My research interests lie in the areas of experimental and computational Plasma Physics. This work has applications in basic plasma physics, laboratory studies of space and astrophysical plasmas, plasma processing and fusion diagnostics.  My primary research is conducted in the Magnetized Plasma Research Laboratory.

I'm presently involved in the following research topics:

  1. Dusty or Complex Plasmas
    • Transport and thermodynamics of dusty plasmas
    • Development and operation of a multi-user facility for magnetized dusty plasmas
    • Diagnostic development, waves, and transport in microgravity complex plasmas

  2. Plasma flows in magnetized plasmas
    • Multi-scale studies of electrostatic instabilities in plasmas with sheared flows.
    • Properties of lower hybrid and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in laboratory and space plasmas.

This research is supported by grants from:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES)
  • Defense of Defense (DoD) - Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

As of Summer, 2019, Prof. Thomas has led research activities that have received over $11 million in external funding. 

Selected recent research publications:
(A complete list of Prof. Thomas' publication is in his ORCID ID or his  CV

  • T. Hall, E. Thomas Jr, K. Avinash, R. Merlino, and M. Rosenberg, "Methods for the characterization of imposed, ordered structures in MDPX," Phys. Plasmas 25, 103702 (2018). [Featured as the Cover Article in October, 2018 issue of Physics of Plasmas]
  • S. Jaiswal, T. Hall, S. LeBlanc, R. Mukherjee, and E. Thomas, "Effect of magnetic field on the phase transition in a dusty plasma," Phys. Plasmas 24, 113703 (2017). [Selected as highlighted article - AIP Scilight]
  • M. Puttscher, A. Melzer, U. Konopka, S. LeBlanc, B. Lynch, and E. Thomas, Jr., Vertical oscillations of dust particles in a strongly magnetized plasma sheath induced by horizontal laser manipulation, Physics. Plasmas, 24, 013701 (2017) [First collaborative paper from MDPX project]
  • E. Thomas Jr, U. Konopka, R. L. Merlino, and M. Rosenberg, Initial measurements of two- and three-dimensional ordering, waves, and plasma filamentation in the Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment, Phys. Plasmas 23, 055701 (2016). [Selected as a Featured Article for the August, 2016 issue] 
  • B. Lynch, U. Konopka, and E. Thomas, Real-Time Particle Tracking in Complex Plasmas,  IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 44, 553–557 (2016).
  • T. H. Hall and E. Thomas, A Study of Ion Drag for Ground and Microgravity Dusty Plasma Experiments, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 44, 463–468 (2016). [Selected as a Featured Article for the April, 2016 issue]
  • I. Arnold, E. Thomas, S. D. Loch, S. Abdel-Naby, and C. P. Ballance, The dielectronic recombination of Ar+ - Ar4+, J. Phys B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys., 48, 175005 (2015).
  • A. M. DuBois, E. Thomas, W. E. Amatucci, and G. Ganguli, Plasma Response to a Varying Degree of Stress, Phys. Rev. Lett., 111, 145002 (2013).
  • R. Fisher, K. Avinash, E. Thomas, R. Merlino, and V. Gupta, Thermal energy density of dust in dusty plasmas: Experiment and theory, Phys. Rev. E, 88, 031101 (2013).
  • E. Thomas, Jr., R. L. Merlino, and M. Rosenberg, Magnetized dusty plasmas:  the next frontier for complex plasma research, Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion, 54, 124034 (2012).    
  • Jeremiah Williams, Edward Thomas, Jr., Lenaic Couëdel, Alexei Ivlev, Sergey Zhdanov, Vladimir Nosenko, Hubertus Thomas, and Gregor Morfill, Kinetics of the melting front in two-dimensional plasma crystals: Complementary analysis with the particle image and particle tracking velocimetries, Phys. Rev. E, 86, 046401 (2012).     
  • A. C. Eadon, E. Tejero, A. DuBois, and E. Thomas, Jr., Upgrades to the Auburn Linear Experiment for Instability Studies, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82, 063511 (2011).
  • E. M. Tejero, W. E. Amatucci, G. Ganguli, C. D. Cothran, C. Crabtree, and E. Thomas, Jr., Spontaneous Electromagnetic Emission from a Strongly Localized Plasma Flow, Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 185001 (2011).
  • Robert Jefferson, Mark Cianciosa, and Edward Thomas, Jr., Simulations of one- and two-dimensional complex plasmas using a modular, object-oriented code, Phys. Plasmas, 17, 113704 (2010).
  • Edward Thomas, Jr., Driven dust acoustic waves with thermal effects - comparison of experiment to fluid theory, Phys. Plasmas, 17, 043701 (2010).
  • Edward Thomas, Jr., Dust clouds in dc-generated dusty plasmas: transport, waves, and three-dimensional effects, Contr. Plasma Phys., 49, 316 (2009) [Review article].
© Edward Thomas, Auburn University 2019