Assistant Professor Dan Finkenstadt
USNA Physics Department: Daniel Finkenstadt

Daniel Finkenstadt

Solid-State Physics – Theory


Assistant Professor of Physics

Visiting Scientist, Naval Research Lab.


Physics Department, Stop 9c
572c Holloway RD
Annapolis, MD 21402
Office: Ch-262, 410-293-6673
Lab: NRL-DC , 202-404-8632
Fax: 410-293-3729


B.S. , Univ. of Texas at Austin – 1997

M.S. , Univ. of Illinois at Urbana – 1998

Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana – 2005



SP 211: General Physics I (Mechanics)

212: General Physics II (E&M)

226: Heat, Sound & Light intro

324: Physics of the Atom I(QM)


Pics-of-the-Week: Student Research Highlights.

(D.J. Watts, C.A.D. Kawamura)

I was born and raised in the Carolinas before going off to college at both the University of South Carolina and the University of Texas. I pursued graduate studies at the University of Illinois with Professor Jim Wolfe, working in the areas of phonon imagery and superconductivity (experiment), and then I worked with Professor Duane D. Johnson in theoretical materials physics. Upon receiving my Ph.D. I was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. I held that position until 2008, researching graphene, bulk-metallic glasses, corrosion-resistant alloys and other materials-related problems. I continue to work with the scientists at NRL and other national labs, and my research efforts have branched out to include developing improvements to density-functional theory, trying to tackle more applied problems, such as novel structural chemistry for explosives and IED detection. I strive to recruit Midshipmen from the Naval Academy into NRL & LLNL research internships and activities. I'm also a former powerlifter, current referee and have served as Faculty-rep for both the men's and women's powerlifting club teams.


Projects Supervised:
1. Kawamura, Colton A. D., USNA Class of 2012,
"First Step to Modeling HMX." (SP484C/481C, 2010)

2. Watts, Daniel J., USNA Class of 2012,
"Simulation of High-Aspect Ratio Al-Ag Precipitates." (SP485C; Fall, 2010)

3. Newnam, Charles E. II, USNA Class of 2013,
"Amorphous Iron Surface Energetics." (SP481C; Fall, 2010)


• T. Jiang, D. Emerson, K. Twarowski, D. Finkenstadt and J. Therrien, "Rotation of the Linear-Polarization Plane of Transmitted and Reflected Light by Graphene", accepted to Phys. Rev. B (2010). [4 pages]
• A. Shabaev, S.G. Lambrakos, N. Bernstein, V. Jacobs and D. Finkenstadt, "Initial Construction of a General Framework for Numerical Simulation of IED Detection and Remote Activation Scenarios", NRL Memorandum Report NRL/MR/6390—10-9260 (2010). [27 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt and D.D. Johnson, "Interphase Energies of hcp Precipitates in fcc Metals: A Density-Functional Theory Study in Al-Ag", Phys. Rev. B 81, 014113 (2010). [9 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt and D.D. Johnson, "Analysis of Nonequilibrium hcp Precipitate Growth in fcc Matrices: Application to Al-Ag", Mater. Sci. Eng. A 525, 174—180 (2009). [7 pages]
• Ch.E. Lekka, D.A. Papaconstantopoulos, M.J. Mehl, D. Finkenstadt and G. Evangelakis, "Static and Dynamic Tight-Binding Simulations of the Binary NbMo and CuZr Alloys", J. Alloys Compd. 483, 627—631 (2009). [5 pages]
• M.J. Mehl and D. Finkenstadt, "Nearly Metastable Rhombohedral Phases of bcc Metals", Phys. Rev. B 77, 052102 (2008). [4 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt, G. Pennington and M.J. Mehl, "A Tight-Binding Hamiltonian for Band Structure and Carrier Transport in Graphene Nanoribbons", MRS Symposia Proceedings 1057-II10-41 (Boston, November 2007).
• D. Finkenstadt, G. Pennington and M.J. Mehl, "From Graphene to Graphite: A General Tight-binding Approach for Nanoribbon Carrier Transport", Phys. Rev. B 76, 121405(R) (2007). [Also selected by AIP as a "focused article of frontier research" in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology 16, Issue 15 (October 8, 2007), 4 pages]
• L.L. Boyer, M.J. Mehl and D. Finkenstadt, "Structural Distortions in AlF3: A Test for Density-Functional Methods", Phys. Rev. B 75, 132103 (2007). [4 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt, N. Bernstein, J.L. Feldman, M.J. Mehl and D.A. Papaconstantopoulos, "Vibrational Modes and Diffusion of Self-interstitial Atoms in Body-Centered-Cubic Transition Metals: A Tight-Binding Molecular-Dynamics Study", Phys. Rev. B 74, 184118 (2006). [8 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt and D.D. Johnson, "Solute/Defect-Mediated Pathway for Rapid Nanoprecipitation in Solid Solutions: Gamma Surface Analysis in fcc Al-Ag", Phys. Rev. B 73, 024101 (2006). [10 pages]
• D. Finkenstadt and D.D. Johnson, "Model of Ionization Response of Weak Polyacids in a Layered Polyelectrolyte Self-Assembly", Langmuir 18, 1433—1436 (2002). [4 pages]

Academic Lineage:

N. Bowditch, Harvard University 1802 --> author of The American Practical Navigator , still carried on board every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel!

B. Peirce, Harvard University 1829

J. Lovering, Harvard University 1833

J. Trowbridge, Harvard University 1873

W. C. Sabine, Harvard University 1890 --> founder of “acoustic architecture”.

P. W. Bridgman, Harvard University 1908

E. C. Kemble, Harvard University 1917 --> supervised J. van Vleck 1922 (’77 Nobel).

E. Feenberg, Harvard University 1933

C. E. Campbell, Washington University (St. Louis) 1969

F. J. Pinski, University of Minnesota 1977

D. D. Johnson, University of Cincinnati 1985

D. Finkenstadt, University of Illinois 2005

Last updated 2010 Sept 29 by Dan Finkenstadt,

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