William Stwalley

Distinguished Professor Emeritus


Research Interests

The cooling and trapping of neutral particles using lasers (the 1997 and 2001 Nobel Prizes in Physics) has blossomed into one of the most intellectually compelling fields of science. Many scientifically fascinating phenomena arise as the wavelike nature of atoms and molecules becomes important as the particles are cooled to milliKelvin temperatures. As the particles are further cooled to microKelvin and nanoKelvin temperatures, their DeBroglie wavelengths approach the average interparticle spacing in the gas, and “quantum degeneracy” sets in, including Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC), atom lasers and BCS pairing of fermions.



  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Harvard University, 1969
  • B.S., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1964


  • 2016-present: Research Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
  • 2016-present: Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Physics Emeritus
  • 1993-2016: Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut
  • 1993-2011: Head, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
  • 1988-1993: George Glockler Professor of Physical Sciences, University of Iowa
  • 1978-1993: Director, Iowa Laser Facility
  • 1975-1976: Associate Program Director (Quantum Chemistry), National Science Foundation
  • 1968-1993: Professor of Chemistry, University of Iowa


  • Leeds and Northrup Foundation Fellow, Harvard University, 1964-65
  • National Science Foundation Fellow, Harvard University, 1965-68
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1972-74
  • Fellow, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, 1982
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 1982-present
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America, 1988-present
  • Fellow, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, 1994-present
  • Fellow, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1995-present
  • William F. Meggers Award of the Optical Society of America, 1998
  • Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, 2002-present
  • Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2005-present
  • Connecticut Medal of Science, 2005
Contact Information
Mailing AddressDept. of Physics, University of Connecticut unit 3046, 196 Auditorium Road, Storrs, CT 06269-3046
Office LocationS322