Steven L. Tomsovic

Steven  Tomsovic
  • BS Physics 1980

Steven L. Tomsovic graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1980 with a BS in Physics. He continued his education at the University of Rochester and in 1987 received his PhD in theoretical physics. That was followed by two years near Paris, France at the Institute for Nuclear Physics with a Joliot-Curie Fellowship. There, he became fluent in French and began a lifelong association with what has become the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics and Statistical Models. After another six years at the University of Washington, he joined the physics and astronomy department of Washington State University in 1994 as a professor and has been department chair since 2002.

Steve has worked in the fields of: i) statistical nuclear physics and symmetry violation, with emphasis on time-reversal and parity symmetries: ii) semi-classical approximations to quantum mechanics developed and extended to chaotic dynamical systems; iii) fluctuation properties of quantum dots in the Coulomb blockade regime; iv) semi-classical and uniform approaches to the multiple regimes of quantum fidelity; v) statistical methods of extrema extended to studies of chaotic Eigen functions and random functions; and vi) long- range ocean acoustics. His discovery of chaos-assisted tunneling has led to new experiments with cold atoms, and has been featured in a five-month-long workshop.

As of 2008, Tomsovic's work has produced well over 2000 citations, 16 Physical Review Letters, and a feature article in Physics Today. In 2006, he received the Martin C. Gutzwiller Fellowship of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany. This prize allowed him to spend a year there focused exclusively on research and provided for a visiting professor with whom to collaborate. In 1993, he received a yearlong fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The National Science Foundation and Office of Naval Research have funded his research. Recently, he created new educational experiences for graduate students at WSU funded by the US Department of Education–Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN).

Excerpted from the 2008 College of Sciences and Arts Academy induction ceremony program.