Dr. John Colton: Table Tennis Champion

John Colton playing ping pong.
John Colton playing table tennis.

On February 5th 2022, Dr. John Colton won the BYU intramurals table tennis (ping pong)tournament. There were 5 “skill” brackets, allowing both beginners and experienced table tennis masters to participate. Many came to have fun and compete over the title of being BYU’s  greatest table tennis player, but only one person could come out on top and John won gold for the highest skill bracket!

Dr. Colton has been a faculty member of the BYU Department of Physics and Astronomy since 2007, whose research interests are focused on semiconductor nanostructures. He’s played table tennis for years in many different capacities. He got into table tennis for fun as a BYU undergrad, and has only played more intensely since then. His skill in table tennis increased in graduate school, and Dr. Colton officially joined his first table tennis club as a postdoc at the Naval Research Lab. He then was a professor at the Univ. of Wisconsin, La Crosse, but there weren’t very good table tennis options there so he came to BYU to stay in 2007. He has been playing frequently since.

When asked if his knowledge of physics that he has gained in his career have contributed to his success in the realm of table tennis, he smilingly responded “No. People like to joke that since I’m a physics professor I will know exactly how the table tennis balls will move when I hit them, since I understand spin and the Bernoulli effect. In reality any advantage that might give me can be matched by a few hours of observation and practice.” 

In addition to Dr. Colton’s ping pong wizardry, he’s also the A Cappella Club advisor and the co-organizer of the first-ever department ultimate Frisbee team —which made it to the finals last year. Dr. Richard Sandberg, Dr. Denise Stephens, and Dr. Ben Frandsen have also played on the team.

We’re proud of our faculty who excel in their fields of studywhile still finding time to have fun within the campus community.

Student Authors: Aidan Gillam, Ryan Scott, and Tyler Harding

Edited by Brian Anderson

News and Events

Image for Reveling in Uncertainty
Despite the inherent time constraints of engaging undergraduate and graduate students in research, Scott Bergeson enjoys teaching this “seek and find” principle to his students, a principle that has become his philosophy for life.
Image for BYU Acoustics Records Artemis Launch
A group of BYU students and professors gathered acoustical recordings of at the world’s most powerful rocket launch.
Image for Kent Gee Recognized by AIAA
Kent Gee is selected as Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in their class of 2023
Image for West Mountain Observatory contributes to understand distant galaxy
BYU’s West Mountain Observatory was one of 37 ground-based telescopes throughout the world monitoring the active galaxy that is roughly 1 billion light years away.
Image for Dr. Tim Leishman retires from BYU
Dr. Leishman's time at BYU was filled with great teaching and profound mentoring
Image for Dr. John Colton: Table Tennis Champion
Dr. John Colton won the 2022 BYU intramural table tennis tournament
Image for Debunking acoustics myths around the Saturn V
When the Saturn V rocket propelled man to the moon in July 1969, the blast from the rocket’s engines was tremendous. Marked by a dazzling display of flames and deafening noise, the monumental event gave rise to widespread claims that the acoustic force of the rocket melted concrete and ignited grass fires miles away. New research from BYU debunks this common myth.
Image for Dr. Aleksandr Mosenkov, new Astronomy faculty
Dr. Aleksandr Mosenkov, new faculty, looks forward to receiving some of the first data from the James Webb Space Telescope to study galaxy formation
Image for Sounding out the Deep: Traci Neilsen’s Trip to the North Atlantic
A recent research adventure took Dr. Traci Neilsen and two students to the North Atlantic Ocean. Neilsen, an associate professor of physics at BYU, and her team apply artificial intelligence to noises in the ocean to classify the seabed.