Gordon Aubrecht Home Page

Gordon Aubrecht

[Gordon Aubrecht]

Gordon is a member of the Ohio State Physics Education Research Group. See a selection of recent presentations here.

The Marion Campus is a (mainly) two-year campus of Ohio State University. Gordon is a Physics Department professor emeritus teaching on the Marion Campus. During Autumn Semester 2014, Gordon is teaching Physics 1107 (inquiry dealing with the properties of electricity and circuits, light, optics with applications to real-world phenomena such as astronomy), Monday and Wednesdays, 18:00 to 20:50 o’clock (6:00 to 8:50 PM) in Room 385 Morrill Hall. Aubrecht is also working on an Ohio Department of Education-funded project with Marion City Schools helping science teachers at Grant Middle School and Harding High School and with South-Western City Schools (Grove City) middle schools to improve their science teaching approaches.

[Agre & Aubrecht]

In May, 2014, Gordon was named a fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). In the letter, it said, “Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers and is awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to AAPT’s mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.” The award was presented at the AAPT Summer Meeting in July in Minneapolis.

In December, 2013, Gordon learned he had been named 2014 Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters by the American Physical Society (APS). The letter said in part: “Your reports and advice have helped us to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics, while creating a resource that is invaluable to authors, researchers, students, and readers. We could never have done this without the generous and wise contributions of superb referees like you.”

In December, 2009, Gordon was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The citation reads: “For distinguished contributions in theoretical particle physics, for physics education research, for making contemporary physics more accessible to students and teachers, and for contributions to standards.”
The photo to the left shows Aubrecht receiving his Fellow’s rosette from AAAS President Peter Agre in February 2010.

In January, 2000, Gordon was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Gordon may be reached at (740) 725-6250 (Marion voicemail, not working well) or (614) 292-2574 (Columbus voicemail). Faxes may be sent to (614) 292-5817 (Marion) or (614) 292-7557 (Columbus). His email address is aubrecht.1@osu.edu. Email is always the most certain way to reach him.

Syllabi of old classes for informational purposes are available here.

Students who believe they need an accomodation based on impact of a disability should arrange an appointment as soon as possible. I rely on the Office for Disability Services for assistance in verification of a need for accomodation and in developing strategies to address the need. Please inform me of any issues the first day of class.


Gordon is involved with the Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP), which has produced a chart of fundamental particles and interactions, a chart for fusion energy, and a nuclear science chart. To find out about our latest work, see new CPEP initiatives and the CPEP website above.

As enrichment to the particles chart, there is a "particle adventure" web site you can visit to learn more about many aspects of particle physics, even some not alluded to on the chart.

In addition to the fusion chart, there is a rich web site with access to a lot of information on the physics of fusion.

CPEP also has a nuclear energy site. .

There is a nuclear science chart history at (see Nuclear Chart History.) There is more information on recent CPEP projects at Supplementary Material for the Nuclear Chart.

Gordon was chair of CPEP from 1998 to 2006. He is now chair emeritus.

The latest CPEP release is the History and Fate of the Universe.

Think of what you can do to contribute to CPEP’s mission! Then email me.

Bibliographies are available as part of all sites.

[Gordon Aubrecht]

Physics Organizations

Gordon was for many years on the Executive Board of the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society. He was awarded the prestigious Howard N. Maxwell Award for distinguished service to the Ohio Section at the Ohio Section meeting on 16 April 2004 in Athens, Ohio. Gordon was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a signal honor, in November, 2000.

Gordon is active in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). He has been Chair of several AAPT national Committees and is currently chair of the SI Units and Metric Education Committee. He currently serves on the International Committee. Gordon was awarded the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation on 16 January 1996 in Reno, Nevada.

Gordon is a member of several AAPT sections. He is currently on the Executive Committee for the Southern Ohio Section of AAPT. In October, 2002, he was presented the prestigious John B. Hart Award for distinguished service by the Southern Ohio Section at its meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Gordon also serves on Standards Coordinating Committee 14 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, which deals with units and standards. He is currently secretary of this committee. In 1997, SCC 14 published jointly with the American Society for Testing and Materials an ANSI-recognized national standard for use of the International System, known for short as SI-10. The organizations had previously published two separate standards documents. See metric information from NIST for information about aspects of SI.

Gordon is also a member of the ISO TAC-12 Advisory Committee in the US.

The year 2004 was a big one for awards for Gordon. He was presented with the Howard Maxwell Award of the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society for long service to the Section, the Distinguished Service Award of AURCO for long service contributions, and the Louis Nemzer Award by the Ohio State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors for “defending the principles of academic freedom against all challenges.”

