Mark Beck

Professional Stuff

I'm the Benjamin Brown Professor of Physics, and Chair of the Department of Physics at Whitman College. Before coming to Whitman, I taught at Reed College in Portland, OR. I got my B.S. in Optics from the Univ. of Rochester in 1985, and my Ph.D. in Optics from the U of R in 1992. I did a post-doc at the University of Oregon after completing my Ph.D.

My main fields of study are quantum optics and laser physics. I'm an experimentalist interested in producing light fields which cannot be described using classical mechanics, especially if the experiments can be carried out by undergraduates. I'm also interested in fundamental questions about quantum mechanics (measurement theory, etc.), as well as physics education.

You can download reprints and preprints of some of my recent papers.

You can view a copy of my CV.

Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics

I've developed a series of undergraduate teaching labs that explore some fundamental principles of quantum mechanics.  These experiments include proving the existence of photons, single photon interference and entanglement of two photons. I've also written a quantum mechanics textbook: Quantum Mechanics, Theory and Experiment, which is intended for use in a junior/senior level undergraduate course. For more info on this project, click here.


Personal Stuff

My non-scientific interests include hiking and making beer.


If you wish to contact me, I can be reached at:

beckmk at (replace " at " with @)

Department of Physics, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Ph: (509)527-5260;

Fax: (509)527-5904

This page was last updated 10/19/2017.

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