Dr. Sean Nowling

Assistant Professor, Physics

At JCC, I regularly teach physics courses ranging from conceptual physics to calculus based physics. These courses introduce students to the fundamental aspects of mechanics and electromagnetism. In addition, I co-teach thermodynamics with Professor Jill Johnson, as part of the engineering sequence. Outside JCC's physics offerings, I teach the introduction to astronomy course, which surveys both historical and modern views of the universe.

Before joining JCC, I worked as a researcher and have a wide background in theoretical physics. Quite generally, my research interests lie in highly quantum features of matter. I am especially drawn towards problems which combine insights from different fields. Recently, I have explored the use of holographic dualities to study quantum critical points arising in condensed matter physics. The overarching theme of this program is to use intuitions from string theory to explain and organize strongly coupled phenomena which are often outside the scope of traditional condensed matter approaches. This is an exciting area of much recent activity which brings together concepts from string theory, relativity, condensed matter, and many-body physics.


  • Ph.D. Physics - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S. Physics - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S. Physics - Purdue University

Academic Interests

  • Theoretical high energy physics