Paul D. Schmelzenbach, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics and Engineering

Dr. Paul Schmelzenbach received his BS in Physics and a BS in Chemistry from Northwest Nazarene University in 1998. He went on to complete his MS and Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Oregon State University in 2003. He taught three years at Erskine College in South Carolina where he was nominated twice for teacher of the year. Dr. Schmelzenbach came to Point Loma Nazarene University in 2006.

Dr. Schmelzenbach teaches courses including General Physics, Nuclear Physics, Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism, Earth Science and Physical Science.

His research interests include gamma ray spectroscopy, analysis of large data sets, computational physics and physics education. He has participated in several experiments at large accelerator facilities and been involved in analysis of large data sets derived from these experiments. He developed analysis techniques for angular correlation on large arrays to better understand the nature of the nucleus. He has led undergraduate research in gamma ray spectroscopy and explorations in sonoluminescence. He was awarded a Bell Grant for research with an undergraduate. He has served as a consultant for FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc.

His hobbies include photography, painting, 3D computer artwork, hiking, juggling, and playing the trumpet.


  • Ph.D., Physics, Oregon State University
  • M.S., Physics, Oregon State University
  • B.S., Chemistry, Northwest Nazarene University
  • B.S., Physics, Northwest Nazarene University

Courses Taught

  • Computational Methods for Engineers and Scientists I – EGR 110
  • Computational Methods for Engineers and Scientists II – EGR 120
  • Engineering Drawing I – EGR 130
  • Engineering Drawing II – EGR 140
  • Mobile Robotics – EGR 442
  • General Physics I – PHY 141
  • General Physics II – PHY 142
  • University Physics I – PHY 241
  • University Physics II – PHY 242
  • Modern Physics – PHY 304
  • Nuclear Physics – PHY 311
  • Analytical Mechanics – PHY 341
  • Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves I – PHY 361
  • Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves II – PHY 362
  • Thermodynamics – PHY 401
  • Solid State Physics – PHY 443
  • Senior Laboratory and Senior Project – PHY 475
  • Seminar in Physics – PHY 495
  • Research in Physics – PHY 499
  • Earth Science – PSC 103
  • Physical Science – PSC 110

Experience in Field

  • Developed lab curriculum for Nuclear Physics, Modern Physics, Introductory Physics, and Physical Science

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Student Mentoring Summer Research: Development of Sonoluminscence System, Methods of Gamma-Ray Coincidence, and Gamma Ray Analysis
  • Served as a Sidewalk Astronomer at Bayside Community Center
  • Developer and Presenter at STEM Expo

Awards and Honors

  • Co-Pi "Scholarships to Support STEM majors Computational Sciences Minors" NSF Grant 2014

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • "We can Write, Right, Right?", Talk at American Association of Physics Teachers National Winter Meeting, San Diego  
  • "Using JiTT with Joomla", Talk at Winter Meeting of American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Co-Author, N=90 region: The decays of 152Eum,g to 152Sm, Phys. Rev. C 76, 034319
  • Co-Author, Identification of a pairing isomeric band in 152Sm, Phys. Rev. C 71, 041303(R)