First Name
Last Name
Research Associate
Office Room
Hennings 405
Tel (Office)
(604) 822-3816

Students Wanted

Bachelor's Degree
University of New Hampshire, USA, 2002, Physics with honors

Master's Degree
Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, 2004, German "Diplom" in Physics

Doctoral Degree
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2009, Physics

Employment History
  • Research Associate & Sessional Lecturer, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy and the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada) 2010 - present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher & Scientific Press Officer, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (Berlin, Germany) 2009 - 2010
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society (Berlin, Germany) 2004 - 2009
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Berlin, Germany) 2002 - 2004
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Physics, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH, USA) 2002
  • NSF Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Dept. of Chemistry, Columbia University (New York, NY, USA) 2001
  • NSF Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN, USA) 2000
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (Durham, NH, USA) 1999 - 2001

Personal Information

I'm a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative working on physics education research in the Physics and Astronomy Department here at UBC. I enjoy working with anyone interested in science education and outreach -- from students to senior lecturers. My aim is to help implement evidence-based educational methods into the classroom to improve student learning and achievement. 

As an instructor, I view myself as a 'coach' helping students to make sense of physics concepts and to connect their understanding to the real world. I devote class time to engaging students in active discussions and problem solving to make class time feel more like a dialogue and less like a lecture. 

I am also interested in Atomic and Molecular Physics, specifically in low-energy, or 'cold', collisions. I worked on developing a molecular synchrotron aimed at observing just such collisions. These experiments and others in the field of cold atoms, molecular beams and traps, and molecular collisions are topics I find particularly exciting.

Research Area
Physics & Astronomy Education

Research Field
Physics Education Research (PER), and Molecular Physics (MP)

Research Topics
PER: Interactive techniques, peer instruction, long-term retention of fundamental physics concepts; MP: cold molecules and collisions

Selected Publications
  • P. C. Zieger, S. Y. T. van de Meerakker, C. E. Heiner, H. L. Bethlem, A. J. A. van Roij, G. Meijer (2010). Multiple packets of neutral molecules revolving for over a mile. Physical Review Letters 105, 173001.
  • C. E. Heiner, H. L. Bethlem, G. Meijer (2009). A synchrotron for neutral molecules. Chemical Physics Letters, 473, 1-9.
  • C. E. Heiner, G. Meijer, H. L. Bethlem (2008) Motional resonances in a molecular synchrotron. Physical Review A: Rapid Communications 78, 030702(R).
  • C. E. Heiner, D. Carty, H. L. Bethlem, G. Meijer (2007). A molecular synchrotron. Nature Physics 3, 115-118.
  • C. E. Heiner, H. L. Bethlem, G. Meijer (2006). Molecular beams with a tunable velocity. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 8, 2666-2676.
  • C. E. Heiner, J. Dreyer, I. V. Hertel, N. Koch, H.-H. Ritze, W. Widdra, B. Winter (2005). Anisotropy in ordered sexithiophene thin films studied by angle-resolved photoemission using combined laser and synchrotron radiation. Applied Physics Letters 87, 093501.