David D. Reid

David ReidPh.D., Wayne State University, 1995
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Physics and the College
Executive Officer, Dept. of Physics
Theoretical & computational physics, relativity, atomic, pedagogy
David Reid's homepage

As Senior Lecturer, I teach various courses in physics and physical science. As Executive Officer of the Department one of my major responsibilities is oversight of the academic aspects of our Ph.D. program, part of which is to serve as principle academic advisor to the graduate students. I also assist the Undergraduate Program Chair with his oversight of our B.A. program, especially with regard to being a co-academic advisor to the undergraduates and helping them get involved in research. In addition to this, I work closely with the Department Chair regarding the general administration of the Department. I regularly represent the Department of Physics or the Physical Sciences Division in various capacities both internal and external to the university. For research, I remain active in three areas of scholarship.

Causal Sets. The causal set hypothesis supposes that the deep structure of spacetime is that of a locally finite partially ordered set. The ultimate goal is to use this mathematical construct as the foundation for a theory of quantum gravity in which spacetime is discrete. My own interest is in the interface between causal sets and general relativity by investigating various aspects of the "order + number ==> geometry" correspondence that is one of the foundational concepts of this approach.

Atomic Physics. My work in atomic physics focuses mainly on the scattering of electrons and positrons in atomic and molecular gases. These calculations are performed using model potentials developed by us and others. Our principle motivation is to look for trends and patterns in the global behavior of the scattering cross sections. Currently, we are studying the scattering of electrons and positrons from alkali-earth atoms.

Physics Pedagogy. I also enjoy working in physics pedagogy, by which I mean finding new ways to explain certain physics topics in the hope that they'll be better understood by, or more interesting to, some students. I am currently thinking about the standard textbook explanations of many phenomena in physics that can use some updating, or at least a fresh perspective. A few of these concern certain aspects of quantum mechanical scattering, Newton's third law in electrodynamics, and the development, meaning, and status of energy as a fundamental concept.

Selected Publications:

Causal Sets

  • "Manifold Dimension of a Causal Set: Tests in conformally flat spacetimes," David D. Reid, Physical Review D, 67, 024034 (2003).
  • "A Numerical Study of the Correspondence between Paths in a Causal Set and Geodesics in the Continuum", Raluca Ilie, Gregory B. Thompson, and David D. Reid, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 23, 3275 (2006).
  • "Embeddings of Causal Sets," David D. Reid, in Proceedings of the 2008 Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1140, 60-68 (2009).

Atomic Physics

  • "A Quasi-free model for the absorption effects in positron scattering by atoms," David D. Reid and J. M. Wadehra, Journal of Physics B, 29, L127 (1996); 30, 2318 (1997).
  • "Scattering of intermediate- to high-energy positrons by alkali-metal atoms," David D. Reid and J. M. Wadehra, Physical Review A, 57, 2583 (1998).
  • "Scattering of low- to intermediate-energy positrons from molecular hydrogen," David D. Reid, William B. Klann, and J. M. Wadehra, Physical Review A, 70, 062714 (2004).

Physics Pedagogy

  • "Does electrostatic shielding work both ways?," Natthi L. Sharma and David D. Reid, Physics Education, 33, 319 (1998).
  • "Rolling as a frictional equilibration of translation and rotation," Natthi L. Sharma and David D. Reid, European Journal of Physics, 20, 129 (1999).
  • "Student Study Guide with Selected Solutions" (for Physics by James S. Walker), 3rd edition, volumes I and II, David D. Reid, Prentice Hall Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2007).

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Updated 8/2013

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