Faculty & Staff

Dr. Kenneth W. Trantham

Dr. Kenneth W. Trantham

Associate Professor & Chair
Physics & Physical Science
Bruner Hall, 221
(308) 865-8278
tranthamkw@unk.edu

SPIN POLARIZED ELECTRON PHYSICS

  • I am interested in fundamental interactions with electrons that involve spin.  Electron spin can be thought of just as a spinning top.  However, the electron does not have 'size' (it is a point particle) and the magnitude of the spin can only have only have one value.  It is the spin of the electron that gives rise to its magnetic moment.
  • In our laboratory (BHS105) I am investigating electron collisions with atomic and molecular targets.  These types of experiments shed light on unique spin coupled interactions in the target.  I have a particular interest in electron collisions with chiral (handed) molecules.  Results from these types of studies can provide information on the origins of the chiral purity observed in nature.
  • Our laboratory is presently collaborating with Prof. T.J. Gay from our sister institution, UN-Lincoln, making precision electron spin measurements.  The apparatus, shown schematically below, is a wonderful venue for undergraduate students to work with Ultra-High Vacuum technology, Gallium-Arsenide spin sources, optical polarimetry, and Mott electron polarimetry.

KensApparatusSpin