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USC Aiken Directory


Douglas White, PhD

Courses Taught

Essentials of Physics I & II


B.S., Physics, North Georgia College & State University (2002)

M.S., Physics, University of Alabama at Birmingham (2007)

PhD, Physics, University of Alabama at Birmingham (2010)

Research Interests

Laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry, Observational Astronomy, Infrared absorption spectroscopy

Research Experiences

Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Ames Research Center (2011-2013)

Dr. White works to create laboratory analogs of ice mixtures that can be found on outer-planetary surfaces in the Solar System and icy dust grains in the interstellar medium. Understanding the chemical reactions and thermal processes of this helps us to understand developments in the early Solar System and precursors to more complex molecules that may lead to life.  


Dr. White joined the department in 2017. Prior to that, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at NASA Ames Research Center with the astrochemistry group there studying laboratory analogs of planetary ices. His research at UofSC Aiken involves examining various ice mixtures similar to those found on outer-planetary surfaces such as the Jovian and Saturnian satellites and Kuiper Belt objects. These ices are created in the laboratory, thermally processed, and their properties are documented through infrared absorption spectroscopy. This is accomplished using high-vacuum systems, a closed-cycle helium cryostat, and a Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Studying theses ice mixtures provides a glimpse into the chemistry of the early Solar System. His research allows students a unique opportunity to work hands-on in a field that overlaps with chemistry, physics, and astronomy.