Agosta Laboratory Introduction

Chuck Agosta - Clark University

Charles Agosta is a low temperature experimental physicist who was originally trained to study the properties of fluids at very low temperatures. His present research interests are lower dimensional superconductors in very high magnetic fields, heat transfer in gas boundary layers, and renewable energy systems. He leverages his knowledge of instrumentation and measurement to learn about fundamental properties of natural systems, and to create new technology. Among other innovations, the combination of using a tunnel diode oscillator rf penetration depth system in pulsed magnetic fields has led to a number of new discoveries in condensed matter physics. As important as any of the discoveries made and instrumentation developed in his laboratory, are the undergraduate and graduate students who have leaned the art of research in his laboratory while making significant contributions to all of the advances that have come from the laboratory.

As an example, he and his students have developed a pulsed magnetic field laboratory where experiments are performed in the highest magnetic fields (51 tesla!) available at any university in the United States. His group studies anisotropic conducting materials at the extremes of parameter space, including temperature, pressure, and magnetic field to understand the relation of their chemical properties to correlated electron properties such as superconductivity, spin density waves, charge density waves, and the quantum Hall effect. Most of his measurements are made with an rf penetration depth technique developed in his laboratory and particularly well suited to the extreme conditions created in his laboratory.

Agosta is also CEO and co-founder of Machflow Energy, Inc., a clean-tech company that is developing highly innovative heat transfer technologies revolutionizing air conditioning and thermal management. Machflow has created a disruptive Bernoulli Principle-based heat pump that works in a closed cycle using noble gasses that have no adverse effects on the environment, such as global warming, and avoids high pressures and the weight of the associated compressors. Machflow was funded by Kleiner Perkins, the DOE  and prominent angel investors.

He teaches many of the core courses in the Physics Dept., but specializes in two signature courses, Electronics, and The Technology of Renewable Energy. His renewable energy course is focusing on the technical and social issues of converting part of the campus to a dc microgrid, and leveraging the cogeneration plant on campus and future renewable energy sources.

Last updated 11 Dec 2018