Robert Nichols, Jr.

Assistant Professor, Physics, Engineering Science and Computational Science 

Degrees: B.S., Physics with Honors, Davidson College
Ph.D., Physics, Washington University in St. Louis
Office Location: Memorial Hall, 309A
Telephone: 615.547.1270
Bobby Nichols teaches algebra-based and calculus-based physics, physical science, engineering courses, computational science courses and associated laboratories. He advises Engineering Science and Computational Science majors, among other majors. He coordinates the Math and Science Academy, meeting with select math and science students (freshmen through seniors) on a weekly basis. (If you are a Cumberland student and are interested in applying to the Academy, please contact Dr. Nichols).  In many of his courses, he focuses on an awareness of global warming issues.
Bobby actively participates as an event coordinator in the Tennessee State Science Olympiad.
His graduate and post-graduate research career included appointments at Washington University in St. Louis, Purdue University and Caltech, was multi-disciplinary in fields of physics, geo- and cosmo-chemistry, astronomy and astrophysics, and focused on the use of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry to measure the isotopic compositions of many elements of cosmochemical significance. Research over the last 25 years has resulted in at least 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and 50 conference abstracts and invited talks world-wide.
In his spare time, he travels and actively works on unsolved mathematical problems with colleagues.

Selected Publications:

Nichols R., Kehm K. and Hohenberg C. (1995) Microanalytic Laser Extraction of Noble Gases: Techniques and Applications. In Advances in Analytic Geochemistry Vol. 2, (eds. M. Hyman and M. Rowe), pp. 119-140. JAI Press, Greenwich, Connecticut.

Podosek F. and Nichols R. (1997) Short-lived radionuclides in the solar nebula. In Astrophysical Implications of the Laboratory Study of Presolar Materials (eds. T. Bernatowicz and E. K. Zinner), pp. 617-647. AIP Conference Proceedings #402, AIP Press, Woodbury, New York.

Nichols R., Podosek F., Meyer B. and Jennings C. (1999) Collateral consequences of the inhomogeneous distribution of short-lived radionuclides in the solar nebula. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 34, 869-884.

Nichols R. (2000) Short-lived radionuclides in meteorites: constraints on nebular timescales for the production of solids. Space Sci. Rev. 92, 113-122.

Podosek F., Nichols R., Brannon J., Meyer B., Ott U., Jennings C. and Luo N. (2000) Potassium, stardust, and the last supernova. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 64, 2351-2362.

Nichols R. (2006) Chronological constraints on planetesimal accretion. In Meteorites and the Early Solar System II (eds. D. S. Lauretta and H. Y. McSween), Tucson: University Arizona Press, pp. 463-472.