Thomas Felix Rosenbaum

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Thomas F. Rosenbaum
8th President of the California Institute of Technology
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Preceded byJean-Lou Chameau
Personal details
Thomas Felix Rosenbaum

(1955-02-20) February 20, 1955 (age 66)
Alma materHarvard University (BS)
Princeton University (PhD)
ProfessionPhysicist, Scientist, University administrator
Scientific career
InstitutionsBell Laboratories, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, University of Chicago
ThesisCoulomb Interactions And Localization In A Disordered System (1982)
Doctoral advisorGordon A. Thomas
Doctoral studentsDeborah S. Jin

Thomas Felix Rosenbaum (born February 20, 1955) is an American physicist and the current President of the California Institute of Technology. Earlier he served as Provost and on the faculty of the University of Chicago, and was the Vice President for Research at Argonne National Laboratory.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Rosenbaum attended Forest Hills High School in Queens, New York City, and he was a finalist in the 1973 Westinghouse Science Talent Search.[2][3] He received his bachelor's degree in physics with honors from Harvard University in 1977, and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1982.[4]


He conducted research at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ and at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY before he joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1983. From January 2007, Rosenbaum served as the Provost of the University of Chicago. In addition to his responsibilities for academic and research programs across the University, Rosenbaum served and continues to serve on the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory.[5] He directed the University's Materials Research Laboratory from 1991 to 1994, the University's James Franck Institute, an interdisciplinary research unit, from 1995 to 2001, and served as Vice President for Research and for Argonne National Laboratory from 2002 to 2006. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the Santa Fe Institute Science Board, a Trustee of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), and a Trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Rosenbaum was announced as the eighth President of The California Institute of Technology on the morning of October 24, 2013 and took office at Caltech on or about July 1, 2014. Rosenbaum was formally inaugurated into the office on October 24, 2014.[citation needed]


His research focuses on the behavior of matter at temperatures near absolute zero where quantum mechanical effects are manifest. Rosenbaum recognized early the significance and ubiquity of quantum phase transitions—from metal–insulator transitions[6] to magnetism[7] to exotic superconductivity—and his work is recognized as putting quantum transitions on as solid a footing as that long available for classical transitions. He has both exploited and advanced methods in experimental low temperature physics, developing new techniques (hydrostatic pressure, stress, magnetometry, calorimetry) for high-resolution studies at milliKelvin temperatures, complementing laboratory dilution refrigerator approaches with synchrotron x-ray measurements in diamond anvil cells at cryogenic temperatures.[8][9] He established the nature of the metal-insulator transition in doped semiconductors and correlated materials,[10] and demonstrated macroscopic anisotropy of non-s-wave superconductivity in heavy fermion compounds.[11] Rosenbaum’s experiments on magnets involve controllable tuning of quantum fluctuations in both ordered and disordered systems.[12][13] He is interested in the macroscopic manifestations of quantum mechanics[14] and harnessing disorder to craft a material’s electrical, magnetic, and optical response.[15]


His honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the William McMillan Award for “outstanding contributions to condensed matter physics.” Rosenbaum is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


  1. ^ "About President Rosenbaum | Caltech". The California Institute of Technology.
  2. ^ "New York Youths Win in Science". The New York Times. March 20, 1973. p. 76.
  3. ^ Ajmera, Maya. "Conversations with Maya: Thomas Rosenbaum". Science News. Society for Science & the Public. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. ^ Rosenbaum, Thomas F. (1982). Coulomb Interactions And Localization In A Disordered System (Ph.D.). Princeton University. OCLC 79619652 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ UChicago Argonne, LLC. "Thomas F. Rosenbaum". Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ Rosenbaum, T.; Milligan, R.; Paalanen, M.; Thomas, G.; Bhatt, R.; Lin, W. (1983). "Metal-insulator transition in a doped semiconductor" (PDF). Physical Review B. 27 (12): 7509–7523. Bibcode:1983PhRvB..27.7509R. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.27.7509. ISSN 0163-1829.
  7. ^ Wu, Wenhao; Ellman, B.; Rosenbaum, T.; Aeppli, G.; Reich, D. (1991). "From classical to quantum glass". Physical Review Letters. 67 (15): 2076–2079. Bibcode:1991PhRvL..67.2076W. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.67.2076. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 10044329.
  8. ^ Jaramillo, R.; Feng, Yejun; Lang, J.C.; Islam, Z.; Srajer, G.; Littlewood, P. B.; McWhan, D. B.; Rosenbaum, T. F. (2009). "Breakdown of the Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer ground state at a quantum phase transition". Nature. 459 (7245): 405–409. Bibcode:2009Natur.459..405J. doi:10.1038/nature08008. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 19458718. S2CID 1692358.
  9. ^ Feng, Y.; Wang, J.; Jaramillo, R.; van Wezel, J.; Haravifard, S.; Srajer, G.; Liu, Y.; Xu, Z.- A.; Littlewood, P. B.; Rosenbaum, T. F. (2012). "Order parameter fluctuations at a buried quantum critical point". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (19): 7224–7229. arXiv:1109.0260. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.7224F. doi:10.1073/pnas.1202434109. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3358829. PMID 22529348.
  10. ^ Husmann, A.; Yao, X.; Jin, D. S.; Zastavker, Y. V.; Rosenbaum, T. F.; Honig, J. M. (1996). "Dynamical Signature of the Mott-Hubbard Transition in Ni(S,Se)2". Science. 274 (5294): 1874–1876. Bibcode:1996Sci...274.1874H. doi:10.1126/science.274.5294.1874. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 8943193. S2CID 45909959.
  11. ^ Shivaram, B.; Jeong, Y.; Rosenbaum, T.; Hinks, D. (1986). "Anisotropy of Transverse Sound in the Heavy-Fermion Superconductor UPt_{3}" (PDF). Physical Review Letters. 56 (10): 1078–1081. Bibcode:1986PhRvL..56.1078S. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.56.1078. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 10032562.
  12. ^ Brooke, J. (1999). "Quantum Annealing of a Disordered Magnet". Science. 284 (5415): 779–781. arXiv:cond-mat/0105238. Bibcode:1999Sci...284..779B. doi:10.1126/science.284.5415.779. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 10221904. S2CID 37564720.
  13. ^ Brooke, J.; Rosenbaum, T. F.; Aeppli, G. (2001). "Tunable quantum tunnelling of magnetic domain walls". Nature. 413 (6856): 610–613. arXiv:cond-mat/0202361. Bibcode:2001Natur.413..610B. doi:10.1038/35098037. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 11595942. S2CID 4404553.
  14. ^ Ghosh, S.; Rosenbaum, T. F.; Aeppli, G.; Coppersmith, S. N. (2003). "Entangled quantum state of magnetic dipoles". Nature. 425 (6953): 48–51. arXiv:cond-mat/0402456. Bibcode:2003Natur.425...48G. doi:10.1038/nature01888. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 12955135. S2CID 4391669.
  15. ^ Silevitch, D. M.; Aeppli, G.; Rosenbaum, T. F. (2010). "Switchable hardening of a ferromagnet at fixed temperature". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (7): 2797–2800. arXiv:1003.0369. Bibcode:2010PNAS..107.2797S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0910575107. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2840359. PMID 20133728.


Research and Publications of Thomas F. Rosenbaum:

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by 8th President of the California Institute of Technology
2014 – present