Steven J. Sweeney, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physics; Assistant Professor
Dr. Steven Sweeney joined the faculty at DeSales University in the Fall of 2014, where he is assistant professor of physics. He earned his BS with honors in physics at Moravian College in 2003. He served as a National Science Foundation Teaching Fellow for three years while earning his MS (2005) and Ph.D. (2008) at Lehigh University, receiving the Elizabeth V. Stout Award for his dissertation on laser-based atomic and molecular spectroscopy of alkali metals.
Dr. Sweeney's current research interests include the measurements of atomic collision rates in atomic alkali vapors and the production and characterization of silver nanoparticle-based inks for hand-drawn circuits and sensors. Alongside some of his previous students, he has presented research findings of these two projects at several local, regional, and national meetings, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society and the Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society. Recent students working in his research lab have presented findings at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science and Annual Meetings of the American Chemical Society. Outside of the lab, he is also interested in current research in physics education, and has presented at the national Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is a member of the American Physical Society (APS), the Society of Physics Students (SPS), Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ), and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).
At DeSales, Dr. Sweeney is currently responsible for teaching both algebra- and calculus-based introductory physics courses. In addition to these, he has offered a general education course entitled Hollywood Physics for students to fill their MOT science requirement. In this course, he and the students use popular movies as a focal point for examining the laws of nature. Outside of the classroom and laboratory, he spends as much time as he can with his wife and three sons, traveling with family, and enjoying time at zoos, aquariums, science centers, and soccer fields.