Steeves, Geoffrey



Department: Physics & Astronomy

Research description:

-Ultrafast Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, focusing on imaging dynamical systems with atomic spatial resolution and picosecond temporal resolution
-Spintronics and Quantum Information, focusing on electron and nuclear spin dynamics in semiconductor systems for potential applications in quantum information processing.
Expertise Profile
Mt. Everest isn't the tallest known mountain. The Olympus Mons volcano is three times the size. Of course, it's on Mars. This is one tidbit that elementary students can learn at StarAcer Academy, an educational website developed by physicist Geoffrey Steeves that follows the BC Grade 5 science curriculum.

Dr. Steeves was one of the top 16 candidates in the Canadian astronaut recruitment campaign in 2009. Now, he helps youngsters learn about space and how to become astronauts themselves. The website provides teachers with detailed lesson plans and interactive comics for children. Elementary schools such as Elizabeth Buckley in Victoria now use the website in their classes.

"What's really important to me is making an impact in society," he says. "I don't want to just stay in this office." Of course, he still spends some time in his office and laboratory, studying ultra-fast microscopy, which uses microscopes to study chemical reactions and charges. He uses pulses of laser light to make incredibly fast processes appear slow.

Dr. Steeves compares the pulses to a strobe light flashing on a fan blade. "You can have a spinning fan and it just looks like a blur, but if you light it up in this special way, it will look like it's stopped. We're doing the exact same thing." The pulses make it possible to study extremely fast chemical reactions, and actually see atoms move.

Related Links
Dr. Steeves' Faces of UVic Research video:
StarAcer Academy Website:

International research:

Collaborations with researchers in the U.S.

Countries lived or worked in:

United States of America

Software development

Dr. Steeves and his team use LabView to develop data logging and control software for their laboratory.

< Browse all experts