Erik Thomson


Department of Chemistry & Molecular
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 7 B
41390 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 462
40530 Göteborg

About Erik Thomson

My research focuses on fundamental physics of the atmosphere and cryosphere. I am particularly interested in the role of important phase transition behaviors in the environment.

For example, ice is an interesting material of study for a number of reasons. It is an important variable in climate, cloud physics, and atmospheric chemistry, and as a polycrystalline material commonly near its melting temperature, ice is an analogue for other polycrystalline solids (e.g. metals, rocks, minerals) near coexistence. In all of these materials, polycrystalline surfaces exhibit a range of interesting phase transition behaviors. These surfaces are where phase exchange occurs, chemistry is catalyzed, and where impurities are segregated.

I work within the Atmospheric Science group in the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology. I supervise PhD students at GU, including L. Dos Santos and N. Faure, and help to supervise students at Chalmers (H. Frostenberg) plus many students working on Bachelor and Master-level projects. We use analytical tools like mass spectrometry, spectroscopy, molecular beams, ice particle counters, and others to test theories and gain physical insight in laboratory experiments and field work around the world.

Our research helps to develop a fundamental physical understanding of ice surfaces and structures in environmental conditions of geophysical relevance. This research is important for understanding a broad range of important phenomena, from ozone depletion to cloud processes.