Dr. Douglas Furton

Dr. Douglas Furton

Professor of Physics
130B Padnos Hall of Science
Department of Physics
Tel: (616) 331-2274
Fax: (616) 331-3740
Email: [email protected]


  • Ph.D. Astrophysics, University of Toledo, 1993. 
    Advisor: Dr. Adolf N. Witt. 
    Dissertation: "The Photoluminescence of Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon Thin Films."
  • M.S., Physics, University of Toledo, 1991.
  • B. Ed., Physics & Mathematics, University of Toledo, 1986.

Professional Experience

  • Professor of Physics, Grand Valley State University, 2011 - present.
  • Associate Professor of Physics, Grand Valley State University, 2002 - present.
  • Visiting Physicist, Fletcher Allen Hospital, Burlington, VT, 2008
  • Associate Professor of Physics, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI, 1998-2002
  • Visiting Professor of Physics, Ecole de technologie superieure, Montreal, QC, 1999-2000
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI, 1993-1998

Teaching & Research Interests

I enjoy teaching introductory and advanced physics and astronomy courses. I have no particular teaching specialty, except that I always challenge students to take charge of their own learning. My research experience is in the areas of observational and laboratory astrophysics. I've observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory and I've conducted NASA-funded research in solid-state physics. The aim of my research has been to better understand the optical and physical nature of interstellar dust grains. But, I'm mostly a teacher. I enjoy research most when the work involves students, and I'm willing to support a student in just about any well-conceived project. 

Other Works

  • I write a weekly column about backyard astronomy and space-science current events for the Grand Haven Tribune. 
  •  I am working to establish an emphasis in medical physics under the physics major at GVSU.
  • I enjoy visiting local schools and other organizations to promote an interest in astronomy and science.

Selected Publications

  1. K. MajumdarDouglas Furton, and G. S. Uhrig, "Effects of ring exchange interaction on the Neel phase of two-dimensional, spatially anisotropic, frustrated Heisenberg quantum antiferromagnet," Phys. Rev. B. 85, 144420 (2012).
  2. "A Construction to Determine the Azimuths and Times of Sunrise and Sunset,"Douglas Furton 2008, Astronomy Education Review, Issue 1, Vol. 7, 2008.
  3. A Modular Raman Spectrometer for Solids,” Denra Johnson, Peter Larson, Jerry Fluellen, Douglas Furton, and Stephanie Schaertel, The Chemical Educator, 25 February 2008.
  4. “Powder X-ray Diffraction of the Grain Components of Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites,” Douglas Furton, Kendra Hurt, and Abram Bos 2003, Astrophysics of Dust 2003 Conference Proceedings, May 2003.
  5. The Amount of Interstellar Carbon Locked in Solid Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon,” Douglas Furton, John W. Laiho, and Adolf N. Witt 1999, Astrophysical Journal, 562, 752.

Selected Grants

  • “Silicon Nanoparticles in Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites,” Douglas Furton. $4,100 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium Research Seed Grant Program for the term 6/2004–6/2005.
  • “Powder X-ray Diffraction of Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites,” Abram Bos (GVSU student) and Douglas Furton. $5,000 from the GVSU Student Summer Scholars program for the term 6–9/2003.

Page last modified November 29, 2017