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


James B. Mehl (Ph.D., Physics, 1966; M.S., Physics, 1964; B.S., Physics, 1961)


I am married with two adult sons, two grandsons and one grand-daughter.

I am retired from an academic career of teaching, research, and administration. I continue to do research from my home offi ce. We live on Orcas Island in Puget Sound. Our house is in a small inland forest where we walk daily. My research activities evolved from experimental low- temperature physics to the application of acoustic and electromagnetic waves in precision measurements of thermophysical properties of gases. More recently I have used lab initio potentials for helium and hydrogen gases to calculate the virial coeffi cients, viscosities, and thermal conductivities using quantum statistical mechanics. Since moving to the island I have only done computational work. My favorite professors were Bill Zimmermann and Lew Nosanow who were always clear; both showed by example that “hard” calculations could be done. Mike Sanders introduction to quantum mechanics was inspiring. I remember how he enthusiastically described papers and books from the German and French literature, which he apparently read with ease.