Dr. Ben Brown

Office Location & Contact

WW 347
(414) 288-2151

Dr. Ben Brown


I am currently involved in positron physics research.  Positrons (antimatter electrons) have been detected in large numbers in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  The goal of my research at Marquette is to further simulate positron annihilation in the interstellar medium.

I am also involved in another positron experiment with three others at Zurich Polytechnic (ETH) in Switzerland. We will be measuring the energy levels of a hydrogen-like short-lived exotic atom called positronium. This precision measurement will allow further examination of the fundamental underpinnings of atomic physics.

My education took place at four different institutions. I studied as an undergraduate at Principia College, where I majored in physics and worked on measuring light from the Crab Nebulae Pulsar.  At New York University, I studied for a masters degree, and I earned my doctorate from Brandeis University. I was an IBM postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where I worked for three years on initial efforts to create antihydrogen.

I worked in research at Bell Laboratories for twelve years, ultimately as a member of the technical staff (MTS). I was involved in gravity waves, optical astronomy, and positron physics and astrophysics. Bell Labs was the premier private research lab in the world at that time, and I had the opportunity to work among many well-known physicists of this golden era at the Labs.

After my years at Bell, I switched my focus from research to undergraduate education. I began my teaching career at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. I then returned to my alma mater Principia College to teach and engage students in research projects. I took a sabbatical at North Carolina State University, working on a high intensity nuclear reactor based positron beam, before coming to Marquette University as Chair of the Physics Department.

At Marquette we follow the philosophy of introducing students early on to modern physics and undergraduate research. This builds a strong foundation for advanced work.

Teaching Fields

Office Hours

T 12:00-2:00pm

Teaching Schedule

Phys 1003 MWF 12:00-12:50

Phys 1003 MWF 2:00-2:50

Phys 2004 MWF 10:00-10:50



Physics Department Mission Statement

The Physics Department is committed to excellence in undergraduate physics education and embraces the Ignation ideal of cura personalis, or "care for the whole person." The Department is a community of faculty, staff and students: Faculty advance the frontiers of physics in both research and education, staff contribute their expertise in facilitating all endeavors of the department, and students participate in learning and scholarship with the guidance of the faculty.