Department Directory

Thomas Rossing

General Information

  • Professor Emeritus, 2002 - present
  • Professor, NIU, 1971 - 2002
  • Distinguished Research Professor, NIU, 1987 - 2002
  • Professor, St. Olaf College, 1957 - 1971
  • Visiting Professor, Stanford University, 2005 - present
  • B.A, Luther College, 1950; M.S. (1952) and Ph.D. (1954), Iowa State University
  • Visiting Professor, Edinburgh University (Scotland), Seoul National University (Korea), University of New England (Australia)
  • Home Address: 26464 Taaffe Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • Stanford address: CCRMA, Dept. of Music, Stanford, CA 94305
  • E-mail:

Professional Information

  • Professional Society memberships: American Physical Society (Fellow); Acoustical Society of America (Fellow); IEEE (Life Fellow); American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow); American Association of Physics Teachers (President, 1991).
  • Special Honors: Gold medal in acoustics (ASA); Robert A. Millikan medal (AAPT); Silver medal in musical acoustics (ASA); Rayleigh medal (Mexican Institute of Acoustics); Award of Houour (Acoustical Society of India); biography in Who's Who in America; biography in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
  • Publications: Author of more than 400 publications, including 17 books, 9 US and 11 foreign patents, mainly in acoustics, solid state physics, magnetism, environmental noise control, and physics education.

Most Recent Books

  • Science of String Instruments (Springer, New York, 2010)
  • Springer Handbook of Acoustics (Springer, New York, 2007)
  • Principles of Vibration and Sound, 2nd edition, with N. H. Fletcher (Springer, New York, 2004)
  • Science of Percussion Instruments (World Scientific, Singapore, 2000)
  • Light Science, with C. J. Chiaverina (Springer, New York, 1999)
  • Physics of Musical Instruments, with N. H. Fletcher (Springer, New York, 1998)

Research Interests

  • Musical Acoustics
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Vibrational Analysis
  • Magnetic levitation 
  • Surface effects in fusion reactors
  • Spin waves in metals
  • Physics education

Thomas Rossing

Thomas Rossing

Professor Emeritus