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Faculty: Matt Walhout

Professor, Dean for Research and Scholarship

Office: SC 327

Areas of interest

Atomic, molecular and optical physics

Educational background

  • BS, Calvin College, 1988
  • PhD, University of Maryland, 1994

Professional history

  • Professor of Physics and Astronomy, 1996-present
  • Staff Scientist, National Institute for Standards and Technology, 1995-1996
  • Post-doctoral researcher, NIST and University of Maryland, 1994-1995

Research interests

  • Laser cooling and trapping of atoms
  • Atomic collisions and long-range molecules in ultracold samples
  • Dielectric-barrier discharges
  • Spontaneous pattern formation


Walhout, Matthew Journal article. "Reshaping the Picture of Science," in PERSPECTIVES: A Journal of Reformed Thought, pp. 6-9 (May/June 2017).

Walhout, Matthew Dictionary/Encyclopedia article or entry. "Peter Harrison," Dictionary of Christianity and Science, Paul Copan, Tremper Longman III, Christopher Reese, and Michael Straus Eds., Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2017.

Walhout, Matthew Book Review. Review of The Territories of Science and Religion by Peter Harrison (University of Chicago Press, 2015) in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 67, December 2015, pp. 281-284. 

Walhout, Matthew Book chapter. "The Jelly and the Shot: Laying Down the Law for Pragmatism in Quantum Physics," in Truth Matters: Knowledge, Politics, Ethics, Religion; L. Zuidervaart, A. Carr, M. J. Klassen, and R. Shuker, Editors; McGill-Queen's University Press (2013).

Matthew Walhout, "Captivating developments in quantum physics," Books and Culture, Science in Focus series (web exclusive): Science Highlights of 2012, 12/05/12.

J. Sinclair* and M. Walhout, "Undergraduate Research Highlight: Dielectric-Barrier Discharges in Two-Dimensional Lattice Potentials," CUR Quarterly 32 (Summer 2012)

Gary Schmidt and Matthew Walhout, Editors. Practically Human: College Professors Speak from the Heart of Humanities Education, Calvin College Press, Grand Rapids, MI (May 2012).

J. Sinclair* and M. Walhout, "Dielectric-Barrier Discharges in Two-Dimensional Lattice Potentials," Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 035005 (2012).

Walhout, Matthew. "Thrill Rides and Labyrinths: The Pedagogical Logic of Freedom and Constraint," in Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning, Eds. David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith. (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 2011), pp. 177-193.

M.K. Shaffer, G. Ranjit, C.I. Sukenik, and M. Walhout, "Photoassociative spectroscopy of ultracold metastable argon," Phys. Rev. A 83, 052516 (2011).

Matthew Walhout, Review of: Science and the Quest for Meaning, by Alfred I. Tauber (Baylor University Press, Waco, 2009); appearing in Christian Scholar's Review, Fall 2010.

Matthew Walhout, "Looking to Charles Taylor and Joseph Rouse for Best Practices in Science and Religion," Zygon, vol. 45, no. 3 (September 2010). Published online August 4, 2010.

Z.S. Smith*, A. Harmon*, J. Banister*, R. Norman*, K. Hoogeboom-Pot*, and M. Walhout, "Purely-long-range krypton molecules in singly and doubly excited binding potentials," Phys. Rev. A81, 013407 (January, 2010).

Matthew Walhout, "Book review of The Big Questions in Science and Religion, by Keith Ward" Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 61, No. 4, December 8, 2009.

Matthew Walhout "Teaching Vocation and (Other) Unsafe Scientific Practices" Christian Scholars Review, volume XXXVIII, number 2 (Winter 2009).

Matthew Walhout "Book review of The New Flatlanders, A Seeker's Guide to the Theory of Everything by Eric Middleton" Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 60, No. 4, 12/1/2008.

M. Walhout, J. Léonard,  M. Leduc, "Exotic helium dimers:  A giant comes out of the cold," Europhysics News, Vol. 36, p. 86-88 (May/June 2005).

J. Léonard, A. P. Mosk, M. Walhout, M. Leduc, M. van Rijnbach, D. Nehari and P. van der Straten, "Rotationally induced Penning ionization of ultracold photoassociated helium dimers," Europhys. Lett., 70 (2), pp. 190-196 (2005).

J. Kim, U.D. Rapol, S. Moal, J. Leonard, M. Walhout, M. Leduc, "Photoassociation experiments with ultracold metastable helium," European Physical Journal D 31, 227-237 (November 2004).

