Dr. Thomas R. Gentile’s research has focused primarily on the development and application of polarized 3He-based neutron spin filters to neutron scattering, fundamental neutron physics and polarized neutron imaging. These devices rely on the large spin dependence of the absorption of neutrons by 3He gas, which is nuclear spin-polarized by optical pumping. Dr. Gentile was recently a co-author on a review paper that covers the optical pumping methods and the use of polarized 3He for a variety of applications. Dr. Gentile has also has contributed to other fundamental neutron physics experiments, in particular the neutron radiative decay experiment.
Dr. Gentile has been a member of the Neutron Physics group since 1996, after working in optical power measurements in the Radiometric Physics Division for his first three years at NIST. Before coming to NIST in 1993, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where he was introduced to polarized 3He for application to nuclear physics targets. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990 with a thesis in atomic physics under Prof. Daniel Kleppner entitled “Microwave Spectroscopy and Atom-Photon Interactions in Rydberg States of Calcium” and his B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1979.
Dr. Gentile’s NIST awards include a Bronze Medal (2018) and an Allen V. Astin Award (2011). He was elected to Fellowship in the American Physical Society in 2009 through the Topical Group on Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants. Dr. Gentile is an author on about 130 publications and conference proceedings.