University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Home > About > News > Alumni >


Paul E. Madsen (M.S., Physics, 1972)


This past summer was my 24th summer at Fermilab.

I have spent the last twenty plus years in DOE sponsored programs that allowed high school physics teachers to join experimental groups in lab efforts to build detectors or take part in updates to improve existing detectors to make the taking of data more efficient and productive. In the 1980’s I joined a great group of young and experienced physicists building detectors to be placed in the meson beamline that was to become E706, a fixed target experiment looking for transverse photons among other exotic particles. That was followed by a move to one of the two big collider experiments, CDF, having been invited by a very talented young physicist, Rob Roser, and working on updating the numerous phototube detectors that form a part of the large two-story central detector. For the past four summers I have been teaching summer workshops in various physics topics, courses developed by my colleagues and me aimed at attracting young high school physics teachers. I taught courses in mechanics and the history of physics at Fermilab. High school teachers, can take these for credit and add to their professional experience. I give credit to a great teacher at the University of Minnesota, Roger Stuewer, who provided wonderful inspiration for my already existing interest in the history of physics. That inspiration came from a course back in 1972 and I have not forgotten the experience. This fall I will begin my 39th year of teaching physics full time in a private girl’s school. I am still fascinated by the subject and the chance to help young minds appreciate the many challenges physics offers.