Anthony Thomas

Professor Anthony Thomas

Aust Laureate Fellow & Elder Prof of Physics

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


After a PhD at Flinders University and experience as a staff member at TRIUMF in Canada and CERN in Geneva, Prof. Thomas arrived in Adelaide in February 1984. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Physics Department and for four years as the first Head of the new Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics. He also served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science, and was elected to the University Council from 1991 to 1997.

In 1989 he was appointed Elder Professor of Physics - the sixth person to hold the chair first held in 1886 by Sir William Bragg. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1987 and the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) in 1990. In 1987 he won the Walter Boas Medal (of the Australian Institute of Physics, the AIP), and in 1991 the Inaugural Silver Jubilee Commemoration Medal of Flinders University.

From 1991 to 1993 he served as President of the Australian Institute of Physics. This was an exciting period during which the first Strategic Plan for Physics in Australia was created and his involvement in the AIP continued as chair of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee.

From 1991 to 1996 he held an Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellowship and from 1996 to 1999 an ARC Special Investigator Award. In 1992 he was awarded a Research prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Research Foundation.

Prof. Thomas served on the Council of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) from 1992 to 1995, including a term as Vice-President from 1994 to 1995.

Following the recommendation of the Strategic Plan for Physics it was proposed to hold a competition to host the proposed National Institute for Theoretical Physics. The National Committee for Physics (of the AAS) awarded the honour to Adelaide University, in partnership with the ANU, UNSW and Flinders University in 1995, with Prof. Thomas as Director. Since that time the NITP has hosted well over 50 workshops and conferences at the partner institutions and elsewhere.

Under the framework of the NITP, a bid was prepared for a more specialized research centre working in nuclear and particle theory. This led to the award of the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM for short) in 1997.

The CSSM has been widely recognised as one of the world's major centres for research in theoretical subatomic physics and details of its staff, its workshops, visitor program, publications and other activities may be found on the Centre's web pages http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/cssm/index.html

Prof. Thomas was elected a Fellow of the (UK) Institute of Physics in 1996. In 1997 the University of Adelaide recognised his achievements through the award of the Stephen Cole the Elder Prize for Scholarship. In the same year the Academy of Science awarded him the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal. This was followed by the Harrie Massey Medal (of the UK Institute of Physics) in 2000.

In 2004, Prof. Thomas was invited to take up the position of Chief Scientist and Associate Director for Theoretical and Computational Physics at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, one of the US Department of Energy's two major fundamental nuclear physics laboratories. As well as having line management responsibility for over 300 scientists and engineers he held responsibility for the quality of entire scientific program of the laboratory, with its more than 1200 international scientific users.

Under his leadership the US$300M upgrade of the laboratory, to double its energy and add a new experimental hall was accorded the top priority in the 2007 Long Range Plan for US Nuclear Science.

In 2009 Prof. Thomas returned to the University of Adelaide as an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, one of only two appointed from outside Australia in that year. He is now Director of the University Research Centre for Complex Systems and the Structure of Matter, which incorporates the CSSM but aims for a more diverse research program building upon the expertise in mathematical modelling and high performance computing that has developed around CSSM.

Most recently, Prof. Thomas is Associate Director (and Director of the Adelaide node) of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Particle Physics at the Tera-scale. This Centre, which was formed by a national consortium involving Adelaide, Melbourne, Monash and Sydney Universities, will coordinate Australian research at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

In 2014 he was recognised as South Australian Scientist of the Year.

Prof. Thomas's work has received more than 18,000 citations in the HEP-Spires data-base, with an h-index of 72. In addition to the numerous awards and prizes mentioned earlier, Prof. Thomas was awarded a Centenary Medal (2003).

Prof. Thomas has served on numerous national and international committees. He was Secretary of Commission C12 (Nuclear Physics) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) from 1996 to 2002; he served as Chair of the National Committee for Physics (AAS) and the IUCF Visiting Committee and he also served on the Beirat at the Nuclear Physics Institute of FZ-Jülich. He served as the Chair of the Working Group on International Cooperation (WG.9) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from its inauguration in 2005 until 2011 and now serves as past-Chair. In that role he also served on the OECD Global Science Forum Working Group on Nuclear Physics (2006-2008), which prepared a world-wide roadmap for research facilities in fundamental nuclear science. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Asian Nuclear Physics Association.

Research in my group covers a broad range of topics in subatomic physics as well as econophysics. This includes the search for physics beyond the Standard Model, the nature of Dark Matter, hadron structure within QCD and the use of electroweak probes to test my ideas. In hadronic physics we are concerned with deep inelastic scattering, including spin dependence and transversity phenomena. Effective field theory is a powerful tool used within my group to link investigations within lattice QCD with experimental data, from form factors to specroscopy.

