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Gordon Thomas

Thomas, Gordon A.
Professor, Physics (and Biomedical Engineering)
482 Tiernan Hall
About Gordon Thomas

Dr. Gordon Thomas is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, who has published over 140 papers and holds 18 patents. He has worked as a physicist at Bell Laboratories, Harvard University, MIT and the University of Tokyo. He has worked in various capacities at the national level in the American Physical Society, has served as an Exchange Fellow with the governments of the US and USSR and with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

He is currently engaged in research in applied biophysics and consequently has close ties to work in biomedical engineering. He has worked to bring a biophysics degree program to NJIT and has developed new courses in biophysics. He is also interested in improving the physics courses he teaches so that they are more relevant to the interests of students in the class.

  • BS, Physics, Brown University
  • PhD, Physics, University of Rochester
Professional Experience

NJIT: Professor in the Department of Physics, 2003-present.

NJIT: Distinguished Research Professor in Physics, 2000-03.

MIT: Distinguished Senior Research Associate in the Physics Department’s Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, 1999-2000

Tokyo University: Visiting Professor, Japan, 1981.

Harvard University: twice, Visiting Professor, 1978 and 1985-86

Princeton University: Physics Thesis Advisor, 1977-1981

Bell Laboratories: Member of the Technical Staff, (originally a division of AT&T, then of Lucent Technologies). 1972-99

Courses Taught

PHYS 102, 103, 105, 106, 111, 111H, 121, 121H, 234, 234H, 350;

OPSE 301, 410

Courses modified or improved: PHYS 102, 234H, 350, OPSE 410

Other Teaching Activities

NJIT: Initiator of new Degree Program and new courses in Biophysics

NJIT: Teacher and mentor for over 15 high school students under the SEED program of the American Chemical Society for minorities and women; 1 or 2 students each summer, 2001-present.

NJIT: Teacher and mentor for 5 high school students under the Liberty Science Center summer program; 1 or 2 students each summer, 2005-present.

NJIT: Teacher and mentor for 3 high school students from Bergen Academy, one day a week throughout the school year; 1/year in the period 2003-2008.

APS: Published lecture on effective job search strategies on web page of the American Physical Society while serving on its Committee on Careers and Professional Development, 2007-10.

NJIT and Princeton University: Taught and mentored PhD thesis students:

David Schafer, now Manager at 3M Corp

Thomas F. Rosenbaum, chaired Professor of Physics, University of Chicago, former Department Chair, former Director of Fermi Nat. Lab, and current Provost

Sheng Liu, Head of Nano-fabrication, NanoOpto division of API Technologies Corporation.

Aysegul Ergin, Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University

Irene Nwosuh, Professor, Winston-Salem State University

Shanmugamurthy Laksmanan, current.

NJIT and Bell Labs: Taught and mentored postdoctoral students: 1. Hon Kie Ng, now Assistant Professor, Florida State University; 2. S. Lance Cooper, now Fellow of the APS, Professor and Chair of the Physics Department, University of Illinois; 3. Bala Balachandra; Research Professor, Cal Tech; 4. Alokik Kandar, current.

NJIT: Teacher and mentor, summer program, Cooperative Research Fellowship Program for minority college juniors, 10 summers, 1972-1985.

Bell Labs: Recruiter, advisor and mentor, PhD program of the Cooperative Research Fellowship Program, 20 years. Teacher and mentor, Summer Research Program for Women, 12 summers, 1975-92. Teacher and mentor, Graduate Research Program for Women, 6 years, 1982-88.

American Physical Society: Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary (successively) of the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics, the largest section of the APS. Concentrated on advancing the careers of applied physicists throughout the US with educational material on careers, particularly networking for women. Nominated the first woman for the honor of Fellowship of the APS from the Forum.

Lectures at the postgraduate level on topics including superconductivity, the metal-insulator transition, the electron-hole liquid, optical fiber communications, identification of complex color patterns, sensors for defense, transparent metals, diabetes, glaucoma, and brain injury, from 1968-present:

Over 100 lectures at universities in the US: including Princeton, Yale, Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, Georgetown, Berkeley, and Washington.

Over 20 lectures at companies in the US: including a series of 10 lectures at NCR on optical color recognition.

Over 100 lectures at conferences in the US: including Biophysical Society annual meeting in San Francisco, 2010.

Over 50 lectures at universities abroad: including at 6 universities and a conference in India in December 2001.

Over 30 lectures at conferences abroad: including series of lectures on semiconductors in Russia, Japan and Scotland.

Research Interests

He collaborates with Dr. Reginald Farrow and Dr. Camelia Prodan, also of the Physics Deartment at NJIT. They work with Dr. Robert Fechtner, director of the glaucoma division at UMDNJ-Newark Jersey Medical School devices to prevent blindness through the New Jersey Vision Technology Center. Their work is supported by the Hoffman Foundation and has been supported by other sources as well.

Thomas and co-workers also work with Joseph Madsen, MD, a brain surgeon at the Harvard Medical School, Jeffrey Catrambone, MD, a children’s neurosurgeon at UMDNJ, and the Infoscitex company, a medical products fabricator in Massachusetts, on a new device that would help people with excess fluid pressure in their brains. Thomas’ group started the brain pressure project in collaboration with Donald Sebastian, Vice President for Research at NJIT with support from support of $1M from the NJ Commission on Science and Technology and subsequent support of $360K from the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

Thomas is also working with Drs. Farrow and Prodan on nanoprobe systems to probe the basic properties of cells. Dr. Prodan has shown that related measurements of dielectric spectroscopy can be used for many clinical applications including screening of cancer drugs.

