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Milton W Cole

Milton W Cole

Main Content

  • Distinguished Professor of Physics
341 Davey
Email: mwc [ AT ] psu [ DOT ] edu


  1. Johns Hopkins University (B.A. With Honors, Physics), 1964
  2. University of Chicago (S.M., Physics), 1965
  3. University of Chicago (Ph.D., Physics), 1970
  4. University of Toronto (Postdoctoral fellow, Many-Body Physics), 1970-1972
  5. University of Washington (Postdoctoral fellow, Physics of Films), 1972-1974


Condensed Matter Physics
  • Theoretical
  • Computational

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (1979)
  • Fullbright Scholarship to Oxford University (1989)
  • Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Physical Sciences and Engineering (1993)
  • National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing (2001)
  • Women in Science and Engineering Faculty Recognition Award (2008)

Selected Publications




1.Lynn Mandeltort, De-Li Chen, Wissam A. Saidi, J. Karl Johnson, Milton W. Cole and John T. Yates, Jr., Experimental and Theoretical Comparison of Gas Desorption Energies on Metallic- and Semiconducting Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, to be published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society

2.De-Li Chen, Lynn Mandeltort, Wissam A. Saidi, John T. Yates, Jr., Milton W. Cole, and J. Karl Johnson, Is there a difference in van der Waals interactions between rare gas atoms adsorbed on metallic and semiconducting single walled carbon nanotubes?, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 135503 (2013) 5 pages

3.L. Reatto, D. E. Galli, M. Nava and M. W. Cole, Novel Phases of Quantum Gases on Graphene, Graphane and Fluorographene, to be published in the J. Phys. Cond. Matt.

4.M. W. Cole, H.-Y. Kim and M. Liebrecht, Van der Waals interactions: accuracy of pair potential approximations, J. Chem. Phys. 137, 194316-1 to 9 (2012)

5.M. Nava, D.E. Galli, M.W. Cole and L. Reatto, Graphene–fluoride and graphane as platforms for adsorption of He isotopes: prediction of novel fluid and superfluid phases, Phys. Rev. B86, 174509 (2012); 11 pages

6. M. Nava, D.E. Galli, M.W. Cole and L. Reatto, Superfluid state of 4He on graphane and graphene-fluoride: anisotropic roton states, J. Low Temp. Phys. 171, 699-710 (2013)

7.L. Reatto, M. Nava, D. E. Galli, C. Billman, J. O. Sofo and M. W. Cole, Novel substrates for Helium adsorption: Graphane and Graphene-Fluoride, J. Phys. Conf. Series 400, 012010 (2012)

8. The Bomb and the Swastika, by Amand Lucas, A play in four acts, translated from the French by Milton W. Cole and Stéphane Coutu, 68 pages, Crossocean Publishing, 2012, ISBN 9781466426672

9. Milton W. Cole , Silvina M. Gatica, Hye-Young Kim, Angela D. Lueking and Sarmishtha SircarGas Adsorption in Novel Environments, Including Effects of Pore Relaxation, J. Low Temp. Phys. 166, 231-241 (2012)

10. M. Walker, C. Jaye, J. Krim and M. W. Cole, Frictional temperature rise in a sliding physisorbed monolayer of Kr/graphene, 24, 424201 (2012): special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, honoring David Langreth

11. Michael Liebrecht and Milton W. Cole, Many Body Effects in Physical Adsorption, J. Low Temp. Phys., Vol.169, 316-323 (2012) (special issue honoring Frank M. Gasparini)





Research Interests

My research concerns theory of (a) wetting transitions of thin films; (b) ultraweak forces binding atoms to surfaces; (c) superfluidity in films; (d) quasi-one dimensional fluids within nanotubes. Tools are statistical mechanics and computer simulation.