John W. Weiss

Who am I?

I'm an on-again-off-again college physics/astronomy professor. I'm currently off-again as I do research from home and serve as a stay-at-home dad to a very inquisative little girl. I have been an assistant professor of physics at St. Martin's University and I was a visiting professor at Carleton College. I miss teaching and I especially miss the students, so hopefully someday I'll get back into the classroom.

I was once a post-doc working at CICLOPS doing ring science for the Cassini mission with Carolyn Porco. It was great fun and it was great to be part of something that big. Most of my research involves Saturn's rings and their dynamical behaviors, although I work a bit on the jets of Enceladus as well.I received my Ph.D. in May of 2005 from CU Boulder in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences where my advisor was Glen Stewart. My thesis was mainly about the edges of rings where there are no moons to constrain the particles. Fun stuff, but pretty computationally intensive. I went to college at Carleton College (class of 1999). At Carleton, I was a Physics/Astro and Math double major, which kept me busy-but-quite-happy.

I am originally from Rochester, MN. My father is a journalist (reporter/photographer) who specializes in outdoors and environmental stories. My mother is an Ed. Asst. at an elementary school, where she applies the harsh lessons about kids that my siblings and I taught her. If she could handle us, she can handle anything. My siblings, Angela and Charlie (CJ) are 3 and 6 years younger than I am, respectively. Both are science oriented as well, so I suspect that there was some contamination in our water supply. Angela is the biologist; she graduated from St. Olaf, the college across the Cannon River. She's now a high school science teacher, moved back to Rochester from in Northeastern Minnesota and runs the science center at a high school in Rochester. CJ majored in chemistry at Carleton. CJ hasn't blown himself up yet, but it isn't for want of trying.

Hobbies-wise (in my oh-so-copious free time) I mainly have my nose in books. It's kind of frightening to realize that I have seven bookshelves all to myself. I'm not quite sure where I found room, but the gravity of the books might have caused some spacetime warping, I suppose. I also have a very cuddly cat named Chiana and until my last move, I had seven guinea pigs (all named after minor bodies in the solar system). Head to the pictures pages to see them. They're very cute. And I co-founded the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Underground at CU. Otherwise, I mostly cross-stitch (you can also see these under pictures at left) and cook/bake.

If you want to learn more about me, either you are bored and should do something constructive or should e-mail me.

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John Weiss