ARTHUR K. PALLONE, PhD
Chair, Norwich University Department of Physics
WITH A CLEAR NIGHT SKY OVERHEAD, Norwich University physics professor Arthur Pallone stood in the gazebo on the Norwich Crescent, calling for volunteers. “Who wants to be the sun?” A gentleman from the community piped in, “I’m pretty bright.” Onlookers chuckled as Pallone handed the man a glowing lantern, then asked who wanted to play Atlas and hold up the Earth. Passing a globe to a Norwich student and holding a miniature moon himself, Professor Pallone gave a 3D demonstration of the lunar eclipse as it played out in space above the terrestrial sky-watchers.
The pursuit of science is a higher calling, and at the heart of Pallone’s purpose as a physicist is to bring science closer. Closer to his students, to the public, and to researchers with talent but who may have limited resources.
Pallone’s research interests involve experimental condensed matter physics. As a postdoctoral fellow with the U.S. Army Research Lab, he worked to improve our understanding of the performance of body armor. He went on to develop methods to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in ion beam analysis, and is now hard at work developing low-cost alternatives to traditional equipment used in biophysics. In the five years since he arrived at Norwich he has mentored 11 students on research projects that yielded 7 external student-led presentations at state- and national-level conferences. During that same period, he has also personally given five research presentations at national conferences. With the help of Norwich undergraduates, he is actively building a new lab named NUBEAMS—the Norwich University Beam Effects and Measurements Systems. He also mentors students on a regular basis.
His committee work includes the Larsen Science Lecture Series (2012-present), the College of Science and Mathematics (CoSM) Assessment Committee (2013, 2016-present, chair spring 2017-present), CoSM Seminar Committee (2013-2016, chair 2015), and the Leadership Minor Committee (2013-present). He serves as Norwich’s radiation safety officer and chair of the Radiation Protection Committee, training students and staff in the safe handling of radioactive materials. Pallone also began his term as physics department chair in July 2017.
Pallone—an Eagle Scout himself—is a Boy Scout merit badge counselor, and acts as a judge in the annual Vermont state-level FIRST LEGO League competition and the Vermont Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair. He also conducts public outreach with his wife, Jacque, and fellow physics faculty through astronomy activities. With a presentation in the summer of 2016 he brought Norwich’s presence back to Stellafane—a world-famous gathering of amateur and professional telescope makers and astronomers founded by a Norwich alumnus.
Most recently his research has been published, with a student coauthor, in Physics Education.