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Physics & Astronomy

College of Arts & Sciences

David Thayer

Dr. Thayer received a Ph.D. in plasma physics theory from MIT in 1983. Dr. Thayer has expertise in the theoretical studies of plasmas, fusion energy, fluids, turbulence, nonlinear dynamics, and quantum mechanical foundations.  For more than 15 years, as a faculty member of the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at UW, he has focused on high quality physics instruction of many of the upper division undergraduate and graduate level physics theory courses (including:  classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, mathematical physics, and plasma physics), in addition to being involved in a wide variety of research projects with students and other faculty members.   Prior to joining UW in 2000, Dr. Thayer had an extensive research career in university (MIT-Plasma Fusion Center and UT-Austin, Institute for Fusion Studies), national laboratory (LBNL), and industry environments (where at SAIC-San Diego, he was involved in many innovative science business development adventures directly under the CEO, Dr. Beyster).  At UW, some of the key areas of Dr. Thayer’s  research have focused on:  a) the computational analysis of chemical plume tracing using CFD simulations associated with robotic swarms (where two representative publications are enclosed here: 1) Foundations of Swarm Robotic Chemical Plume Tracing from a Fluid Dynamics Perspective; and 2) Experimental Studies of Swarm Robotic Chemical Plume Tracing using Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations); and b) on quantum mechanical foundations of spin which have shown a critical connection to nonlinear dissipative systems which exhibit deterministic chaos (where two recent representative publications are enclosed here:  3) Understanding the Spin Correlation of Singlet State Pair Particles; and 4) Einstein was Correct:  A Deeper Level of Quantum Theory is Needed).  Finally, Dr. Thayer is passionate about his pursuit of improved interpretation of quantum mechanical systems in order to achieve pedagogical enhancements so that his quantum students will have a much better understanding of the unusual quantum reality.  Recently, as a result of this passion, while on a sabbatical during 2015, Dr. Thayer had the opportunity to write a quantum textbook, “Modern Introductory Quantum Mechanics with Interpretation.”  Furthermore, as a representative topic in the textbook, which represents a major physics pedagogy advancement for an improved understanding of the cornerstone of quantum mechanics (the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle), an optimization theory derivation of this principle is included as an appendix in the textbook (where the recent publication of this work is enclosed here:  5) Variational Analysis of Quantum Uncertainty Principle).  Ultimately, in collaboration with the PhD graduate student, Josh Heiner, a semi-classical spin simulation has demonstrated the proof of concept that quantum spin can be understood using deterministic chaos (where the publication showing this result is enclosed here:  6) Nonlinear Dynamics Semi-classical Model of Quantum Spin).


IJICC CPT Publication 2009

IJICC CPT Publication 2010

IJARPS Spin Correlation Publication 2015

IJARPS EPR Resolution Publication 2015

IJARPS Var. Anal. of Quant. Uncer. Prin. Publication 2016

IJARPS  Nonlinear Dynamics Semi-classical Model of Quantum Spin


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