Kate Brown

Kate Brown

I am an assistant professor in the Physics Department at Hamilton College. I became interested in physics through astrophysics and cosmology, and cosmology remains my main research interest. In particular I have studied gravitational radiation arising from phase transitions, the chameleon model of dark energy, and other cosmological phenomena. However my research interests are broad and I’ve been fortunate to work on many other exciting projects in different areas of physics. My best-known work is interdisciplinary, debunking the idea that fractal analysis can be used to authenticate Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. I am also interested in non-Hermitian quantum mechanics, wherein the canonical assumption that operators are represented by Hermitian matrices is relaxed, and the parity and time-reversal operator ensure real eigenvalues, etc.

All of my publications are under my maiden name (Kate Jones-Smith) and can be found here:


Links to current syllabi are available below and everything else course-related is on Blackboard.
Phys 136
Phys 195


Hofstadter's Cocoon, Katherine Jones-Smith and Connor Wallace. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 54.1: 219-226 (2014).

Relativistic Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics, Katherine Jones-Smith and Harsh Mathur. Physical Review D, 89, 125014 (2014).

Particle in a box in PT-symmetric quantum mechanics and an electromagnetic analog, Dasarthy, A. et al., Physical Review A 87 062111 (2013).

A 'Dysonization' Scheme for Identifying Quasi-Particles using Non-Hermitian Quantum Mechanics, Katherine Jones-Smith. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. Theme Issue on PT-quantum mechanics 371, 1989. (2013).

Vector Models in PT Quantum Mechanics, Katherine Jones-Smith and Rudolph Kalveks. International Journal of Theoretical Physics, 52.7 : 2187-2195 (2013). 1

Detecting Chameleon Dark Energy via Electrostatic Analogy, Katherine Jones-Smith and Francesc Ferrer, Physical Review Letters 108, 221101 (2012).

Chameleon Effects on Small Scale Structure and the Baryonic Jeans Mass, Katherine Jones-Smith, Physical Review D 85, 043502 (2012).

A New Class of non-Hermitian Quantum Hamiltonians with PT symmetry, Katherine Jones-Smith and Harsh Mathur, Physical Review A 82, 042101 (2010).

Probing the Gravitational Wave Signature from Cosmic Phase Transitions at Different Scales, Lawrence Krauss, Katherine Jones-Smith, Harsh Mathur and James Dent. Physical Review D 82, 044001, (2010).

Aharonov-Bohm Radiation, Katherine Jones-Smith, Harsh Mathur, and Tanmay Vachaspati. Physical Review D, 81, 043503, (2010).

Implications of Broken Symmetry for Superhorizon Conservation Theorems in Cosmology, Katherine Jones-Smith, Lawrence Krauss, and Harsh Mathur. arXiv:0907.4857

Drip Paintings and Fractal Analysis, Katherine Jones-Smith, Harsh Mathur and Lawrence M. Krauss, Physical Review E 79, 046111 (2009).

CMBPol Mission Concept Study: Probing Inflation with CMB Polarization, Baumann, D. , Jackson, M. et al. Inflation Working Group contribution to CMBPol Mission Concept Study. Available at arXiv:0811.3919. (2008).

A Nearly Scale Invariant Spectrum of Gravitational Radiation from Global Phase Transitions, Katherine Jones-Smith, Lawrence Krauss and Harsh Mathur. Physical Review Letters 100, 131302 (2008).

Dark Energy, The Cosmological Constant, and Type 1a Supernovae, Lawrence M. Krauss, Katherine Jones-Smith, Dragan Huterer. New Journal of Physics 9, 141 (2007).

Revisiting Pollock's Drip Paintings, Katherine Jones-Smith and Harsh Mathur, Nature 444, E9(2006).

Popular coverage from my work on Jackson Pollock and drip paintings:
New York Times
USA Today
Never Mind the Pollocks
Science News
Chaos Book

Physics People