Dr. Gregory A. Benesh

Dr. Gregory A. Benesh
Professor of Physics
High Res Photo

Professor of Physics


  • Ph.D. - Physics, Northwestern University - 1980
  • M.S. - Mathematics, Baylor University - 1992
  • M.S. - Physics, Northwestern University - 1977
  • B.A. - Physics, Rice University - 1975


Dr. Benesh is a native Texan, but came to Baylor in 1982 from a postdoctoral research position at the University of Cambridge, England. He earned his B.A. degree from Rice University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. Since January 2006, Dr. Benesh has served as Chairman of the Physics Department, having previously served as Director of Graduate Studies and as University Ombudsman. In his free time he enjoys playing racquetball, watching baseball games, and doing chores around his ranch.

Academic Interests and Research

Dr. Benesh's research interests include general relativity, everyday physics phenomena, the electronic structure of solids, interactions at surfaces, and various types of embedding problems. Examples of embedding problems include local magnetic moments arising from transition metal impurities in paramagnetic crystals, vacancies, chemisorbed molecules on surfaces, and surfaces themselves--which are merely two-dimensional impurities in a three-dimensional crystal. Although there are many approaches to studying embedding problems, the work at Baylor focuses on two quite different techniques: surface embedding via an embedding potential derived from the bulk Green function, and embedding through imposition of a boundary condition that wave functions maximally break time-reversal symmetry. The former approach allows the influence of the underlying substrate to be included in surface calculations by means of the embedding potential. The second approach mimics the influence of the substrate by requiring that wave functions at the boundary carry maximal currents.

Recent Publications

On the Stability of a Can of Soda; with Jeffrey Olafsen, The Physics Teacher 52, 344-348 (2014).

Classification of the FRW Universe with a Cosmological Constant and a Perfect Fluid of the Equation of State p = wρ; with Te Ha, Yongqing Huang, Qianyu Ma, Kristen D. Pechan, Timothy J. Renner, Zhenbin Wu, and Anzhong Wang, Gen. Relativ. Grav. 44, 1433-1458 (2012).

Homothetic Self-Similar Solutions of Three-Dimensional Brans-Dicke Gravity; with Anzhong Wang, Gen. Relativ. Grav. 39, 277-289 (2007).

Asymptotics of Solutions of a Perfect Fluid Coupled with a Cosmological Constant in Four-Dimensional Spacetime with Toroidal Symmetry; with Anzhong Wang, Gen. Relativ. Grav. 38, 345-364 (2006).

Former Graduate Students

David Katz, M.S., 2010
Mark Mastin, M.S., 2007
Roger Dooley, Ph.D., 2007
Xiaojiang He, M.S., 1998
Daniel Gebreselasie, Ph.D., 1995
Lalantha Liyanage, Ph.D. 1993
William Bridgman, M.S. 1992
Derick Wristers, M.S. 1989
John Pingel, M.S. 1989
Joseph Sams. M.S. 1987
John Hester, M.S. 1985
Rex Godby, Ph.D. 1984

Courses Taught

PHY 1405 - General Physics for BA Students
PHY 1408 - Physics for Natural and Behavioral Sciences I
PHY 1409 - Physics for Natural and Behavioral Sciences II
PHY 1420 - General Physics I
PHY 1430 - General Physics II
PHY 2340 - General Physics III
PHY 3330 - Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism
PHY 3372 - Introductory Quantum Mechanics I
PHY 3373 - Introductory Quantum Mechanics II
PHY 4372 - Introductory Solid State Physics
PHY 5340 - Statistical Mechanics
PHY 5342 - Solid State Physics
PHY 5360 - Mathematical Physics I
PHY 5361 - Mathematical Physics II
PHY 5370 - Quantum Mechanics I
PHY 5371 - Quantum Mechanics II
PHY 5V95 - Graduate Research
PHY 5V99 - Thesis
PHY 6V99 - Dissertation


Baylor Sciences Building D.311
One Bear Place #97316
Waco, TX 76798-7316

(254) 710-2511