Nicholas B. Conklin
Associate Professor, Physics Department
Chairperson, Physics Department
Office: Z 220
- Courses Taught
- Educational History
I have always been fascinated by how things work. As a child, I loved taking my toys apart, and at one point I designed a pulley system so that I could open and close my bedroom door without getting out of bed. I don't imagine anyone was surprised that I grew up to be a physicist. I have completed my second year teaching at Gannon, and I'm having a lot of fun. When I'm not teaching physics or doing research, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Janine, and our pets, especially our black lab, Keelie.
My area of expertise is high-energy particle astrophysics, particularly cosmic rays. Primary cosmic rays are largely composed of bare atomic nuclei (although there are a few electrons and photons in the mix) traveling near the speed of light. When these particles encounter Earth’s atmosphere, they interact, causing cascades of secondary particles. I am working with the Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) experiment, which aims to study primary cosmic rays before they interact in the atmosphere by flying a detectors on large helium balloons. Additionally, I am working with a faculty member in the ECE department and several undergrad students on a much smaller balloon payload, also aimed at studying cosmic rays.