PhysicsCentral Team

Becky Thompson

Becky ThompsonBecky Thompson grew up near Annapolis, MD. After getting her BA from Bryn Mawr College in 2001 she decided she needed a change and moved to the Lone Star state where she got her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!). Her research involved studying the intricate buckling pattern at the edge of daffodils and then computationally putting them into a fourth spatial dimension. While at UT she toured Austin with her Physics Circus show, making pickles glow for elementary school kids. She joined the PhysicsCentral team in 2008. When she is not making small explosions on her desk in the name of physics outreach she attempts to finish triathlons and bakes really tasty brownies. She has yet to set anything on fire that she didn’t mean to.


James Riordon


James RiordonJames studied physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He designed instrumentation for Superconducting Super Collider in Waxahachie, Texas (which would have been the largest single experiment in history) until the project lost funding in 1992. Since then, James worked as an electrical engineer in a couple of particle beam labs, ran a small electronics development company, dropped everything to become a freelance science journalist, and now handles media relations for the APS. James learned to skateboard in 1972 and has been an avid skater, surfer and snowboarder ever since. In his spare time he also writes music (under the pseudonym Buzz Skyline) and plays, and is working on two books-a non-fiction look at the physics of the human body, and a science fiction story that features one nice penguin and one evil penguin.


Stephen Skolnick


Brian JacobsmeyerBorn in Washington, DC, Stephen moved to Indiana at the age of five and remained there through college, graduating from Indiana University in 2014 with a BS in applied physics and a minor in math. After a variety of internships at the American Physical Society, Stephen landed his current job as the editor of In his off time, he enjoys climbing (of both the rock and tree varieties), coming up with unconventional hypotheses, and playing the harmonica. Stephen is acutely aware at all times of the possibility that his behavior is being influenced by the writhing multitude of microbes that live in his intestines.


James Roche


James RocheBorn and raised in the Washington DC area, James Roche believes he may be the inspiration for the Rambo movies. His undiagnosed attention deficit disorder led him to pursue a degree in physics with a minor in art and visual technology. To help pay for calculators and paint brushes, he tutored math and science while directing skateboarding camps for five years. This somewhat strange assortment of interests helped him become the APS Project Coordinator for LaserFest, the 2010 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first working death ray laser. When he’s not talking about lasers, skateboarding or Rambo, you might find him throwing bricks at the basketball court or dancing to his own rhythm near your pub’s jukebox.