Professors Emeriti

DonRev. Don Matthys, S.J.
Professor Emeritus



Matthys' Biography

Father Matthys received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. He taught at Marquette for almost 40 years!His research is on optical methods of full field measurement, involving the use of optical techniques to measure material properties of stress and strain in structural elements. He has also worked with panoramic lensing systems to specify the three dimension coordinates of objects in space, and to study the deformation of the inner surfaces of pipes and cylinders.

CollinsJ.M. Collins
Associate Professor Emeritus



Collins' Biography

Joe Collins earned his B.S. Physics, M.S. Physics, and Ph.D. Physics degrees at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has three main areas of interest - Biological Liquid Crystals, the philosophy of science, and science education at the pre-college level.

He has been studying the lyotropic and thermotropic configurations of and the forces of interaction between liquid crystals of biological function since the late 1970's. These interactive forces determine the phase structure of, for example, biological membranes and partially determine the processes involved in exocytosis, endocytosis, cell-cell communication, mitosis, and cell viability. He is an experimentalist who uses x-ray diffraction, calorimetry, and polarizing light microscopy to assist in studying these Biological Liquid Crystals (lipids for example). He has over 21 refereed scientific publications, 10 invited talks, and nearly 50 presentations at both domestic and international scientific meetings. He is especially privileged to have had each of his Master's students as co-author on a published paper.

Joe is eager and pleased to discuss the philosophical basis of science and the implications of scientific theories for the outlook of our universe. He has taught several seminars devoted to the philosophy of science and looks forward to involvement in more seminars.

Joe Collins has been actively involved in Service Learning in his introductory physics courses. He is especially happy for all the excellent and enthusiastic work of service learners who have gone to over thirty Milwaukee area schools and groups and performed service learning. He also thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the play Faust: Eine Historie put on by 14 volunteers in his PHYS 1002 class of 1998.

Teaching Fields

  • General Physics
  • Physics Major Courses
  • Arts & Sciences Seminars

JohnJohn Karkheck
Professor Emeritus



Karkheck's Biography

I was born and raised in Queens, in the shadows of Manhattan's towers, completing my rites of passage by traveling daily 3 hours round trip on bus and subway to attend Regis high school in Manhattan. My wife, Kathleen, is a native of Brooklyn, daughter Lorraine was born in Nassau, and daughter Michelle and son Eric were born in Suffolk, so we are truly a Long Island family.

After completing my college and graduate studies in various places throughout New York State, I spent some time at Brookhaven National Laboratory sharpening my research skills. Before coming to Milwaukee in 1993, we lived for 12 years in Flint, Michigan, the birth place of General Motors.

My research interests include developing and studying models for many-body dynamic processes with a view to understanding transport processes in dense fluids and the nature of irreversibility in many body dynamics.

BenBen Brown
Professor Emeritus

Brown's Biography

I am currently involved in positron physics research.  Positrons (antimatter electrons) have been detected in large numbers in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  The goal of my research at Marquette is to further simulate positron annihilation in the interstellar medium.

I am also involved in another positron experiment with three others at Zurich Polytechnic (ETH) in Switzerland. We will be measuring the energy levels of a hydrogen-like short-lived exotic atom called positronium. This precision measurement will allow further examination of the fundamental underpinnings of atomic physics.

My education took place at four different institutions. I studied as an undergraduate at Principia College, where I majored in physics and worked on measuring light from the Crab Nebulae Pulsar.  At New York University, I studied for a masters degree, and I earned my doctorate from Brandeis University. I was an IBM postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where I worked for three years on initial efforts to create antihydrogen.

I worked in research at Bell Laboratories for twelve years, ultimately as a member of the technical staff (MTS). I was involved in gravity waves, optical astronomy, and positron physics and astrophysics. Bell Labs was the premier private research lab in the world at that time, and I had the opportunity to work among many well-known physicists of this golden era at the Labs.

After my years at Bell, I switched my focus from research to undergraduate education. I began my teaching career at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. I then returned to my alma mater Principia College to teach and engage students in research projects. I took a sabbatical at North Carolina State University, working on a high intensity nuclear reactor based positron beam, before coming to Marquette University as Chair of the Physics Department.

At Marquette we follow the philosophy of introducing students early on to modern physics and undergraduate research. This builds a strong foundation for advanced work.

KenKen Mendelson
Professor Emeritus