M. Leduc, J. Léonard, M. Walhout, "Des dimères géants avec des atomes d'hélium très excités...mais ultra-froids," Bulletin de la Société Française de Physique 145, p. 4 (July-August 2004).

J. Leonard, A.P. Mosk, M. Walhout, P. van der Straten, M. Leduc, and C. Cohen-Tannoudji, "Analysis of photoassociation spectra for giant helium dimers", Physical Review A, 69, 032702, 2004.

M. Leduc, M. Portier, J. Léonard, M. Walhout, F. Masnou-Seeuws, K. Willner, A. Mosk, "Photoassociation spectroscopy of ultracold metastable helium atoms: numerical analysis," in Laser Spectroscopy 16, Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Laser Spectroscopy, Eds P.Hannaford, H.A. Bachor, K.G.Baldwin, A.I.Sidorov, (World Scientific, Palm Cove, Australia, July 2003).

J. Leonard, M. Walhout, A.P. Mosk, T. Mueller, M. Leduc, and C. Cohen-Tannoudji, "Giant Helium Dimers Produced by Photoassociation of Ultracold Metastable Atoms," Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 073203 (15 August, 2003).

J. Lefers*, N. Miller*, D. Rupke*, D. Tong*, M. Walhout, "Direct measurement of the metastable ^3P_2 decay rate in krypton", Physical Review A 66, 012507 (2002).

M. Klein*, N. Miller*, and M. Walhout, "Time-resolved imaging of spatiotemporal patterns in a one-dimensional dielectric-barrier discharge system," Phys. Rev. E, 64, 026402 (2001)

J. Guikema*, N. Miller*, J. Niehof*, M. Klein*, and M. Walhout. "Spontaneous pattern formation in an effectively one-dimensional dielectric-barrier discharge system," Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3817 (2000).

C. Orzel, M. Walhout, U. Sterr, P.S. Julienne, and S.L. Rolston, "Spin polarization and quantum-statistical effects in ultracold ionizing collisions," Physical Review A 59, 1926 (1999).

R. Gupta, J.H. Burnett, U. Griesmann, and M. Walhout, "Absolute refractive indices and thermal coefficients of fused silica and calcium fluoride near 193nm," Applied Optics 37, 5964-5968 (1998).

K.A. Suominen, K. Burnett, P.S. Julienne, M. Walhout, U. Sterr, M. Hoogerland, and S.L. Rolston,“Ultracold collisions and optical shielding in metastable xenon,” Physical Review A 53, 1678 (1996).

M. Walhout, U. Sterr, and S.L. Rolston, “Magnetic inhibition of polarization-gradient laser cooling in s+-s- optical molasses,” Physical Review A 54, 2275 (1996).

C.L. Cromer, T.B. Lucatorto, T.R. O’Brian, and M. Walhout, “Improved dose metrology in optical lithography,” Solid State Technology 39, 75 (1996).

M. Walhout, U. Sterr, C. Orzel, M. Hoogerland, and S.L. Rolston, “Optical control of ultracold collisions in metastable xenon,” Physical Review Letters 74, 506 (1995).

M. Walhout, U. Sterr, A. Witte, and S.L. Rolston, “Lifetime of the metastable 6s’[1/2]0 clock state in xenon,” Optics Letters 20, 1192 (1995).

M. Walhout, A. Witte, and S.L. Rolston, “Precision measurement of the metastable 6s[3/2]2 lifetime in xenon,” Physical Review Letters 72, 2843 (1994).

M. Walhout, H.J.L. Megens, A. Witte, and S.L. Rolston, “Magneto-optical trapping of metastable xenon: isotope-shift measurements,” Physical Review A 48, 879 (1993).

M. Walhout, J. Dalibard, S.L. Rolston, and W.D. Phillips, “s+-s- Optical molasses in a longitudinal magnetic field,” Journal of the Optical Society of America B 9, 1997 (1992). 

S.L. Haan, M. Walhout*, and J. Cooper, "Threshold Effects in Photodetachment near an Autodetaching or Excited State Resonance," Phys. Rev. A 41, 2598 (1990).

M. Walhout, L. Haarsma, and J.B. Van Zytveld, “Electrical resistivity and thermopower of the liquid alloy MgZn,” Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 1 2923 (1989).

M. Walhout* and D.A. Van Baak, "Laser Physics on the Cheap, or What NOT to Spend Money On," Council on Undergraduate Research Journal 9 (September 1988).




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Additional information

Visit Matt Walhout's Web site for more information about his research

Dean for research and scholarship