MSU Professor selected as American Physical Society fellow

Adapted from MSU News:

The American Physical Society (APS) has named MSU chemistry professor Tim Minton a fellow for his work with atomic-level collision. Only half a percent of APS members are named fellows each year. Minton’s “outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics or significant contributions to physics education” landed him a spot in this elite group of physicists.

An MSU faculty member since 1995, Minton worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, focusing on materials for spacecraft before going into academia.

Minton’s research studies atomic and molecular collisions to learn more about how materials used in spacecraft react in space’s extreme environment. Finding out more about how materials interact at a molecular level helps researchers learn what materials work best for space applications, according to Minton. He said, “The goal is to understand the reactivity so we can design materials that are more durable in space … we direct beams of atoms or molecules at surfaces and observe how they or their reaction products scatter from the surface.”

Minton said that researching at MSU has been refreshing due to his results-based work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At MSU, Minton is able to look deeper into the questions that interest him while working with his research group comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students.

Research is only a part of Minton’s role at MSU. Head of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department Mary Cloninger said Minton’s work not only furthers knowledge in physics but also engages students in the field. “It gives the faculty and students and the community the opportunity to learn and be a part of something really exciting. I think that’s part of what his fellowship recognizes,” Cloninger said, commending Minton’s impact on research and undergraduate engagement.

Tim Minton can be contacted at  (406) 994-5394 or via email at For more information on the American Physical Society, go to