Matthew Vonk

Matthew Vonk

Assoc. Professor
member of graduate faculty

Office: 115 Centennial Science Hall
Phone: 715-425-3196



Ph.D. Physics, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
B.S. Physics, Hope College, Holland, MI

Courses Taught:

  • Conceptual Physics
  • The Physics of Color and Light
  • Optics
  • Microprocessors
  • Advanced Electronics Lab
  • Algebra-based Physics
  • Advanced Physics Lab
  • Modern Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Introduction to Astronomy

Research Interests:

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Electronics
  • Minor Planet Astronomy


Dr. Vonk's dissertation described the rotational behavior of small molecules after collisions with noble gasses. This work involved the use of molecular beams, tunable dye lasers, vacuum systems, and the associated electronics. Before coming to UWRF, he also served as an assistant professor of physics at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, and Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota.

He has determined and published the periods of the asteroids Ariane (5.5 hrs) and Principia (6.25 hours). To this end, he eagerly seeks motivated undergraduate students to help him investigate the rotational period of other main belt asteroids.