Patents granted or pending

“MCVD Method of Making a Low OH Fiber Preform Using a Hydrogen-Free Heat Source,” Fred P. Partus and Gordon A. Thomas, Patent Number: US 5,397,372, (3/14/1995)

“Method for Growing Transparent Conductive Gallium-Indium-Oxide by Sputtering,” R. J. Cava, J. Kwo, and G. A. Thomas, US 5,473,456, (12/5/1995).

“WDM Optical Fiber System Using Crystal Optical Amplifier,” T. T. Basiev, P. M. Bridenbaugh and, G. A. Thomas, US 5,535,051 (7/9/1996).

“Method for Growing Transparent Conductive Films of GaInO3 by Pulsed Laser Deposition,” R. J. Cava, J. M. Phillips, and G. A. Thomas, US 5,538,767, (7/23/1996).

“Transparent Conductors Comprising Zn-In-O and Methods for Making Films,” S. A. Carter, R. J. Cava, J. Kwo, J. Phillips and G. A. Thomas, US 5,628,933, (5/13/1997).

“Devices Using Transparent Conductive GaInO3 Films,” R. J. Cava, J. M. Phillips, J. Kwo and G. A. Thomas, US 5,652,062 (7/29/1997).

“Optical fiber with low OH impurity and communication system using the optical fiber,” Robert M. Atkins, James W. Fleming, Fred Paul Partus, and Gordon A. Thomas, US 5,692,087 (11/25/1997).

“Apparatus and Method for Spectroscopic Product Recognition and Identification,” Gordon A. Thomas, US 5,867,265 (2/2/1999).

"Apparatus For Processing Silicon Devices With Improved Temperature Control," Glenn B. Alers, Robert M. Fleming, Barry Franklin Levine, Gordon Albert Thomas, US 6,002,113 (12/14/1999).

“System and Method for Spectroscopic Product Recognition and Identification,” G. A. Thomas, M. H. Hansen, D. X. Sun, US 6,075,594 (5/30/2000).

“Optical fiber communication system, employing wide band crystal alloy light generation devices,” D. Brandl, L. F. Schneemeyer, G. A. Thomas, and W. L.Wilson, US 6,104,529 (8/15/2000).

"Method For Bonding Two crystalline Substrates Together," S. P. Hui, B. F. Levine, C. J. Pinzone, G. A. Thomas, US 6,136,667 (10/24/2000).

“Method for attractive bonding of two grystalline substrates,” Sanghee Park Hui, Barry Franklin Levine, Christopher James Pinzone, Gordon Albert Thomas, US 6,187,653 (2/13/2001).

“Method and Apparatus for Object Recognition,” Mark Hansen, Harald Hess, Partha Mitra and Gordon Thomas, US 6,424,754 (7/23/2002).

"Improved Electro-Optic Device Including A Buffer Layer Of Transparent Conductive material," Robert McLemore Fleming, Rafael Nathan Kleiman, Jueinai Raynien Kwo, John William Osenbach, and Gordon Albert Thomas, US 6,480,633 (11/12/2002)


"Method For Processing Silicon Workpieces Using Hybrid Optical Thermometer System,” Glenn B. Alers, Robert J. Chichester, Don X. Sun, and Gordon Thomas, US 6,830,942 (12/14/2004).

“Smart Coating System,” G. A. Thomas et al., US 7,244,500 (7/17/2007).

“Methods of Identifying Disease Biomarkers in the Lens of the Eye,” Peter H. Frederikse and Gordon A. Thomas, application US 12/308,974 (10/20/2009).

“No Clog Shunt Using a Compact Fluid Drag Path,” Reginald Conway Farrow, Sheng Liu and Gordon Albert Thomas, application US 12/381,170 (3/9/2009).

“Non-Invasive Tonometer,” Robert D. Fechtner and Gordon A. Thomas, application US 12/503,700 (7/15/2009).

“Vibration Powered Impact Recorder,” Reginald Farrow and Gordon A. Thomas, application US 12/792,372 (6/2/2010).

Sections of 7 Books

“The Electron-Hole Liquid in Semiconductors,” J. C. Hensel, T. G. Phillips and G. A. Thomas, in Solid State Physics, V. 32, F. Seitz, D. Turnbull and H. Ehrenreich, eds. (Academic Press, New York, 1977) p. 1.

“A Review of n=1 to n=¥ Particle Complexes in Semiconductors,” G. A. Thomas and V. B. Timofeev, in Handbook on Semiconductors, Vol. II, M. Balkanski, ed. (North Holland, Amsterdam, 1980), p. 45.

“Basic Physical Concepts of Low Dimensional Solids,” G. A. Thomas, The Physics and Chemistry of Low Dimensional Solids, L. Alcacer, ed. (D. Reidel, 1980), p. 31.

“The Metal-Insulator Transition,” R. F. Milligan and G. A. Thomas, in 1985 annual Review of Physical Chemistry, S. Rabinovich, ed. (Annual Reviews, Palo Alto, 1985).

“Localization and Interactions in Doped Semiconductors,” G. A. Thomas, in Localization and Interactions, D. P. Tunstall and D. M. Finlayson, eds. (SUSSP, Edinburg, 1986).

“Optical Properties of Insulators and Metals with Cu-O Planes,” G. A. Thomas, in High Temperature Superconductivity, D. P. Tunstall and W. Barford, eds. (Adam Hilger, Bristol, 1991), p. 169-206.

“The Mott Transition,” Gordon Thomas, in Nevill Mott, ed. by E. A. Davis, p.234 (Taylor and Francis, 1998).

Book co-edited:

Disordered Semiconductors, M. A. Kastner, G. A. Thomas and S. R. Ovshinsky, eds. (Plenum, New York, 1987).