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Robert Matson




Office Building

Daktronics Engineering Hall



Mailing Address

Daktronics Eng Hall 255
Physics-Box 2222
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


Bachelor of Science in Physics from Humboldt State University
Doctorate in Experimental Physics from Oklahoma State University

Academic Interests/Expertise

Over the past 35+ years, I have taught students ranging in age from 5 to 95 and subjects ranging from Fire Science, Driver Education, CPR and Emergency Medicine to advanced scholarly areas such as Quantum Mechanics and Graduate Mechanics and Graduate Electrodynamics.

Academic Responsibilities

Introductory level conceptual courses and related labs for non-science majors.

Committee Activities

Representing College of Natural Sciences on the Faculty Senate since AY-2019

Specialty Area

  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Complex Fluid Dynamics

Awards and Honors

Distinguish Research Award and Outstanding English Composition Award.

Professional Memberships

American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics, Sigma-Pi-Sigma Honors Society.

Work Experience

I have taught at major research 1 universities, prominent research 2 universities, and large colleges for the past 15 years as an Assistant Professor of Physics. I have had as many as 4 Graduate Researchers and 6 Undergraduate Researchers during a given academic year. Four of these graduate students were able to complete their Master of Science Degree under my leadership.

Creative Activities

I have two published books and another currently under contract due out in Spring 2020.

Area(s) of Research

The complex role between particulates and their host media is of great interest. There are currently a dozen different definitions of viscosity and no theoretical model to accurately predict this apparently inherent property of any media. My research goal is to define and test a fundamental theory which accurately predicts the viscous properties of any liquid.

Applications of Research

The values of viscosity are used in many areas, including chemical and hydraulic engineering and meteorology. Improving our understanding of this fundamental property would greatly enhance our abilities to predict drug behavior in the body, supply water and other liquids to the public, and possibly even predict the formation and path of hurricanes.