DROPS! (DePauw Rapid Optical Processing Systems) My research page is still under construction, but enjoy the images already in place!
PROFESSOR JACOB HALE
Dr. Jacob Hale studied Physics at Brigham Young University from 1999 to 2004. During his years there he was able to do two and a half years of undergraduate research which consisted of building a combination atomic-force and confocal-optical microscope (AFCOM). On this device he zapped poor, unsuspecting CdSe quantum dots (40nm) with an electric current from the tip of the atomic-force cantilever and then watched them glow with the confocal-optical system. This work led Jacob to love to investigate small things.
After receiving his BS in Physics from BYU in 2004 Jacob hauled his young family across the plains to the lovely Mid-west, beginning his PhD work at Purdue. There he continued to feed his love of learning and found a new passion for teaching. For the next six years he plowed forward on two parallel paths, one to develop himself into an enthusiastic teacher and the other to continue the exploration of small things. This time the small things Jacob studied were alive! After a year and a half of graduate coursework, Jacob was told the following, "Imagine a single-celled organism no bigger than 50 nanometers across, that has a shear strength rivaling aluminum alloy and the ability to compress DNA with one of the greatest motor forces known to man. And it is all done by proteins!" Talk about awesome. With that introduction to the field of Biophysics, Jacob began applying mechanical and statistical methods to understand molecular motors that (he quickly discovered) are pervasive throughout a living body and essential to life's functions. His thesis research materials began with viruses, then bacteria and culminated with human cancer cells. To study these systems, Jacob used a second semester physics course technique called total-internal-reflection to optically isolate single proteins and then analysed their motion to determine their roles in essential living processes. He concluded his thesis work by introducing a novel application of an uncommon statistical theory (called the theory of runs) to the analysis of molecular motion. Along side his research trek at Purdue, Jacob pursued many teaching opportunities and acquired a list of teaching credentials in the department, college and university including the Akeley-Mandler Award, which is the highest teaching award from Purdue's Physics Department for student teaching.