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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 diameter) 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.

Jacob Hale, physics professor at DePauw UniversityAfter 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! He applied physical laws and theories to understand how viruses pack DNA, how bacteria respond to osmotic shock and how membrane proteins in human cancer cells function.

After a year of teaching at Ithaca College in New York, Jacob came to DePauw in 2011 as the newest member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  At DePauw, Jacob is teaching both introductory and upper level physics courses and leads an active research program where students study high speed fluid phenomenon.  Young in his career and young at heart, he is enthusiastically determined to help his students love science as much as he does and to become competent in employing the principles of physics to their careers and lives.

Along with his love of physics and teaching physics, Jacob loves his family. He and his wife Lavinia have 8 wonderful children, Esther, Ephraim, Hyrum, Joseph, Lenora, Rebecca, Nathan and Miriam, all of whom are his greatest pride and joy in life. Lavinia earned her degree in painting and maintains a studio where she paints landscapes and teaches their children in many different mediums, papermaking being a family favorite. They love to spend time as a family playing outdoors, especially jumping on a trampoline, playing ultimate Frisbee and playing “lab” in their treehouse. They are devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serve in many different areas of their church.

Jacob loves people and enjoys helping people fulfill their potentials as individuals and members of a community. In connection with this, he absolutely loves to teach his students, using the wonder of physics to help them gain an exciting and positive perspective about this wonderful world they live in.