Dr. Emily Grace Assistant Professor of Physics; Engineering Liaison Officer


Ph.D., Royal Holloway University of London
M.S.Ed., Indiana University South Bend
B.Sc. (Physics), Indiana University South Bend
B.A. (Psychology), Bethel College

SCI 231

After graduating from college with a psychology degree and excelling in a sales career, Emily Grace returned to school to pursue her first love: physics. She earned a master's degree in education and a second undergraduate degree in physics, then earned a doctorate in physics from the prestigious Royal Holloway University of London. While in the United Kingdom, she won a national contest when she wrote and performed a rap to explain her research on dark matter and liquid argon.

Since coming to Northwestern, Dr. Grace has shifted her research focus to AMO physics, biophysics, and physics pedagogy. She is passionate about giving undergraduate students the opportunities to find answers to original questions. Presently she collaborates with Dr. Karissa Carlson at Northwestern College and Dr. Eric Jones at the Laser Teaching Center at Stony Brook University, New York. She is the Principle Investigator with the Pheobe Laser Research Group and the ISLAND CURE collaboration.

Dr. Grace has been a member of the PICO, MiniCLEAN, DEAP-3600, LZ, and LUX dark matter collaborations and the Diocles Laser Research Group. She was a postdoctoral scholar at Pennsylvania State University and a research assistant at Royal Holloway University of London, the University of Nebraska and Indiana University, as well as a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway. Prior to joining Northwestern's faculty, she was an assistant professor at Sterling College in Kansas.

PHY111SN - General Physics

Though all students are welcome in this IGE physics course, this isthe first in a two course algebra-based sequence designed particularly forlife science majors and others intending to apply to medical or graduateschool. The course includes the following topics: kinematics, Newtonianmechanics, energy, momentum, gravity, thermodynamics, and oscillations. Prerequisite: C- or higher in MAT 109QR, ACT math score of 24 or better (SAT570 or above), or consent of the department chair. (4 credits) (NWCoreoption under Science and the Natural World)Note: There is alaboratory component to this course.

PHY112 - General Physics II

A continuation of General Physics I. Topics will include simple harmonic oscillation, mechanical and electromagnetic waves, electromagnetism and modern physics.Prerequisite: successful completion of PHY111 with a grade of C- or better, or consent of department chair.(4 credits)

PHY150 - Introduction to Astronomy

This course covers several topics in the field of astronomy including our solar system, astronomical observations and measurements, and a basic Introduction to cosmology and relativity. Prerequisites: C- or higher in MAT109QR or MAT127, ACT math score of 22 (SAT520) or above, or permission of instructor. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Note: There is no laboratory component to this course, and it does not count as an option under Science and the Natural World. However, the course does count toward the Elementary and Secondary Endorsements in Basic Science.

PHY160SN - Astronomy

Introduction to the science of astronomy. The basic tools and concepts inastronomy and the underlying physics are discussed. Topics will include theinvestigational methods in astronomy and the underlying physics arediscussed. Topics will include investigational methods in astronomy and anemphasis on our Solar System. Additional topics may include stars, galaxies,and cosmology. Students are expected to be able to articulate a Christianperspective of our place in the universe. Prerequisite: C- or higher in either MAT109QR or MAT127, or ACT math scoreof 22 (SAT550 or above) or permission of instructor. (4 credits) (NWCore option under Science and the Natural World)Note: There is a laboratory/observation component to this course.

PHY211SN - Classical Physics I

(4 credits)(NWCore option under Science and the Natural World) Though allstudents are welcome in this calculus-based, IGE physics course, this is thefirst of a two course sequence designed for math, science, and engineeringmajors and others who have taken or are taking calculus and intend to applyto medical or graduate school. This course includes the following topics:kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, energy, momentum, gravity, oscillations,and thermodynamics. Prerequisite: C- or higher in MAT 112, or consent of the department chair.