In nuclear theory our work focusses on the role of the underlying quark and gluon structure of the nucleon and its modification in-medium as the origin of many phenomena including nuclear binding and saturation. We also work closely with major laboratories around the world to reveal experimental signatures of these fundamental ideas.

In econophysics our studies range from models of the stock market to detailed examination of the dynamics of the order book as well as topics in actuarial studies. 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2009 ARC Australian Laureate Fellow Adelaide University
    2004 - 2009 Chief Scientist and Associate Director for Theoretical and Computational Physics Jefferson Lab
    1989 Elder Professor of Physics Adelaide University
    1984 Professor of Physics Adealide University
    1982 - 1984 Staff Member Theory Division CERN
    1976 - 1983 Staff Member Theory Group TRIUMF
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    French Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1986 Adelaide University Australia DSc
    1971 - 1973 Flinders University Australia PhD
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2006 Chartered Scientist The Science Council United Kingdom
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Principal Supervisor Changes of Hadron Structure in Medium Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Anthony Michael Kalaitzis
    2018 Principal Supervisor CP Violation in the Standard Model Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Liam Christopher Hockley
    2018 Principal Supervisor Quantum Chromodynamics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Joseph James Hall
    2017 Co-Supervisor Applications of Expectation. Maximisation Algorithm for Mixed Distributions. Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Christopher Luke Diassinas
    2017 Principal Supervisor Equation of State of Rotating Neutron Stars Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Wasif Husain
    2017 Principal Supervisor Nuclear Physics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Theo Motta
    2016 Principal Supervisor Odd-mass Finite Nuclei in the Quark-Meson Coupling Model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kay Marie Lucenes Martinez
    2016 Principal Supervisor Studies in Hadron Structure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Robert James Perry
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Reliable Statistical Methods and their Applications for Testing Incomplete Multidisciplinary Data Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Jake Callum Guscott
    2016 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Structure Functions in Medium and the Polarized EMC Effect Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Stephen Tronchin
    2012 - 2012 Other Uncovering the critical roles of magnesium and substance P in central nervous system injury Doctor of Science Higher Doctorate Full Time Prof Robert Vink
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Strangeness and Charge Symmetry Violation in Nucleon Structure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Phiala Elisabeth Shanahan
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Nonperturbative Aspects of Kaon Structure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Parada Tobel Paraduan Hutauruk
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Supersymmetric Dark Matter in the NMSSM and E6SSM Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sophie Underwood
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Hadrons and Quarks in Dense Matter: From Nuclear Matter to Neutron Stars Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Daniel Leslie Whittenbury
    2011 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Resonance in a Finite Volume in Quantum Chromodynamics Master of Science Master Full Time Mr Anthony Chi-Pin Hsu
    2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Hadron Structure in Electroweak Precision Measurements Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nathan Luke Hall
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor PROPERTIES OF HADRONS FROM A NON-PERTURBATIVE APPROACH Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Manuel Eduardo Carrillo Serrano
    2010 - 2011 Principal Supervisor Modelling the Nucleon Axial Form Factor in a Finite Volume Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Nathan Luke Hall
    2010 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Hadron Structure in Deep Inelastic Scattering Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Andrew Casey
    2009 - 2016 Co-Supervisor A Theoretical Investigation of Roles of Backbone Amide Resonance in Protein Structure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr John Neville Sharley
    2004 - 2004 Principal Supervisor Investigations in Non-perturbative QCD Master of Science Master Full Time Mr Jonathan Ashley
    2003 - 2007 Principal Supervisor Nucleon Structure Functions, their Medium Modification and the Polarized EMC effect Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ian Cloet
    2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Complexity and Self-organization: Data Analysis and Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Marco Bartolozzi
    2001 - 2006 Principal Supervisor A Unified Approach to Nuclear Matter and Quark Matter Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Sarah Irene Lawley
    2001 - 2005 Principal Supervisor Finite-Range Regularisation of Chiral Effective Field Theory Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Ross Young
    1999 - 2003 Principal Supervisor Direct CP Violation in B Decays Including p - w Mixing And Covariant Light-Font Dynamics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Olivier Leitner
    1998 - 2002 Principal Supervisor Structure functions in the three nucleon system Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Francois Bissey
    1998 - 2002 Principal Supervisor Nonpertubative Approaches to Quantum Chromodynamics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr William Detmold
    1998 - 2002 Principal Supervisor Chiral Symmetry and the Extraction of Hadron Properties from Lattice QCD Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Stewart Wright
    1996 - 2003 Principal Supervisor On a Dynamical Origin for Fermion Generations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr James Bashford
  • Position: Aust Laureate Fellow & Elder Prof of Physics
  • Phone: 83133547
  • Email: anthony.thomas@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4380
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Physics, floor 1
  • Room: 1 26
  • Org Unit: Physics

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