John Thomas

Hertz Fellow: John Thomas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Laser Physics

Fellowship Years

1973 - 1978

John E. Thomas is the John S. Risley Distinguished Professor of Physics and principal investigator at North Carolina State University, where he is exploring the physics of optically trapped, strongly interacting Fermi gases. Previously, Professor Thomas was at Duke University, where he received a National Institute of Standards Technology Precision Measurements Grant (1990-1993) and was named the Fritz London Distinguished Professor in 2004.

In 2010, Professor Thomas gave the Dasari Lecture at MIT. In 2011, John received the Jessie Beams Award for Research from the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (APS), and moved his research group (JETlab) to North Carolina State University. In 2013, he received an Outstanding Referee Award, and in 2018, the Davission-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics, both from the APS. He was a divisional editor for Physical Review Letters (2005-2010) and was on the board of reviewing editors for Science Magazine (2011-2017). John is an APS fellow, a member of the Optical Society of America, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1973, Professor Thomas received his BS in physics, and as a Hertz Fellow in 1979 his PhD in physics, both from MIT.


1979 - A Study of Nitrous-Oxide Molecular Hyperfine Structure in Excited Vibrational States Utilizing a Stabilized Twin Laser Spectrometer