Peter Collings

Peter Collings
Standing Faculty

Adjunct Professor

Morris L. Clothier Professor of Physics, Swarthmore College

(610) 328-7791

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081


Principal Investigator on 15 grants for liquid crystal and molecular aggregation research while at Kenyon College and Swarthmore College (1977- )

Visiting Scholar, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2004-05)

Senior Scientist, Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. (2000-01)

Researcher, Iwan-N.-Stransky Institute, Technical University, Berlin, F. R. Germany (Fall, 1996)

Researcher, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University (Summer, 1984)

Researcher, Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Paderborn, F. R. Germany (1983-84)

Researcher, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University (Summer, 1977)

Graduate work in liquid crystal physics at Yale University (1972-76)

Undergraduate work in low temperature physics at Amherst College (1967-68)


Yale University June 1976 Physics M.Ph., Ph.D.

Yale University Feb 1969 Physics

Amherst College June 1968 Physics B.A.

Courses Taught

Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Chaos (2005)

The Character of Physical Law (1990,91,93,97,98,2002,03)

Geology (1980,81,82,83,85,86,87,89,90,94,95,99,2002,04,07)

The Earth and Its Climate (2006)

Classical & Modern Physics (1977,78,79,80,81,87)

General Physics (1986,87,88,95,2008)

Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves (1991,92,2007)

Modern Physics (1976,80,85,86,2003)

Introductory/Intermediate Mechanics (1982,2000)

Oscillations and Waves (1988,89)

Mathematical Methods of Physics (2002)

Electronics (1976,77,78,79)

Electromagnetic Theory (1977,78,85,94)

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (1987,91,92,94,98)

Theoretical Mechanics (1977,79,81,83,85)

Quantum Theory (1982,84,96)

Quantum Applications (1997)

Modern Optics (2000,01)

Experimental Physics (1981,84,88,89)

Advanced Laboratory (1976,77,78,79,94,98,99,2000,01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08)

Topics in Advanced Physics (1977,78,79,80,81,82,85)

Independent Study (1986,87,88,89,90,95)

Honors Thesis (1978,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,87,88,89,94,97,99,2000,03,04,05,06,07)

Integrated Program in Humane Studies (1989,90)

Selected Publications

A. J. Dickinson, N. D. LaRacuente, C. B. McKitterick, and P. J. Collings, “Aggregate Structure and Free Energy Changes in Chromonic Liquid Crystals,” Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals (submitted).

M. R. Tomasik and P. J. Collings, “Aggregation Behavior and Chromonic Liquid Crystal Phase of a Dye Derived from Naphthalenecarboxylic Acid,” Journal of Physical Chemistry B (in press).

D. Aronzon, E. P. Levy, P. J. Collings, A. Chanishvili, G. Chilaya, and G. Petriashvili, “Trans-cis Isomerization of an Azoxybenzene Liquid Crystal,” Liquid Crystals, 34, 707 (2007).

G. Chilaya, A. Chanishvili, G. Petriashvili, R. Barberi, R. Bartolino, M. P. De Santo, M. A. Matranga, and P. Collings, “Light Control of Cholesteric Liquid Crystals Using Azoxy-Based Host Materials,” Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, 453, 123 (2006).

V. R. Horowitz, L. A. Janowitz, A. L. Modic, P. A. Heiney, and P. J. Collings, “Aggregation Behavior and Liquid Crystal Properties of an Anionic Monoazo Dye,” Physical Review E, 72, 041710 (2005).


United States Soccer Federation Referee (1990-98)

Member, Board of Trustees, United Way of Knox County (1988-90)

Secretary/Treasurer, Mt. Vernon Soccer Association (1988-90)

Chairman, United Way Campaign, Kenyon College (1986), Gambier (1987)

President, Gambier Little League (1985-87)

Member, College Township Fire Department and Ambulance Squad (1980-83)

Restricted Line Officer, U. S. Navy (1969-72)

CV (file)