Dr. George Irwin

Dr. George Irwin

Dr. George Irwin at Lamar University.

General Information

  • Position: Associate Professor
  • E-mail: gmirwin@my.lamar.edu
  • Phone: 409-880-8243
  • Fax: 409-880-7917
  • Office: GE 212


  • Ph.D. The Ohio University
  • M.S. The Ohio University
  • B.S. Case Western Reserve University

Research Interests

  • Radioactivity in Fossil Shark Teeth. The fluoroapatite structure of shark teeth will absorb Uranium if present in the sediment in which the teeth reside. Over millions of years the Uranium will radioactively decay in to other radioactive elements, including Radium and its daughters. We are studying the gamma-ray spectra of fossil shark teeth of known age to determine if gamma-ray spectroscopy can be used for geochronology.
  • Gamma-ray Induced X-Ray Fluorescence. Gamma-Ray Induced X-Ray fluorescence of heavy elements have resulted in anomalous X-Ray groups in heavy elements, in addition to the usual K and L radiations, that have apparently not been reported previously. We are performing experiments with elemental samples ranging from vanadium to bismuth to understand the nature of the unusual X-Ray groups.
  • Low-lying Nuclear Structure of 229Th. High resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory INEL (Now the Idaho National Laboratory INL) and other groups have shown that 229Th has an excited state less than 10 electron volts above the ground state. In collaboration with Prof. K. H. Kim of North Carolina Central University we have studied ways of exciting this low-lying level, the lowest of any known nuclear species.
  • Volumetric Three Dimensional Image Display. I have worked to develop a type of volumetric three dimensional image display, essentially a three dimensional oscilloscope, capable of displaying 3d Lissajous figures among other images. Ultimately, the goal is to create a volumetric three dimensional computer display based on similar principles.

Areas of Teaching

  • Elementary Physics I and II
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • Experiments in Physics
  • Modern Physics

Recent Research

  • Undergraduate Research
    • Reduced Gravity Program. Lamar has had a number of student groups over the years win national competitions to fly experiments on the NASA reduced gravity aircraft at Ellington Air Field. Our most recent flight investigated the dispersion properties of a mechanical wave machine in zero gravity.
    • Radioactivity in Shark Teeth. Our study of radioactivity in shark teeth included an internal REG Lamar grant for student researchers. As part of this grant, we took a small group of students to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where we collected suitable specimens of fossil teeth for our study. This was a fantastic experience for all of us!

Selected Publications

K. H. Kim and G. M. Irwin, “Excitation of the lowlying isomeric level in 229Th”, FIZIKA B (Zagreb) 20 (2011) 4, 319–330.

Christopher B. Nelson, Ritesh N. Vyas, Yongyan Mou, Ku’yen Li, J. Wayne Rabalais, George M. Irwin, and Bin Wang, “Doping of poly(p-phenylene vinylene) with phosphomolubdate through layer-bylayer fabrication for optoelectronic applications”, Journal of Applied Physics 102, 094309 (2007).

J. A. G. Gomes, P. Daida, M. Kesmez, M. Weir, H. Moreno, J. R. Parga, G. Irwin, H. McWhinney, T., Grady, E. Peterson, D. L. Cocke, “Arsenic Removal by Electrocoaguulation Using Combined Al-Fe Electrode System and Characterization of Products, Journal of Hazardous Materials 2007, B139, 220-231.

J. R. Parga D. L. Cocke, J. L. Valenzuela, J. A. Gomes, G. M. Irwin, H. Moreno, M. Weir, “Arsenic removal via electrocoagulation from heavy metal
contaminated groundwater in La Comarca Lagunera Mexico “, Journal of Hazardous Materials 2005, I124(1-3), 247-254.

C. S. Lue, Yang Li, J. H. Ross, Jr, and G. M. Irwin, “NMR and Mössbauer study of spin dynamics and electronic structure of Fe2+xV 1-xAl and Fe2VGa”, Phys. Rev. B 67, No. 22, June 2003-1(II).