With the goal of becoming an astrophysicist, I earned my Bache-lor’s degree in physics at a small Presbyterian college (I was in fact, a small Presbyterian). Motivated by economic pressures, I elected not to pursue astronomy as a career (or attend seminary for that matter). For the first half or so of my professional career, I did experimental research involving collisions of electrons, ions, and atoms with atoms and molecules. I specialized in the particularly tricky business of pre-paring ground-state atomic hydrogen and oxygen targets for labora-tory collision experiments. I came to Concordia College to teach phys-ics and astronomy. In the last dozen or so years, my research has mi-grated to laser spectroscopic studies of fast molecular dynamics in fluids.
The real reason I became a physics professor was to support my music habit. I never desired the lifestyle of a touring performer, but wanted to continue singing and playing my guitar. Why did I choose to be a physics professor? Apart from the obvious allure of wearing taped glasses, plastic pocket protectors and unmatched socks, I am passionately curious about nature and the universe. And experimental physicists get to spend their lives playing with fabulous toys.