Skip Navigation
Return to Layout View | Home | A-Z Directory | my UMaine | MaineStreet | Campus Map | Calendar
Follow UMaine on Twitter | Join UMaine on Facebook | Watch UMaine on YouTube | Admissions | Parents & Family | Emergency

The Physics Education Research Laboratory

Site Navigation:

Group Members - Donald B. Mountcastle

Donald Mountcastle, PhD
Associate Professor of Physics

203 Bennett Hall
Orono, ME 04469

Phone: (207) 581-1039
Email: thermostatprof<at>

Don received his B.S. in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1964. His graduate work in physics took place at the University of Virginia. He received his M.S. degree in 1967 and his Ph.D. in 1971. Since 1984, Don has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine.

He teaches Physical Thermodynamics (PHY 462) and Statistical Mechanics (PHY 463).

Don’s research interests are primarily focused around students’ understanding of thermal physics at advanced undergraduate levels in physics, and the interface between physics and mathematics.

Webpage at the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Recent Publications

J. R. Thompson, C. A. Manogue, D. J. Roundy, and D. B. Mountcastle, “Representations of partial derivatives in thermodynamics,” in 2011 Physics Education Research Conference, C. Singh, N.S. Rebello, P. Engelhardt, eds., AIP Conference Proceedings 1413, 85-88 (2012).

T.I. Smith, J.R. Thompson, and D.B. Mountcastle, “Addressing Student Difficulties with Statistical Mechanics: The Boltzmann Factor,” in 2010 Physics Education Research Conference, M. Sabella, C. Singh, N.S. Rebello, eds., AIP Conference Proceedings 1289, 305-308 (2010).

J.R. Thompson, W.M. Christensen, E.B. Pollock, B.R. Bucy, and D.B. Mountcastle, “Student understanding of thermal physics concepts and the underlying mathematics in the upper division,” in proceedings of Frontiers in Science Education Research, A. Bilsel and M.U. Garip, eds., 22-24 March 2009, Famagusta, North Cyprus, 177-186 (2009).

E.B. Pollock, J.R. Thompson, and D.B. Mountcastle, “Student Understanding of the Physics and Mathematics of Process Variables In P-V Diagrams.” In AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 168-171 (2007)

List of all publications

Back to Group Members



Contact Information

The Physics Education Research Laboratory
Phone: (207) 581-1237 and (207) 581-1030E-mail: and
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469