Associate Professor Emeritus of Physics
One of his main goals at Hampshire is to create laboratory programs in the physical sciences and sustainable technology to help all students, regardless of their course of study, with their increasingly probable collision with technological obstacles.
Professor Wirth is an active member of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program (ESSP) and is happy to supervise projects exploring the design and adaptation of technologies to lessen their impact on the environment. He is also a committed and experienced practitioner of meditation who periodically offers instruction in this discipline.
Physics II is a calculus-based physics course that covers thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and electromagnetism at a basic level. Project-like labs look at the thermodynamics of Nitinol, building circuits with operational amplifiers and measuring environmental electric fields.
All facets of musical performance, the production of sound, its transmission and alteration by the performance space, and its perception by members of the audience, are candidates for study in acoustics. In this course we will develop the physics of vibrating systems and wave propagation and study the measurement of sound. Topics will include: vibrating systems, wave motion, wave analysis, resonance, room acoustics, and the application of these principles to various classes of instruments. There will be weekly problem sets and a class presentation by each student on a topic of interest. A weekly lab will allow students to investigate various acoustical systems and measuring devices. Students will perform simple experiments, learn to operate the lab equipment, and read papers from the original literature. Students will develop an independent project in musical acoustics. Students will present the results of their large project to the class near the end of the semester.