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

  • Introduction to Engineering I and Lab - EGR 1012/L
  • Introduction to Engineering II and Lab - EGR 1023/L
  • Nuclear Physics and Lab – EGR/PHY 3013/L
  • Analytical Mechanics: Dynamics – EGR/PHY 3043
  • Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves I – EGR/PHY 3063
  • Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves II – EGR/PHY 3083
  • Thermodynamics – EGR/PHY 4013
  • Embedded Systems and Robotics and Lab - EGR4042/L
  • Solid State Physics – EGR/PHY 4063
  • Senior Project I - EGR/PHY 4072
  • Senior Project II - EGR/PHY 4082
  • The Physics of Sound and Music and Lab - PHY1034/L
  • General Physics I and Lab – PHY 1044/L
  • General Physics II and Lab – PHY 1054/L
  • University Physics I – PHY 2044
  • University Physics II and Lab – PHY 2054/L
  • Modern Physics and Lab – PHY 3004/L
  • The Cosmos - PSC 1004

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)