Skip To Content

Ronald Pepino, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics


Some view physics as a large collection of equations that are applied to specific problems in nature. I think this makes the subject much more cumbersome, mysterious and opaque. In the classroom, I emphasize a first principles approach: everything in nature can be predicted from a small number of reasonable physical assumptions. This requires the student to have a strong working knowledge of mathematics, but makes the subject simpler, and easier to digest in the long run. Once the fundamentals of physics are understood, the ‘strange’ things that we see in our everyday lives start to make perfect sense.

-Ronald Pepino

Polk Science - 214



View CV


Dr. Pepino received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics with Highest Honors from the University of Connecticut where he researched topics in in the fields of general relativity and nonlinear dynamics. Afterwards, he spent a year as a research assistant at ITAMP and Harvard University where he applied atomic physics to astrophysical problems. Between undergraduate and graduate school, his love of teaching inspired him to earn a secondary education teaching certificate from the state of Connecticut. Afterwards, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physics at JILA and the University of Colorado where he specialized in theoretical quantum optics. His current research interests involve the dynamics of ultracold atoms in optical lattices, photons in nonlinear optical cavities, and physics education.


  • Ph.D. Physics from JILA and the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • Secondary Education Teaching Certificate for the Physical Sciences, ARC Program, CT
  • B.S. Physics and Mathematics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


A variety of forms of music and outdoor activities.


  • ITAMP Research Assistant (6/03-6/04)
  • University Scholar (UConn's highest distinction)
  • Honors Scholar
  • New England Scholar
  • Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (National Honor Society)
  • Inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon (National Mathematics Honor Society)
  • Inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (National Physics Honor Society)
  • Katzenstein Prize (UConn Physics undergraduate thesis of the year)


  1. R. A. Pepino, and R. Mabile A Misconception Regarding the Einstein Equivalence Principle and a Possible Cure Using the Twin Paradox accepted for publication in The Physics Teacher
  2. R. A. Pepino (2021) Advances in atomtronics Entropy, 23 (5), 534.
  3. R. A. Pepino, W. P. Teh, and L. J. Magness (2016) Transport Enhancement of Irregular Optical Lattices with Polychromatic Amplitude Modulation New J. Phys. 18, 013031 
  4. R. A. Pepino, J. Cooper, D. Meiser, D. Z. Anderson, and M. J. Holland (2010) Open quantum systems approach to atomtronics Phys. Rev. A 82, 013640
  5. R. A. Pepino, J. Cooper, D. Z. Anderson, and M. J. Holland. (2009) Atomtronic circuits of diodes and transistors Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 140405
  6. Koutroumpa, R. Lallement,V. Kharchenko, A. Dalgarno, R. Pepino, V. Izmodenov, E. Quemerais. (2007) Charge-transfer induced EUV and soft X-ray emissions in the heliosphere Astronomy and Astrophysics 460:1, 289-300
  7. R. Pepino, V. Kharchenko, and A. Dalgarno, and R. Lallement. (2004) Spectra of the x-ray emission induced in the interaction between the solar wind and the heliospheric gas The Astrophysical Journal, 617, 1347-1352


While Dr. Pepino has been at FSC, he has engaged with students on projects in a variety of disciplines including quantum optics, fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, relativistic physics as well as physics education.