Rand Worland

Rand WorlandTeaching

I enjoy teaching a wide variety of physics courses within the physics major, at both the introductory and upper levels, as well as courses for non-science majors. I particularly like integrating lab experiments and lecture demonstrations with lecture material and interactive problem solving sessions.  Recent courses taught include General University Physics, Modern Physics, Electromagnetic Theory, Experimental Physics, Light and Color, and Physics of Music.

Research in Musical Acoustics

My lab is devoted to experimental research in the field of musical acoustics.  I specialize in the use of optical techniques to study the vibrations of musical instruments, with an emphasis on instruments of the percussion family. I am an active member of the Acoustical Society of America, as well as the Society's Technical Committee on Musical Acoustics.  Recent projects have involved the physics of drums, crotales, cymbals, and vibraphone bars.

Student Research

I frequently supervise undergraduate students engaged in research projects involving musical acoustics.  Student research typically includes the use of optical interferometry in the lab, along with numerical modeling (using finite element analysis software) and work in the Puget Sound machine shop. Students present the results of their summer research projects on campus each fall, and often at regional and national conferences as well.

See recent student research projects.

Physics Pedagogy

I am active in the physics education community, participating in American Association of Physics Teachers conferences as well as "education in acoustics" sessions of the ASA. I enjoy developing and presenting new ideas for lab experiments, demonstrations, and classroom teaching methods.

See physics pedagogy projects.


When I'm not relaxing with my wife and son (and our two cats), I play music with several groups including a 17-piece big band called The Kings of Swing.