PHY212 - Classical Physics II

A continuation of Classical Physics I. Topics will include simple harmonic oscillation, mechanical and electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetism.Prerequisite: successful completion of PHY211 with a grade of C- or better.(4 credits)

PHY350 - Fundamentals of Optics

This course will cover an introduction to classical and modern theories in optics and their applications. Students will learn topics in geometric optics including lens, ray tracing, reflection, and refraction and in physical optics including interference, diffraction, polarization, and lasers. Prerequisites: C- or higher in PHY212 and MAT211, or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)

PHY370 - Modern Physics

For students seeking a minor in physics or those interested in obtaining a physics teaching endorsement. Topics will include special relativity, quantized energy and momentum, Schrodinger's Equation, nuclear and particle physics, and cosmology.Prerequisites: successful completion of PHY212 with a grade of C- or higher, or permission of instructor.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)

PHY450 - Biophysics

Biophysics utilizes analytical problem solving skills cultivated through the study of physics and mathematics to describe theoretically the mechanisms of biological processes. Students will learn to analyze biological data using MatLab. This course is intended to be taken by Biophysics majors towards the end of their program of study. Prerequisites: C- or higher in PHY370, MAT317, and BIO326 or BIO327, or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)

“Every Life is on Fire: How Thermodynamics Explains the Origins of Living Things”, Christian Scholar’s Review, 51:2 , 251-253

"God Chooses the Unexpected", Firebrand Magazine, Dec 2021

"The Ravi Zacharias Scandal Gives Me Hope", Firebrand Magazine, Apr 2021

"Among Diversity Challenges, Science Textbooks Are Part of the Problem", Reformed Journal, Nov 2019

"A Review of COSMOLOGY IN THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE: Understanding Our Place in the Universe", Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Sep 2019

“Intellectually engaging my fundamentalist students”, Reformed Journal, Nov 2018

“Lux trigger efficiency”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics, Nov 2018

“Incorporating Theology and Science Philosophy into the Physics Classroom”, International Journal of Christianity and Education, April 2018

“First results from the DEAP-3600 dark matter search with argon at SNOLAB”, Physical Review Letters, Aug 2018

“Design and Construction of the DEAP-3600 Dark Matter Detector”, Astroparticle Physics, Dec 2017

“Index of refraction, Rayleigh scattering, and Sellmeier coefficients in solid and liquid argon and xenon”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics, June 2017

“Final Results of the PICASSO Dark Matter Search Experiment”, Astroparticle Physics, April 2017

“Measurement of the scintillation time spectra and pulse-shape discrimination of low energy ß and nuclear recoils in liquid argon DEAP-1”, Astroparticle Physics, September 2016

“Searching for Dark Matter with PICASSO”, Physics Procedia 61, December 2015

“Improving Photoelectron Counting and Particle Identification in Scintillation Detectors with Bayesian Techniques”, Astroparticle Physics, January 2015

“Update on the MiniCLEAN Dark Matter Experiment”, Physics Procedia 61, January 2015

“Constraints on Low-Mass WIMP Interaction on 19F from PICASSO”, Physics Letters B February 2013

“Density Characterization of Tapered Super-Sonic Gas Jet Targets for Laser Wakefield Acceleration”, APS, 54th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

“First dark matter search results from a 4-kg CF3I bubble chamber operated in a deep underground site”, Physics Review D September 2012

“Dark matter search with the PICASSO experiment”, The 4th International Conference Current Problems in Nuclear Physics and Atomic Energy, September 2012

Postdoctoral Scholar, Penn State University

Assistant Professor, Sterling College

Postgraduate Research Studentship, Royal Holloway University of London

Research Assistantship, University of Nebraska

Research Assistantship, Indiana University South Bend

Emerging Scholars Network (ESN)

Christian Women in Science (CWIS)

American Scientific Affiliation (ASA)

American Physical Society (APS)

Iowa Academy of Science (IAS)

Visiting Scholar at the Laser Teaching Center, Stony Brook University, NY, 2022

Northwestern Summer Research Grant, 2022

APS Physics Education Research Grant, 2021

Northwestern Summer Research Grant, 2019

IOP Representative to Parliment (UK), 2015

3 Minute Wonder Competition (Science Communication) National Winner, 2013

SEPnet Ph.D. Studentship - Full Scholarship and Stipend, 2012-2018