Henderson’s Heisenberg

By Jacob Lankford

In August Henderson gained a new assistant professor of chemistry, Bradley Rowland, who likes to make chemistry fun.

Rowland, a Texas native, came to Henderson from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. He has earned five collegiate degrees.

He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Texas A&M, his master’s degree in chemistry and PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned a master’s degree in financial engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Rowland first heard about Henderson when he was at the University of Texas at Austin.

His best friend at the time was Thomas Kreschollek, who graduated from Henderson in 2002.

Kreschollek had only good things to say about his alma mater.

Rowland said that when he discovered there was an opening at Henderson, he jumped at the opportunity.

Rowland spends much of his time gardening. He grows tropical plants like pineapples and plumeria. He brought his tabasco, habanero, chile tepin and pequin peppers to his new home in Hot Springs when he made the move from Texas.

Rowland also enjoys reading and television. He said he was particularly a fan of the chemistry drama series “Breaking Bad” about a high school chemistry teacher who begins making meth and becomes a drug kingpin.

“I thought it was a great show,” Rowland said. “It was spot on and accurate when it came to the science, and, it has gotten a younger, newer generation interested in chemistry. I feel like it was a wonderful recruiting tool.”

He said that he has always had a knack for chemistry but it wasn’t until his junior year of high school that his chemistry teacher, Betty Tow, showed him that he could be an exceptional chemist.

“She was a fantastic chemistry teacher,” Rowland said. “She inspired me and let me see that I could be successful in the field of chemistry.

She turned me loose in the lab and let me do experiments and I knew when I got to A&M that I would either major in mathematics or chemistry. Looking back I feel that I made the right choice.”

Rowland’s research interests lie in the study of quantum chemistry, and he is looking for students to join a research group who would contribute to scientific publications regarding quantum trajectories.

The group would focus on research revolving around the time-dependent Schrödinger equation. Rowland is also researching the way that electrons flow through nanoelectronic devices.

“The problem with nanoelectronic devices is that they keep getting smaller,” Rowland said. “Therefore the wires keep getting smaller and smaller.

Once the wires reach a certain shorter width, strange quantum physics starts happening, however, if the wires are their normal width they are described by classic physics.”

He went on to explain that when the wires reach the point to where they are described by quantum physics, electrical voltage leaks through the wires and starts to effect the efficiency of the nanoelectronic device.

Rowland wants to combine his scientific expertise with his interest in financial markets.

“I want to develop a quantum financial method,” Rowland said.

“I want to find a way to provide additional information to a day trader that he wouldn’t have had through traditional methods.”

Rowland wants to teach his students lessons that transcend chemistry. He said that education is a lifelong endeavor that shapes who you are going to be as a member of society.

“Chemistry is called the simple science for a reason,” Rowland said. “Everything in our society is shaped by chemistry.

I want people to understand that chemistry is not some abstract set of equations or concepts or ideas that have no applicability,  chemistry is going to be how we solve the natural problems that we face in our lives.”