John E. Thomas

Fritz London Professor Emeritus

Office: 
185 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
90305
Phone: 
(919) 660-2508

Details

Universal quantum viscosity in a unitary Fermi gas
Science Online (2010)

Observation of shock waves in a strongly interacting Fermi gas
Physical Review Letters (2010)

The nearly perfect Fermi gas
Physics Today (2010)

Is an ultra-cold strongly interacting Fermi gas a perfect fluid
Nucl. Phys. A (2009)

Is an ultra-cold strongly interacting Fermi gas a perfect fluid
Nucl. Phys. A (2009)

Controlling spin current in a trapped Fermi gas
Phys. Rev. Lett (2009)

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

Unitary Fermi gases
In Contemporary Concepts of Condensed Matter Science: Ultracold Bosonic and Fermionic Gases edited by . August, 2010; : Elsevier.

Fermi Gases with Tunable Interactions
In Proceedings of the XXI International Conference on Atomic Physics edited by R. Cote, P. L. Gould, M. Rozman, and W. W. Smith. April, 2009; pp. 201-212. : World Scientific.

Fermi Gases with Tunable Interactions
In Conference proceedings, ICAP 2008 edited by . June, 2008; : .

Optical trapping and fundamental studies of atomic Fermi gases
In Proceedings of the SPIE edited by . ; pp. 632602. : .

Universal thermodynamics of a strongly interacting Fermi gas
In AIP Conference Proceedings edited by Y. Takano, S. P. Hershfield, S. O. Hill, P. J. Hirshfeld, and A. M. Goldman. ; pp. 69-76. : AIP.

Universal thermodynamics of a strongly-interacting Fermi gas
In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Low Temperature Physics edited by . August, 2005; : .

Thermodynamics and mechanical properties of a strongly-interacting Fermi gas
In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Laser Spectroscopy edited by . June, 2005; : .

Dynamics of a highly-Degenerate, strongly-Interacting Fermi gas
In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference on Laser edited by H. Bacor and P. Hannaford. ; : .

Dynamics of a highly-Degenerate, strongly-Interacting Fermi gas
In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference on Laser edited by H. Bacor and P. Hannaford. ; : .

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. : .

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