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Kristine Lang

She, Her, Hers

Associate Professor

Dr. Lang received her B.S. in International Affairs from Georgetown University in 1993.  Having rediscovered her love of physics too late to major in it, but early enough to take a few physics classes in college, she did an about face and applied to graduate school in physics.  She was accepted to U.C. Berkeley and started there in fall 1994.  In her first year in graduate school she attended a colloquium in which she saw a picture of an atom taken by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM).  The awestruck amazement fostered by seeing these pictures launched her into a career of using scanning probe microscopes to study small things.  In graduate school she studied high-temperature superconductors with scanning tunneling microscopy, receiving her Ph.D. from Berkeley in 2001.  For her postdoc and pre-tenure research at Colorado College she transitioned to using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study thin insulators used in solid state quantum bits. 

For the last decade, she has been collaborating with a microbiologist, Phoebe Lostroh, to study the genetic and physical basis of natural transformation in bacteria.  Natural transformation is the ability possessed by some bacteria to import foreign DNA across their outer membrane and incorporate it into their own genomes. The work combines both AFM and microbiological techniques.  Dr. Lang involves undergraduate students extensively in all her research

When not taking pictures of small things, Dr. Lang chairs the Physics Department and teaches courses across the physics curriculum at Colorado College.  She particularly enjoys incorporating active teaching elements into her courses and finding interesting connections between physics and the world around.  Dr. Lang also teaches a course on microbiology and cellular biophysics in collaboration with Dr. Lostroh of the Microbiology Department and a course on physics and the human body in collaboration with Dr. Bull of the Human Biology and Kinesiology Department.  Ever further afield, Dr. Lang also teaches Gender and Science, a course which examines questions such as why there are so few women in science and how science defines gender.

Regular Classes

PC 133
PC 136
PC 151
PC 241
PC 242
PC 251
PC 341
PC 349
MB 109
FG 216

Education