Physics and Astronomy Faculty & Staff

Students in a Physics of Sound course taught by Paul French, associate professor of physics
In the Planetarium at SUNY Oneonta, assistant professor of physics & astronomy Josh Nollenberg
Physics and Astronomy department group picture at college camp
2022 Spring Recognition Picnic at College Camp

The department includes seven full-time faculty with a broad range of expertise. Faculty research interests include quantum field theory, supersymmetry, astrophysics, string theory, composite materials, electronics, engineering (including CAD/CAM/CAE applications), holography, lasers and photonics, magnetism and magnetic materials, microcomputing, optics, video analysis of motion, ionospheric and magnetospheric processes, globular clusters.

Allen Anderson

Science Technician
B24 Physical Science
Phone: 607-436-3197

Dr. Michael Faux

Physical Science II, 127
Phone: 607-436-3145

Dr. Faux is a theoretical and mathematical physicist. His work focuses on quandaries in quantum field theory, supersymmetry, supergravity, and string theory. Along with collaborator physicists and mathematicians, he has promulgated the use of novel graph-theoretic techniques to investigate the off-shell representation theory of supersymmetry in diverse dimensions. He has published papers on supersymmetry, supergravity, orbifold compactifications of string and M-theory, dualities, topological features of supersymmetric quantum mechanics, brane world scenarios, matrix models, extended conformal supergravity, and other topics in fundamental physics.

Dr. Faux earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. He spent one year of his graduate studies in the theory division at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, and held postdoctoral research positions at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Leuven University in Belgium, and at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, prior to spending three years as a VIGRE assistant professor at Columbia University and three years as a visiting assistant professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He has been at SUNY Oneonta since Fall 2005.

In an earlier life, Dr. Faux earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University in 1985, and spent a year and a half as a semiconductor development engineer at IBM in East Fishkill, NY, prior to returning to graduate school.

Dr. Faux's Publications

Dr. Faux's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Paul A. French

Dr. Paul A. French

Associate Professor
Physical Science II, 120
Phone: 607-436-3358


  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • American Physical Society
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Tau Beta Pi

Awards / Honors:

  • American Society for Engineering Education, Section Outstanding Campus Representative, St. Lawrence Section, 2003
  • Outstanding Advisor Award, 1999
  • NSF Fellow, 1983 - 87

Professional Interests:

  • Physics and engineering pedagogy
  • Engineering Design
  • Physics of electron devices
  • Modeling of MOSFETs

General Interests:

  • Tennis, volleyball, go, chess, parenthood [ R, E, R+E]

Recent Publications/Presentations:

Current Projects:

  • Science Video Design
  • Video-Based Measurements
Dr. Gallagher at Genesee River High Falls

Dr. Hugh A. Gallagher

Associate Professor, Department Chair
Physical Science, 124
Phone: 607-436-3177

I obtained my Ph.D. in Space Physics from Boston College in 1997. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Carovillano and Dr. Edward Weber, I used radar and optical measurements to investigate the electric circuitry of the aurora borealis. I continued this research on global scales as a post-doc at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab from 1997 to 1999. After a brief stint as a Visiting Professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, I arrived at SUNY Oneonta in August, 2000.

Although I continue to be interested in the physical processes occurring in the near-Earth space plasmas of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, I have also conducted research with students on electrostatic phenomena and standing waves in enclosed bodies of water known as seiche.

A recent project (below) with two students investigated the feasibility of detecting seiche in Long Island Sound and Great South Bay.

More recently, we measured and modeled the characteristics of a seiche in a backyard pool. The results were presented at American Association of Physics Teachers Summer 2020 Meeting.

Dr. Sunil Labroo

Dr. Sunil Labroo

Physical Science #127
Phone: 607-436-3323

Degree: Ph.D.
Graduated From: Southern Illinois University
Year: 1991
Year of Joining SUNY Oneonta: 1998


  • American Physical Society
  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society

Awards / Honors:

  • Fulbright Lecturing Award, 2004
  • Innovative Uses of Technology Award, 2002
  • Sigma Pi Sigma
  • Honorary Citizen of Carbondale, IL

Professional Interests:

  • Magnetism of rare-earth based intermetallics and magnetic phase transitions
  • High-temperature superconductors
  • Thin-film materials and processes
  • Material characterization using electrical transport, thermal and magnetic measurements
  • Process control and data acquisition with PC's
  • Carbon dioxide lasers and laser-induced photochemistry

General Interests:

  • Hiking, nature, travel, world cultures, music.

Recent Publications:

  • "Investigation of the High-Temperature Magnetic Phase in (Tb1-xNdx)Mn2Ge2", S. Labroo, T. Gibson, M. Oakes, N. Ali & S. Saha, Bull. Amer. Phys. Soc., Vol. 45, p. 91, (2000).
  • "Investigation of the High Temperature Magnetic Phases in the Ternary System Sm(Mn1-xCrx)2Ge2", S. Labroo, N. Ali, S. Saha & D. Zych, Bull. Amer. Phys. Soc., Vol. 44, p. 1128, (1999).
  • "Magnetic Transitions in Tb0.7Nd0.3Mn2Ge2 Compound", S. Saha, N. Ali, S. Labroo & D. Zych, J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 83, p.6974, (1998).
  • "Mechanisms of Magnetic Separation of Fine Y - Ba - Cu - O Powders in a Gas Fluidized Bed", S. Labroo, J. Y. Park, R. J. Kearney & W. J. Yeh, Cryogenics, Vol. 33, p. 1063, (1993).
  • "Power Law Behavior of the Magnetization Curves of YBCO Superconductors", W. J. Yeh, Z. Q. Yu, S. Labroo & J. Y. Park, Physica C, Vol. 194, p. 141, (1992).
Dr. Valerie Rapson

Dr. Valerie Rapson

Assistant Professor
Physical Science 104
Phone: 607-436-3127

Dr. Rapson is an Astronomer and public outreach enthusiast who enjoys teaching people of all ages about science. A native of Rochester, NY, she earned her Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology at RIT where her research focused on the chemical composition and structure of planet-forming disks around nearby young stars. Her research interests include star and planet formation, exoplanets, and projects that can be done with small telescopes. She also enjoys giving public talks, visiting K-12 schools to teach astronomy, and participates in WAMC's Vox Pop radio show with Astronomer Bob Berman.

At SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Rapson teaches a variety of physics and astronomy courses. She also conducts exoplanet research with students utilizing telescopes at the College Camp Observatory, and designs and presents planetarium shows.

Prior to joining the faculty at Oneonta, Dr. Rapson was the director of the Dudley Observatory in Albany, NY. There, she designed and taught astronomy education programs for children and adults, operated the Suites-Bueche planetarium, and oversaw the construction of roll-top roof observatory with a 14inch telescope. She is a National Astronomy Ambassador and was awarded the 2018 Emerging Leader Award by Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region for being a role model to young women who aspire to become scientists.

Dr. Joshua Nollenberg

Associate Professor
123 Physical Science
Phone: 607-436-2620

David Morell

Adjunct Instructor
126 Physical Science

Carol Conroe

Carol Conroe

Administrative Assistant I
127 Physical Science Building

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