Sophia Sholtz is the physics demonstration room and lower-division lab manager. She graduated from UCSC with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics in June 2018, and has been working with the lower division labs and demonstration room since Fall 2014. When not  working in the demo room, Sophia enjoys reading, cooking, rock climbing and mushroom hunting. You can contact her at for any comments or suggestions for the demo room.



Noah Peake is a 4th year Applied Physics major at UCSC and joined the demo room in Fall 2018. He’s interested in circuits, solid state physics, and electric vehicle technology. When not busy with school, he enjoys hiking, walks, reading, and riding his motorcycle.





DecorativeFinn Amend is in his 3rd year of his Robotics Engineering major. He joined the demo room in Spring of 2019 and he is pursuing his interests in ocean engineering, robotics, and sustainability. Outside of school, he likes to mountain bike, camp, and go to concerts.






Aleksander Beck is a 2nd year Applied Physics major at UCSC, and has been a member of the demo room since Fall 2019. He continues to build on his fascination with engineering and the ever expanding realm of science. Outside of school he enjoys playing chess, tinkering with his backyard ballistics, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Past Demo Employees

Phoenix Gallagher is in junior year and joined us Summer 2018. He is an Applied Physics major fascinated with efforts in renewable energy and photovoltaic cells. Phoenix is the Co-Captain of the UCSC Men’s Rugby Club. His general interests include surfing, rugby, exercising and traveling.

Ryan Dudschus graduated with his Masters degree in Physics in Winter 2018. He currently researches pulsating variable asymptotic giant branch stars in the Andromeda galaxy, as well as the structural aspects of condensed matter systems by X-ray scattering. He worked in the demo room from Winter of 2018 – Winter 2019.

Alice Durand was the Physics demonstration room and lower-division lab manager from June 2014 to September 2018. She graduated with her Ph.D from UC Santa Cruz in June 2014 and has since began a postdoc fellowship with Lawrence Livermore labs, where she is working on constructing a neutron detector. Her research interests are centered on Experimental Condensed Matter physics, with a focus on magnetic materials and structure.

Nick McCabe began working in the physics demonstration room in the spring of 2015 and worked there until he graduated in June of 2018. Nick was the road cycling captain for the UCSC cycling team. When he wasn’t in the demo room he was often riding his bike with others on the cycling team in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains.

Maddie Harris worked in the demo room and lower division labs from 2015 until her graduation in the fall of 2017 with a physics major and mathematics minor. She is interested in all things physics related, but her research centers around white dwarf stars in the halo of the Milky Way.

Lydia Seymour worked in the Physics demonstration room from the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2017, leaving upon graduation. Her research interests include organo-halide perovskite thin-film optoelectronics and sustainability projects. She was an active member of the Women in Science and Engineering organization and the UCSC Women in Physics club while she was a student.

Nic Blanc began working in the demo room in winter 2015, concluding upon his graduation in spring 2016. In addition to working in the demo room, Nic also helped re-establish an active Society for Physics Students chapter at UCSC. Currently Nic is pursuing his PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, where his research will focus on understanding the dynamic behavior of geologically-relevant materials at conditions similar to those found in the Earth as well as in other planets.