Paul SaulnierFaculty

Professor in Physics

Paul was born and raised in Connecticut, which explains why he has been a life-long New England Patriots fan. His undergraduate degrees are from the University of Hartford (where his Dad worked). There he received a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After graduation he spent two years working for General Electric Aerospace division where he served as a project engineer on a space-based program. At the time, many people said that he would never go back to school once he started working, but he would proved them wrong by continuing his studies at the University of Delaware. There he received a M.S. degree in physics by working on a theoretical investigation of a certain class of nonlinear differential equations and a Ph.D. degree in experimental optical physics. After leaving graduate school, he was fortunate enough to land a tenure-track faculty position at Carroll College (in Wisconsin) where he taught for two years. He was hired by Gustavus in 1993 and has since taught some 20 plus different courses ranging from a First Term Seminar, to 3CC Senior Seminar, to General Physics, to Quantum Mechanics, to the History and Art of Film Noir. He has been actively involved in student/faculty research and has mentored 30+ Gustavus undergraduate research associates and has been involved in securing external funding for teaching and research. All of Paul’s research papers have involved undergraduates, with many serving as lead authors. His research has focused on light scattering experiments and an interdisciplinary biophysics program that examines the behavior of grouped organisms in nature. In addition to teaching and research, Paul has been active on a variety of campus committees, including Faculty Senate, Personnel Committee, and the Faculty Development Committee. But the service that he is most proud of is the fact that he has served for 14+ years as coordinator of the Faculty Shop Talk series ( Paul is married to Amy and they have two sons, Kevin and Brian. Outside of academics and family, Paul enjoys cooking, wine, film, music, and learning to play guitar.


B.S. Hartford, 1983; M.S., Ph.D. Delaware, 1988, 1991


Optical Physics

Courses Taught

PHY-171 (General Physics II Lab), PHY-225 (Quantum Universe), and PHY-350 (Electromagnetic Theory)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
PHY-360 Optics Lab 24 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
PHY-360 Optics 16 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
PHY-216 Electromag. Univ. Lab 11 2023/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, and 2012/FA
PHY-350 Electromagnetic Theory 9 2023/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2014/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
PHY-201 Classical Physics I Lab 9 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2004/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
NDL-100 Film Noir 8 2017/JN, 2016/JN, 2014/JN, 2013/JN, 2012/JN, 2011/JN, 2009/JN, and 2008/JN
PHY-365 Project in Physics 7 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, and 2008/SP
PHY-300 Mechanics 6 2023/FA, 2022/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2007/FA, and 2006/FA
PHY-215 Electromag. Universe 6 2023/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2013/FA, and 2012/FA
PHY-171 General Physics II Lab 6 2023/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, and 2006/SP
PHY-305 Experimental Modern Physics Lab 6 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
PHY-305 Experimental Modern Physics 6 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
PHY-380 Thermal and Statistical Physics 5 2022/FA, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
PHY-170 General Physics II 4 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, and 2006/SP
PHY-172 General Physics II with Calculus 4 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, and 2006/SP
PHY-271 Electronics and Instrumentation Lab 4 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
PHY-241 Classical Physics III Lab 4 2011/FA, 2003/FA, and 2002/FA
PHY-200 Classical Physics I 4 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
PHY-260 Modern Physics 4 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2006/SP, and 2005/SP
PHY-399 Senior Seminar 3 2022/FA, 2020/FA, and 2015/FA
PHY-225 Quantum Universe 3 2018/SP, 2017/SP, and 2016/SP
PHY-240 Classical Physics III 3 2011/FA, 2003/FA, and 2002/FA
PHY-230 Applied Mathematics for Physics and Engineering 2 2012/SP and 2011/SP
PHY-100 Physical World 2 2006/JN and 2003/JN
PHY-122 General Physics I with Calculus 2 2005/FA and 2004/FA
PHY-390 Quantum Mechanics 2 2003/FA and 2002/FA
PHY-310 Electronics and Instrumentation II 2 2001/SP and 2000/JN
PHY-121 General Physics I Lab 1 2022/FA
PHY-196 Cosmic Universe Lab 1 2016/FA
CUR-399 Senior Seminar 1 2013/FA
NDL-113 Science Fiction Film 1 2010/JN
PHY-120 General Physics I 1 2005/FA
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 1 2004/FA
NDL-136 Science Fiction Film 1 2004/JN
PHY-310 Electronic II Lab 1 2001/SP
PHY-108 Computer as a Tool 1 2001/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.