Dr. Koon has been teaching in the St. Lawrence Physics department since 1987. See the Academics tab above and his personal website for more information.
Fall 2019 Courses:
- Phys 103: College Physics (Syllabus - Lab Instructions - Other course materials on Sakai)
- Phys 105: Energy (Syllabus)
- Phys 489: SYE Advanced Laboratory
Spring 2020 Courses:
Ph.D. - Physics
University of Rochester
Technical University of Berlin
B.S. - Physics
Lebanon Valley College
- Dr. Koon’s specialty is materials science. Specifically, he probes materials by looking at how they treat their electrons. He measures charge transport, particularly the Hall effect, which is the result of electrical current curving under the influence of a magnetic field. With his students at SLU he has both calculated and measured how local defects alter measured electrical quantities -- a question of interest for quality control in microelectronics fabrication -- and has used resistivity, Hall effect, and optical transmission to monitor hydrogen absorption in metals -- of interest for the storage of hydrogen fuel for transportation. He has carried out these studies with SLU students in his own laboratory at St. Lawrence, in laboratories in Costa Rica, Spain, and the Czech Republic, and with colleagues from Denmark. He is known internationally and across disciplines for having proven that polar bear hair does NOT behave as an ultraviolet lightpipe and that the iridescence of butterflies acts as a sunblock, not a solar collector. Teaching science fiction in the First Year Program led him into translating science fiction from Cuban and other authors from Spanish to English, which he has published online and in print. Koon is a two-time Fulbright scholar.
- Teaching Interest: Dr. Koon has taught every course in the physics major, both lecture and lab, along with other courses for non-majors, including Energy (Phys/ENVS 105/107). He has also taught science fiction courses in the First Year Program, including “To Boldly Go: The science and fiction of space travel, time travel and extraterrestrials”, and “Global Science Fiction”. His research interests include Charge transport in metal-hydrogen systems; Error analysis in van der Pauw resistivity and Hall measurement; Translation of Spanish-language science fiction, especially Cuban SF.
Sample Student Projects Supervised:
- Experimental Study of the Sensitivity of the Hall Resistance for a Square Four-Point Probe on a Bismuth Circular Sheet - Xiaoying Claire Lu '16
- Hydriding Rare-Earth Palladium-Magnesium Lamellae - Harrison Schwarzer '16
- "Pd/Mg Absorption of H2" – Roelof Groenewald '13
- "Determining Optimal Pitch Spacing For Measuring Hall Sheet Resistance With A Square Four Point Probe" – Brian Thomas '13
- "The Micro Hall Effect" - Tyler Hendrickson '11
- "Efficiency of PEM Fuel Cells" - Chad Miller '10
- "Optical Transmission and Resistivity Measurements of Pd/Mg Film Hydrides" - Corey Griffin '09