Thomas Mason Phd


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physics and Astronomy

Young Hall 3048B | Young Hall 2024, 2041 (labs)


  • BS (Physics with High Honors, Electrical Engineering), University of Maryland, College Park, 1989
  • MA, Princeton University, 1991
  • PhD, Princeton University, 1995

Awards and Positions

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2008
  • Gallery of Fluid Motion Award (American Institute of Physics and APS DFD), 2007
  • Intel New Faculty Award, Intel Corporation, 2006
  • Glenn T. Seaborg Award (Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma), 2006
  • Gallery of Fluid Motion Award (American Institute of Physics and APS DFD), 2006
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2005
  • John McTague Career Development Chair (UCLA Dept. of Chemistry & Biochem.), 2003
  • Exxon Graduate Research Fellow, 1992
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 1989
  • Joseph Henry Prize in Physics, Princeton University, 1989
  • Summa cum Laude in Physics and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, 1989
  • Maryland Dstinguished Scholar, 1985
  • Chancellor’s Scholar, University of Maryland, College Park, 1985

Research Interests

  • Microrheology: measuring the dynamic mechanical shear
    properties of viscoelastic soft materials over an extraordinarily large
    range of time scales by optically observing the diffusive motion of
    micron-sized probe particles embedded in these materials
  • Shear-induced structures in complex fluids: emulsification,
    shear-banding, shear-ordering
  • Neutron and light scattering from nanomaterials:
    asphaltenes, clays, droplets, polymers
  • Directed assembly of nanoparticles in solution using
    shape-dependent attractive interactions
  • Free boundary flows in microfluidic devices
  • Structure and dynamics of soft complex fluids

Recent Papers

  1. Zhu X., Fryd M.M., Huang J.R., Mason T.G., “Optically probing nanoemulsion compositions,” Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2012 Jan 16. (Epub ahead of print)
  2. Mayoral K., Kennair T.P., Zhu X., Milazzo J., Ngo K., Fryd M.M., Mason T.G., “Rotational Fourier tracking of diffusing polygons,” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Nov;84(5-1):051405. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
  3. Datta S.S., Gerrard D.D., Rhodes T.S., Mason T.G., Weitz D.A., “Rheology of attractive emulsions,” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phsy. 2011 Oct;84(4-1):041404. Epub 2011 Oct 25.
  4. Zhao K., Mason T.G., “Frustrated rotator crystals and glasses of Brownian pentagons,” Phys Rev lett. 2009 Nov 14;104(20):208302. Epub 2009 Nov 10.
  5. Zhao K., Mason T.G., “Suppressing and enhancing depletion attractions between surfaces roughened by asperities,” Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Oct 3;101(14):148301. Epub 2008 Sep 29.
  6. Hanson J.A., Chang C.B., Graves S.M., Li Z., Mason T.G., Deming T.J., “Nanoscale double emulsions stabilized by single-component block copolypeptidesm,” Nature. 2008 Sep 4;455(7209):85-8.
  7. Wilking J.N., Mason T.G., “Optically driven nonlinear microrheology of gelatin,” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 May;77*5 Pt 2):055101. Epub 2008 May 6.
  8. Zhao K., Mason T.G., “Directing colloidal self-assembly through roughness-controlled depletion attractions,” Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Dec 31;9((26):268301. Epub 2007 Dec 28.
  9. Cubaud T., Mason T.G., “Swirling of viscous fluid threads in microchannel,” Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jun 29;98(26):264501. Epub 2007 28.
  10. Wilking J.N., Mason T.G., “Irreversible shear-induced vitrification of droplets into elastic nanoemulsions by extreme rupturing,” Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2007 Apr;75(4 Pt 1):041407. Epub 2007 Apr 23.