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Donald Holcomb

Professor Emeritus

Clark Hall, Room 315

Educational Background

A.B., 1949, Depauw University; Ph.D., 1954, University of Illinois. Instructor, Physics, Cornell University, 1954-56; Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1956-58; Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1958-62; Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1962-95; Director, Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, 1964-68; Chair, Department of Physics, Cornell University, 1969-74, 1982-86; Trustee, Cornell University, 1976-81. Professor Emeritus, Physics, Cornell University, 1995-present. Sloan Research Fellow, 1955-57; NATO Senior Visiting Fellow, 1962; Guggenheim Fellow, 1968-69; SRC Senior Visiting Fellow, University of St. Andrews, 1978; Oersted Medal, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1996. President, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1987. Fellow, American Physical Society. Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Spin resonance phenomena; metal-insulator transitions in disordered systems; non-stoichiometric transition metal oxides; developments in Physics Education


  • Physics


  • Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR)


Effort continues on various projects directed towards enhancement of the quality of undergraduate physics courses and programs in the US. These efforts are frequently channeled through the activities and journals of the American Association of Physics Teachers.



The Introductory University Physics Project, 1987-1995: What has it accomplished?, Am.J. Phys. 66, 124-137 (1998),with Lawrence A. Coleman and John S. Rigden.

Quantum electrical transport in samples of limited dimensions, Am.J. Phys. 67, 278-297(1999)["Tutorial presentation"].

Guest Comment: "Should I pay attention to the output from Physics Education R&D?, Donald F. Holcomb, Am. J. Phys. 69, 407 (2001).

31 P Knight Shifts and spin dynamics in Si:P at temperatures comparable to the Fermi temperature, M. J. R. Hoch and D. F. Holcomb, Phys. Rev. B71, 035115 (2005).