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Bob Johnson

Robert E. Johnson

John Lloyd Newcomb Professor Engineering Physics and Materials Science

Honorary Doctorate Uppsala University, Sweden, 1999
University of Wisconsin, Physics, 1968
M.S. Wesleyan University, Physics, 1963
B.S. Colorado College, Mathmatics, 1961

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Virginia
PO Box 400745
116 Engineer's Way
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745
p: 434-422-2424
f: 434-924-1353

Website: Johnson Research Group

Research Interests

I study ion, electron, and photon interactions with surfaces of low-temperature condensed-gas solids and biomolecular solids and with atmospheric gases. The principal processes studied are the ejection of molecules from the surface, called desorption or sputtering, and atomic collision cross sections. The applications are to surfaces and atmospheres of objects in the outer solar system or the interstellar medium, in order to understand the ambient gas or plasma observed, and samples of biomolecules, in order to produce a source of gas-phase biomolecules for studies in molecular biology.

Honors and Awards

NASA Award for Contributions to the Cassini Mission (2008)
Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2007)
Honorary Doctorate, Uppsala University, Physics of Desorption Processes (2000)
John Lloyd Newcomb Chair in Engineering Physics and Materials Science (1991)
Fellow of the Bohmische Physickalische Geseellschatt, Surface Physics Society (1989)

Professonal Experience and Memberships

American Institute of Physics, American Geophysical Union, American Astronomical Society

John Lloyd Newcomb Chair in Engineering Physics and Materials Science 1991- present

Professor of Engineering Physics, University of Virginia, 1984-present

Assistant Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia, 1982-1985

Associate Professor of Engineering Physics, University of Virginia, 1977-1984

Assistant Professor of Engineering Physics, University of Virginia, 1971-1977

Assistant Professor of Physics, Southern Illinois University, 1969-1971.

Research Fellow, The Queen's University of Belfast, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Belfast , Northern Ireland , 1968‑1969.

Research Fellow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 1963-1964.

 Visiting Professor:

NRC Visiting Professor, Goddard Institute for Space Studies/ Columbia, 1997-1998

Visiting Professor, University of Paris, Orsay, summer 1997

Visiting Professor, Rockefeller University, 1991 - 1992

Visiting Professor, University of Catania, 1987

Visiting Professor, University of Uppsala, Uppsala Sweden, 1987-1995.

Visiting Researcher, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, January 1986

Visiting Professor, Planetary Geoscience Division, University of Hawaii, 1986

Visiting Researcher, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, 1985

Visiting Researcher, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, and Argonne National Laboratories 1981-1982

Sesquicentennial Associateship, Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Harvard University, 1977-1978.

NATO Fellow, Physical Laboratory II, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Summer 1976.

Researcher, Denver University, Department of Physics, Summer 1970.

Researcher, Sandia Corporation, 1965.

Selected Publications

320 Refereed papers, 18 Chapters, 2 Monographs

Full Publications

Johnson, R. E., Energetic Charged Particle Interaction with Atmospheres and Surfaces; Physics and Chemistry of Space. Springer Verlag (1990).

Johnson, R.E., Surface Chemisry in the Jovian Magnetosphere Radiation Johnson, R.E., Surface Boundary Layer Atmospheres, in Atmospheres in the Solar System: Comparative Aeronomy Geophysical Monograph 130, 203-219(2002).

Bringa, E.M. and R.E. Johnson, A New Model for Cosmic-rays Ion Erosion of Volatiles from Grains in the interstellar Medium, Astronphys. J. 603, 159-164 (2004).

Johnson, R.E., M.H. Burger, T.A. Cassidy, F. Leblanc, M. Marconi, W.H. Smyth, Composition and Detection of Europa's Sputter-Induced Atmosphere, Chapter  in Europa, Eds. R. Pappalardo et al. pp507-527 (2009).

Johnson, R.E., O.J. Tucker, M. Michael, E.C. Sittler, H.T. Smith, D.T. Young, and J.H. Waite, "Mass Loss Processes in Titan's Upper  Atmosphere", Chapter 15 in Titan from Cassini-Huygens  (eds. R.H. Brown et al.) pp373-391, (2009).

Johnson, R.E., "Photolysis and Radiolysis of Water Ice", Chapter 10 in  Physics and Chemistry at Low Temperatures, L. Khriachtchev (Ed.) , World Scientific, Singapore, Published by Pan Stanford Publishing   Pte. Ltd. (2011).

Johnson, R.E., A. Oza, L. Young, A. Volkov, C. Schmidt. Volatile Loss and Classification of Kuiper Belt Objects, ApJ Johnson, R.E., A. Oza, L. Young, A. Volkov, C. Schmidt. Volatile Loss and Classification of Kuiper Belt Objects, ApJ 809, 43 (9pp) (2015).