Dr Willem H. Dickhoff


Department of Physics, Washington University in St. Louis

371 Compton, Physics Department, CB 1105, Washington University, One Brookings Drive
St. Louis
United States
PH: 011 (314) 935-4169


Professional History:

Professor Dickhoff received his "Kandidaats" (B.Sc.) in 1974, "Doctoraal" (M.Sc.) in 1977, and Ph.D. in 1981 from the Free University in Amsterdam. The title of his thesis was "The particle-hole interaction and pion condensation." During his doctoral studies he spent the first year at the Institut fuer Kernphysik in Juelich, Germany. After his thesis defense he moved to Tuebingen, Germany, for four years of postdoctoral research and some teaching in german. After one year at TRIUMF on the campus of UBC in Vancouver he moved to St. Louis and became assistant professor in the Washington University physics department in 1986. Since 1997 he is a "volle" professor.

After his tenure Prof. Dickhoff initiated a new course called Physics and Society (Phys 171) which has been team-taught together with Profs. Bender, Friedlander (until his retirement), and Ogilvie every year. Prof. Dickhoff is also a member of the faculty in the Environmental Studies program at Washington University. In 1994 Prof. Dickhoff received a Kemper award for the development of the course Phys 110: Awesome Ideas in Physics. After teaching this course in 1994 and 1996, this course has since been taken over by Prof. Will. The course uses books like Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" to discuss some of the most amazing (awesome) ideas that have been developed in the study of physics. Prof. Dickhoff has a strong commitment to teaching and advocates the "Peer Instruction Method" for Introductory Physics courses as developed by Eric Mazur from Harvard University.

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Research Interests:

Prof. Dickhoff's research is focused on solving the nuclear many-body problem. A prominent role in his research is played by the study and explanation of one- and two-nucleon knock-out reactions at electron scattering facilities like NIKHEF in Amsterdam, Mainz, and TJNAF in Virginia. The properties of nucleons as they propagate through the nucleus and nuclear matter are the focus of detailed calculations that employ Green's function techniques borrowed from Quantum Field Theory (without having to worry about renormalization!).

Wide ranging phenomena are studied in his group: superfluidity in nuclear matter, giant resonances in finite systems, properties of pions and isobars in matter, saturation properties of nuclear matter, spectroscopic factors for nucleon removal, scattering of particles in a strongly interacting medium, and the properties of strange particles in matter to name a few. Some attention is also paid to other many-body systems like the electron gas, helium liquids, and so on.

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