"Children are naturally curious about the world around them", says Ken Caviness, professor of physics. "If you still 'need to know', you'll feel right at home in a physics class!"
He graduated with a B.S. from Southern Missionary College in 1982 with triple majors in physics, mathematics, and German, then continued his education at the University of Lowell, Massachusetts, receiving a Ph.D. in physics in 1987, with emphases in relativity and nuclear physics. His thesis topic was titled “Considerations of Acceleration Effects in Relativistic Kinematics.” He is a member of several physics and mathematics societies as well as the Esperanto League for North America.
Dr. Caviness joined the faculty of Southern Adventist University in July 1996, after teaching physics and mathematics for three years at the French-speaking Université Adventiste d'Afrique Centrale in Rwanda and six years at Southwestern Adventist University. He served as the Physics Department chair for 11 years here at Southern and is now enjoying full-time teaching again.
Dr. Caviness continues his research in several areas:
• Continuation of thesis research: acceleration in special and general relativity
• Periodic involvement with Dr. Hefferlin’s projects of periodic systems of molecules
• Various projects involving programming in Mathematica, particularly involving visualizations
• Causal networks of sequential substitution systems–begun at 2009 NKS Summer School in Pisa, Italy; ongoing research project: what aspects of SSS causal networks reflect features of the real universe?
Apart from his research, Dr. Caviness enjoys family time with his wife, Claryce, and his two children. Among his hobbies are computers and programming, canoeing, and learning languages. He currently feels "fairly comfortable" speaking French, German, and the planned language Esperanto and has studied others also. He is now trying to learn Russian.
Dr. Caviness says that the only thing that can compare with the excitement of understanding a new idea is seeing that same flash of comprehension light up a student's face.
Caviness, Ken, "Center of Mass of a Polygon" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/CenterOfMassOfAPolygon/
Caviness, Ken, "Sine Oval and Nested Trig Functions" fromThe Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/SineOvalAndNestedTrigFunctions/
Caviness, Ken, "Transverse Standing Waves" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TransverseStandingWaves/
Caviness, Kenneth E. and R. Lewis Caviness, "Fractional Graphs and Flowers" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/FractionalGraphsAndFlowers/
Caviness, Ken, "tq-System Explorer" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TqSystemExplorer/
Caviness, Ken, "Primality Formal System Explorer" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/PrimalityFormalSystemExplorer/
Caviness, Ken, "pq-System Explorer" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/PqSystemExplorer/
Caviness, Ken, "MIU Explorer" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/MIUExplorer/
Caviness, Ken, and Erik S. Caviness, "Extended Bead-Sort" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/ExtendedBeadSort/
Caviness, Kenneth E., "Causal Networks of Sequential Substitution Systems: Views of highly non-local systems", Lecture at Area della Ricerca CNR-Pisa, 2009.
Caviness, Kenneth E., "Causal Networks of Sequential Substitution Systems: Views of highly non-local systems", Poster Session, Area della Ricerca CNR-Pisa, 2009.
Caviness, Ken, "Visible Divisibility Tests" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/VisibleDivisibilityTests/
Caviness, Ken, "Egyptian Multiplication" from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/EgyptianMultiplication/
Geach, J., C. Walters, B. James, K.E. Caviness, and R.A. Hefferlin, Global Molecular Identification from Graphs. Main-Group Triatomic Molecules, Croatica Chemica Acta 75, 383-400, 2002.
Abstract: It is required that molecules with a given graph and with covalent, coordinate-covalent, and ionic bonding contain closed-shell atoms. This requirement results in an equation for each atom, which states that the number of valence electrons pertaining to it before bonding, plus those made available to it in the bonding processes, close its valence shell. Solving the equations results in identifying the atoms and the bond orders of the Lewis diagrams. The algebraic procedure can identify new species. Some of them may be considered impossible (for instance, with high steric strain), or may be transitory, or may be found only under the most unusual conditions. Lists of triatomic molecules, clusters, and resonances found by solving the equations is presented. The code for the computer program that identifies the species is listed. Closed-shell molecules lie on parallel planes in their chemical spaces, namely those on which isoelectronic molecules are located.
James, B., K. Caviness, J. Geach, C. Walters, and R. Hefferlin, Global Molecular Identification from Graphs. Neutral and Ionized Main-Group Diatomic Molecules, J. Chem. Inf. Comp. Sci. 42, 1-7, 2002.
Abstract: Diophantine equations and inequalities are presented for main-group closed-shell diatomic molecules. Specifying various bond types (covalent, dative, ionic, van der Waals) and multiplicities, it becomes possible to identify all possible molecules. While many of the identified species are probably unstable under normal conditions, they are interesting and present a challenge for computational or experimental analysis. Ionized molecules with net charges of -1, 1, and 2 are also identified. The analysis applies to molecules with atoms from periods 2 and 3 but can generalized by substituting isovalent atoms. When closed-shell neutral diatomics are positioned in the chemical space (with axes enumerating the numbers of valence electrons of the free atoms), it is seen that they lie on a few parallel isoelectronic series.