Associate Professor of Physics Dr. Scott Hawley and engineering physics major Brynn Yonker recently attended the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. They participated in a workshop on laser Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI) taught by Dr. Thomas Moore, Rollins University, the inventor of the ESPI method used in undergraduate universities worldwide.
Yonker and Hawley attended the conference to gain insights on how to improve Belmont’s ESPI system to better study guitars and other musical instruments. During one break, Moore introduced Hawley and Yonker to legendary acoustician and physics educator Dr. Thomas Rossing. Rossing had been told of Hawley’s “Polar Pattern Plotter” iOS app, the subject of Yonker’s summer Belmont SURFS research, and was interested in using it in his musical acoustics work at Stanford University. This meeting was particularly meaningful given that Hawley’s paper, about the iOS app and published in The Physics Teacher Journal, began with a reference to the Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education.