Picture of Tom

Thomas J. Bauer

Sr. Instructor in Physics Laboratory Retired


B.A. in Physics, Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN
M.S. in Physics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID


My greatest interest since leaving Wellesley has been building and flying radio controlled model airplanes. I enjoy scale and sport electric, slope, and thermal soaring.

Flying at Davis field Sudbury,MA

Float Plane Flying on Hood Canal,WA

Flying at Steptoe Butte,WA

Bill Martin Field, Medfield,MA

Flying a Model Glider at the Boston Sewage Treatment Plant


I spent a consideralble amount of time writing software in Matlab and previously Quick Basic to run the Departments 3 spectrometrs. Spectrum of Hydrogen and Deuterium made with the above software and a SPEx 1-meter Spectrometer

Spectrum of Hydrogen and Deuterium made with the above software and a Spex 1-meter Spectrometer

I wrote a program in Matlab which takes an FFT of a .wmv file and plots the sound spectrum in false color as a function of time. From the Doppler shift you can determine the speed of a moving object. Here is a link to a P51 Mustang doing a fly-by.

Sound Spectrum of a P51 fly-by

Sound Spectrum of a speeding car

To download a windows self extracting executable file of SoundSpectrum, Right click or Option click on the link below and choose "Save Target As"

Windows Executable Soundspectrum file

To download the Matlab SoundSpectrum source code Right click or Option click on the link below and choose "Save Target As"

Zipped Matlab source code for Soundspectrum

Simulation of White Light Fringes in a Michelson Interferometer

Demonstration of Poisson's Spot

A ping Pong ball is placed in 3 meter long piece of 1 1/2" PVC pipe. Packing tape is placed over the ends, PVC coupler fittings are pushed over the tape, and the air is evacuated with a vacuum pump. A knife is used to rupture the tape. The inrushing air pushes the ball down the pipe and out the end of the tube. See if you can determine how fast the ball is traveling. There is a meter stick in the background. How fast is the small piece of tape at the end going? Download the video and play it back with QuickTime. You can use the cursor keys to step though the video frame by frame.

Movie of PingPong Ball going through a Soda Can

Laser Induced Fluorescence in Iodine


I started teaching at Wellesley in 1986. Before that I worked for Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona in Tucson as an Electronic/Instrument engineer. In 1989-90 my family and I spent a sabbatical back at Steward Observatory's Mirror Lab where I worked on a camera to take pictures of glass melting in the labs 30-ton rotating oven.

In 1997-98 my family and I spent a sabatical year in Boulder, CO where I worked on a fiber-optic sensor for Hydrazine at a small chemical engineering company.

I retired in June of 2014 to Union,WA (summer) and Spokane WA (fall,winter,spring).

  • Physics
  • Date Created: 20 April 1995
  • Last Modified: 08/26/2014
  • Expires: 04/01/2017