Physics Department


P. LaportaPhilip R. La Porta Email Philip La Porta

Adjunct Lecturer
107 Trumbower Science Building
Fax: (484)664-3546


Ph.D. - Physics / Lehigh Univeristy
M.S. - Physics / Lehigh University
B.S. - Physics / Muhlenberg College


While at Lehigh, Phil's research was on the third-order optical non-linearities of small organic molecules. His research had him collaborating with organic chemists from Zurich in an effort to increase the non-linearity of molecules while subsequently shrinking their size using donor-acceptor substitution. The result was discovery of some of the strongest non-linearities per unit mass ever found up to that point as well as studies of several molecules that were some of the first to be vapor deposited and used in waveguides for non-linear switching. In addition to the experimental component of the research, he performed, and continues to do, computer simulations of the molecules he worked on as well as new molecules that continue to be produced.

Phil has always been very interested in and serious about his teaching. While at Lehigh he won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for his efforts and continues to build on his reputation as an outstanding teacher. He has taught both lab based and lecture based courses at Lehigh, LCCC and most recently as a Lecturer at Princeton University. Phil is thrilled to be teaching 'back home' in the Physics Department at Muhlenberg College this semester.

In addition to his teaching career, Phil leads a double life as a professional magician. His talents have found him in the employ of small local organizations like Allentown's West End Theater District and all the way up to national companies like TD Bank and Deloitte. Current projects include producing small shows at Bethlehem's Touchstone Theater and writing product reviews for The Linking Ring Magazine (The International Brotherhood of Magician's world wide publication.) During spring semesters, Phil can be found magic-ing on campus as the instructor for Theater 451 - Performance Magic.

When he's not modeling molecules, zapping them with lasers or making the whole thing disappear, Phil enjoys several other hobbies. Cooking, refereeing roller derby, local trivia nights, movies, home improvement and electronic circuitry projects and video games are chief among them.

"Sometimes our dreams are too small... We need bigger dreams."
~Eugene Burger

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
~Arthur C. Clarke