John E. Thomas

Fritz London Professor Emeritus

Office: 
185 Physics
Campus Box: 
90305
Phone: 
(919) 660-2508

Details

Experiments with Interacting Fermi gases
Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. (2009)

Thermodynamic measurements in a strongly interacting Fermi gas
J. Low. Temp. Phys. (2009)

Is a gas of strongly interacting atomic fermions a nearly perfect fluid?
J. Low Temp. Phys. (2008)

Observation of anomalous spin segregation in a trapped Fermi gas
Phys. Rev. Lett (2008)

Energy measurement and virial theorem for confined universal Fermi gases
Phys. Rev. A (2008)

Professor John E. Thomas is exploring the physics of an optically trapped degenerate Fermi gas. The group pioneered the development of ultrastable all-optical traps for neutral atoms in 1999, achieving trap lifetimes of more than 400 seconds, comparable to the best magnetic traps. The group has developed methods for direct evaporative cooling of neutral atoms in optical traps, enabling the first all-optical production of a degenerate Fermi gas in 2001. The trapped gas comprises a degenerate 50-50 mixture of spin-up and spin-down fermionic lithium-6 atoms, which exhibits a collisional (Feshbach) resonance in a bias magnetic field. In 2002, the Duke group was the first to produce and study a strongly interacting degenerate Fermi gas. This system exhibits universal behavior and is a paradigm for testing nonperturbative many-body calculational methods in disciplines from nuclear matter to high temperature superconductors. In 2004, the Duke group was the first to observe evidence for high temperature superfluid hydrodynamics in a strongly interacting Fermi gas. Ongoing experiments include studies of the thermodynamics and transport properties of this unique quantum system.

Education:
Doctor of Philosophy - MIT
Ph.D. - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science - MIT

Time-resolved, two-window measurement of Wigner functions for coherent backscatter from a turbid medium
In Saratov Fall Meeting 2001: Coherent Optics of Ordered and Random Media II edited by Dmitry A. Zimnyakov. ; pp. 22-29. : .

Preparation of a degenerate, two-component Fermi gas by evaporation in a single beam optical trap
In OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics (TOPS) Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS 2002), OSA Technical Digest edited by . ; pp. 169-170. : Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C..

Modeling the evaporative cooling of fermionic atoms in an optical trap
In Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS 2001), Technical Digest edited by . ; pp. 253. : Optical Society of America, Washington, DC,.

Optically trapped Fermi gas
In OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference edited by . ; pp. 253-254. : Optical Society of America, Washington, DC.

Classical-wave analogs of quantum measurement
In OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics (TOPS) Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS 2001), Technical Digest edited by . ; pp. 62-63. : Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C..

Two-window heterodyne methods for measurement of optical coherence in multiple scattering media
In OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics (TOPS) Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS 2001), Technical Digest edited by . ; pp. 145-146. : Optical Society of America, Washington, DC.

Time-resolved optical phase space distributions for coherent backscatter
In Saratov Fall Meeting ‘99: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine edited by Valery V. Tuchin; Dmitry A Zimnyakov; Alexander B. Pravdin. ; pp. 130-134. : .

Wigner Phase Space Distributions and Coherence Tomography
In Optical Pulse and Beam Propagation II edited by Yehuda B Band. ; pp. 147-155. : .

Measurement of Smoothed Wigner Phase Space Distributions for Low-Coherence Light in Multiple Scattering Media
In Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications III edited by Valery V. Tuchin and Joseph A. Izatt. ; pp. 2. : .

Optical Phase Space Distributions for Low Coherence Light in Turbid Media
In Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics edited by . ; : Optical Society of America.

2011 Jesse Beams Award, American Physical Society
2010 Dasari Lecture
1997 Fellow, American Physical Society
1997 Fellow, American Physical Society
1990 NIST Precision Measurements Grant
1980 C. S. Draper Career Development Chair at MIT
1973 Hertz Foundation Predoctoral Fellow
1973 Phi Beta Kappa
1973 Sigma Chi