International Physics Education

Gordon is very interested in maintaining international connections with other physicists. He has been involved is several InterAmerican Conferences on Physics Education. At the Seventh InterAmerican Conference in Canela, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in July, 2000, Gordon was elected to the InterAmerican Council, and also selected as Secretary of the Council. The next meeting is in Costa Rica in July 2006.

Gordon now serves also the US liaison for GIREP for U.S. GIREP members and the AAPT. GIREP is the Europe-based International Research Group in Physics Education.

Energy and Recycling

Gordon has been committed to recycling for over 30 years. He was on the board of Delaware Recyclers, Inc., a local nonprofit recycler in Delaware County, Ohio, where he resides. His latest term as President ended in September, 1997. In December, 1998, he was honored for his many contributions to recycling in Delaware County by Keep Delaware County Beautiful by a Lifetime Recycling Award. Unfortunately, the Delaware County Commissioners at that time (especially Mr. Don Wuertz) and Mr. Keith Bailey, administrator of the DKMM Solid Waste District, succeeded in destroying this gem of community service for (unknown) political purposes in early 2000. The replacement, a local scrap business now run by Marion’s Sims Brothers, required similar or more subsidy to operate and recycled less than the Recyclers did!

He is author of Energy, a college textbook that examines all sides of the debates on energy and the consequences of energy use. The third edition was published in 2006.

Gordon was first named in 1995 to the Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) of the Utility Radiological Safety Board of Ohio (URSB) as a representative of an environmental group. The Board deals with issues raised by the presence of two nuclear electrical energy facilities in the State. He was renamed to another two-year term in 1999. Gordon was scribe of the Council from October, 1997 to March, 2001 (the scribe acts as the liaison to the URSB from the CAC). His last term of service ended in July, 2001.

Faculty Involvement

Gordon is currently OSU Senate Scribe.

Gordon is on the Executive Committee of the Ohio State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He is the OSU AAUP President for 2010-2012. Visit the OSU AAUP Web site. The OSU Chapter presented Gordon with the Louis Nemzer Award during a special reception at the OSU Faculty Club on 10 June 2004.

While he was Marion Senator (1999-2002, 2005-2008), Gordon served on the ad hoc committee to reform Faculty Council and the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Evaluation of Teaching as well as the Council on Enrollment and Student Progress. Gordon was the University Alternate Senator from the Marion Campus, (2002-2005). He was chair of the Regional Campus Faculty Council for many years. He was named chair of the Steering Committee Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Report of the Presidential Commission on Regional Campuses in Autumn 2002. The report was delivered to Steering in 2003. He served on the University Research Committee and the Hearing Committee. He is currently on the Rules Committee.

As current Regional Campus Representative for Marion Campus and former senator, Gordon is an official Marion Campus liaison to the Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio (AURCO). He was president of AURCO for the period 2001-2003 and is now way past past president. At the AURCO meeting in Ironton, Ohio on 17 April 2004, Gordon was presented with the AURCO award for distinguished service “for demonstrated commitment to and extended service on behalf of the mission of the Association.”

[Gordon Aubrecht]

In 2008, Gordon was awarded the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. Dean Rose wrote: “President Gee presented Gordon Aubrecht with the Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service. This is a very great honor for Gordon, recognizing his long list of contributions to The Ohio State University, particularly in the areas of governance. As you know, Gordon has served for many years and in a variety of leadership roles on the University Senate and its various committees, in addition to service to the Marion campus, the Department of Physics, and his discipline both nationally and internationally. Last year only three of these awards were given to OSU faculty members, placing Gordon in a rather exclusive and august club!

“As it is officially described,‘The Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service honors faculty members whose contributions to the development and implementation of university policies and programs through non-administrative roles have been extensive and have made documentable impact on the quality of the university. The recipients also have continued to provide effective teaching and have maintained an active program of research, scholarship, or creative work. Recipients are nominated by members of the university community and selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and previous recipients.’”

Physics of Science Fiction

Gordon began reading science fiction at an impressionable age. He has been interested for many years in the physics of science fiction.


Gordon, Ken Bolland, and Mike Ziegler published Doing Physics with Spreadsheets in 2000 by Prentice Hall. The book’s ISBN is 0-13-021474-4.

The book The Charm of Strange Quarks, by Michael Barnett, Helen Quinn, Henry Mühry, Gordon, and other contributors was published in 2000 by Springer Verlag (AIP Press). This book’s ISBN is 0-387-98897-1.

The third edition of Gordon’s text Energy was published in 2006 by Prentice Hall. This book’s ISBN is 0-18-093222-1.


To see old pictures of the family, press family.

Gordon would be interested in hearing your comments. He may be reached by email at aubrecht@mps.ohio-state.edu.

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Created by: aubrecht@mps.ohio-state.edu [latest revision, 21 August 2014]