Brant Carlson

  • Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Straz Center 82

    Brant Carlson studies atmospheric electricity and lightning. New to the Carthage faculty in Fall 2012, he earned his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 2009. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2005.

    Prof. Carlson comes to Carthage from the University of Bergen, Norway, where his research as a postdoctoral scholar focused on terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs), intense bursts of energetic radiation produced by lightning. His current work includes modeling TGF production mechanisms and comparing those mechanisms to satellite, ground and aircraft observations of TGFs and other lightning-associated gamma rays. His other research interests include electric field remote sensing, and studying the effect of gamma ray bursts on very low frequency radio signals.

    Prof. Carlson held the Stanford Benchmark Fellowship at Stanford University from 2005 to 2008. While at the California Institute of Technology, he was recognized with the Sigma Xi Award for excellence in research and the Kothari Prize for outstanding undergraduate thesis. He has taught or assisted in teaching such courses as Introductory Plasma Physics and Electromagnetic Waves, and has offered outreach courses to 6-12th graders on how electric sparks work. He also led undergraduate research projects at Stanford that included low-noise electronics and autonomous drone development.

    • Ph.D. — Physics, Stanford University, 2009
    • B.S. — Physics, California Institute of Technology, 2005