching at colleges in New Jersey and Wisconsin, she joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1998.

At Wittenberg, she has designed courses in biomedical physics, nuclear and particle physics, electronics, chaos and fractals, and pattern formation. She has been involved in physics education research, studying how students' use of computers in the physics laboratory affects their learning about momentum and energy. She is active in regional and national physics organizations, has helped organize national conferences on teaching experimental physics, and recently served as the president of the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association.

Her current research is investigating fundamental forces and symmetries of nature by doing experiments on nuclear beta decay and on positronium (an artificial “atom” consisting of an electron and a positron). These experiments involve Wittenberg students in frontline, hands-on research. She has also worked with Wittenberg students on environmental projects such as studying the restoration of local river systems and calculating the university's carbon footprint.


  • Ph.D. Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
  • M.S. Radiology (Medical Physics), University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1986
  • B.S. Physics, University of Arizona, 1983

Notable accomplishments

  • Wittenberg Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award, 2019
  • CASE Ohio Professor of the Year, 2014
  • Finalist, Sigma Xi Graduate Research Award, University of Wisconsin, 1993

New courses developed

  • Biomedical Physics
  • Patterns in Nature
  • Finding Order in Chaos
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Electronics

Research interests

  • Precision tests of fundamental forces and symmetries
  • Physics education
  • Physics applied to environmental problems

Selected publications

  • “Measurement of the 20F half-life,” M. Hughes et al., Phys. Rev. C 97, 054328 (2018).
  • “Measurement of the branching ratio for the beta decay of 14O,” P. A. Voytas et al., Phys. Rev. C 92, 065502 (2015). This article was featured as an “Editor’s Suggestion” in the December 2015 issue of Physical Review C.
  • “Measurement of the shape factor for the beta decay of 14O,” E.A. George et al., Phys. Rev. C 90, 065501 (2014).
  • “A superconducting beta spectrometer,” L.D. Knutson et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82, 073302 (2011). This article was also selected for the August 1, 2011 issue of the Virtual Journal of Applications of Superconductivity.
  • “The Ay problem for p-3He elastic scattering,” M. Viviani et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3739 (2001).
  • “Observing students' use of computer-based tools during collision experiments,” Elizabeth A. George, Maan J. Broadstock, and Jesús Vázquez-Abad, Proceedings of the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference.
  • “Neutron interferometric search for quaternions in quantum mechanics,” H. Kaiser, E.A. George, and S.A. Werner, Phys. Rev. A 29, 2276 (1984).
  • “Direct measurement of the longitudinal coherence length of a thermal neutron beam,” H. Kaiser, S.A. Werner, and E.A. George, Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 560 (1983).

Selected invited conference presentations

  • Panelist: “The latest & greatest electronic resources from the AAPT and how to access them on the web”, AAPT summer meeting, Washington DC, July 2018
  • “Revitalizing Upper-Level Laboratory Instruction: Opportunities and Initiatives,” APS March meeting, Los Angeles CA, March 2018
  • Panelist: “Choosing Apparatus for Advanced Laboratories,” AAPT Winter Meeting, San Diego CA, January 2018

Selected conference presentations by students

Selected external grants awarded

Selected professional activities

Recent student research projects supervised

  • “Flow modeling of Buck Creek”
  • “Wittenberg’s Climate Impact”
  • “Wide Angle Compton Coincidence Technique for Determining Scintillator Nonlinearity”
  • “Apparatus for Positronium formation”
  • “Gamma ray spectroscopy with a silicon photomultiplier and a LYSO crystal”
  • “Electron backscattering simulations for beta decay experiments”
  • “The beta spectrum of 20F”
  • “Modeling the circulatory system”
  • “Applications of synchronized chaotic circuits”
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