Dr. Theodore Corcovilos, Ph.D.

Theodore Corcovilos

Associate Professor of Physics
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Physics

309C Fisher Hall
Phone: 412.396.5973


Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA
B.A., University of Tennessee – Knoxville (UTK), Knoxville, TN

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. Assistant Professor of Physics. August 2013-present.

The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), University Park, PA. Postdoctoral scholar.
Advisor: Prof. David S. Weiss. April 2010-July 2013.

Rice University, Houston, TX. Postdoctoral research associate.
Advisor: Prof. Randall G. Hulet. October 2007-April 2010.

Dr. Theodore (Ted) Corcovilos joined the Duquesne University Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. He earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics in 2008 from the California Institute of Technology and a B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as a College Scholar (Physics and Mathematics) in 1999. Prior to coming to Duquesne, Dr. Corcovilos held postdoctoral research positions at Rice University and the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Corcovilos's research covers a broad range of interests in Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. In addition to his primary research on quantum states of matter, Dr. Corcovilos has several interdisciplinary projects applying optical methods to analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental science.

Dr. Corcovilos is a member of the American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, the Optical Society of America, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute.


• Quantum degenerate atomic gases
• Laser spectroscopy and its applications
• Optical theory and applications
• Design of low-cost detection equipment for analytical chemistry and environmental science


• PHYS 302 (Optics)
• PHYS 473 (Electrodynamics)
• PHYS 474 (Quantum Mechanics)
• PHYS 475 (Advanced Quantum Mechanics)
• Development of equipment for PHYS 312 (Optics Lab) and PHYS 364 (Modern Physics Lab)


Dissociation of Gas-Phase, Doubly-Charged Uranyl-Acetone Complexes by Collisional Activation and Infrared Photodissociation. Michael J. Van Stipdonk, Catherine O'Malley, Alexandra Plaviak, Dean Martin, Jordan Pestok, Patricia A. Mihm, Cassandra G. Hanley, Theodore A. Corcovilos, John K. Gibson, and Benjamin J. Bythell. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 396, 22-34 (2016).

Coherent Addressing of Individual Neutral Atoms in a 3D Optical Lattice. Yang Wang, Xianli Zhang, Theodore A. Corcovilos, Aishwarya Kumar, and David S. Weiss. Physical Review Letters 115, 043003 (2015).

3D projection sideband cooling. X. Li, T.A. Corcovilos, Y. Wang, D.S. Weiss. Physical Review Letters 108, 103001 (2012).

All-optical production of a lithium quantum gas using narrow-line laser cooling. P.M. Duarte, R.A. Hart, J.M. Hitchcock, T.A. Corcovilos, T.-L. Yang, A. Reed, R.G. Hulet. Physical Review A 84, 061406 (2011).

Detecting antiferromagnetic ordering of atoms in an optical lattice via optical Bragg scattering. T.A. Corcovilos, S.K. Baur, J.M. Hitchcock, E.J. Mueller, and R.G. Hulet. Physical Review A 81, 013415 (2010).

Extreme tunability of interactions in a 7Li Bose-Einstein condensate. S.E. Pollack, D. Dries, M. Junker, Y.P. Chen, T.A. Corcovilos, and R.G. Hulet. Physical Review Letters 102, 090402 (2009).

Experimental studies of Bose-Einstein condensates in disorder. Yong P. Chen, J. Hitchcock, D. Dries, M. Junker, C. Welford, S.E. Pollack, T.A. Corcovilos, R.G. Hulet, Physica D 238, 1321 (2009).

Multi-frequency Superconducting Cavity Stabilized Oscillators (SCSO) for quantum-gas measurements and gravitational physics. T.A. Corcovilos, D.M. Strayer, N. Asplund and N.-C. Yeh. Journal of Low Temperature Physics 134, 431-436 (2004).

Experimental investigation of the asymmetric spectroscopic characteristics of electron- and hole-doped cuprates. N.-C. Yeh, C.-T. Chen, A.D. Beyer, C.R. Hughes, T.A. Corcovilos, and S.I. Lee. Physica C 408-410, 792-793 (2004).

Project SEE (Satellite Energy Exchange): An international effort to develop a space-based mission for precise measurements of gravitation. A.J. Sanders, A.D. Alexeev, S.W. Allison, V. Antonov, K.A. Bronnikov, J.W. Campbell, M.R. Cates, T.A. Corcovilos, D.D. Earl, T. Gadfort, G.T. Gillies, M.J. Harris, N.I. Kolosnitsyn, M.Yu. Konstantinov, V.N. Melnikov, R.J. Newby, R.G. Schunk, and L.L. Smalley. Classical and Quantum Gravity 17, 2331-2346 (2000).

Project SEE (Satellite Energy Exchange): Proposal for space-based gravitational measurements. A.J. Sanders, A.D. Alexeev, S.W. Allison, K.A. Bronnikov, J.W. Campbell, M.R. Cates, T.A. Corcovilos, D.D. Earl, T. Gadfort, G.T. Gillies, M.J. Harris, N.I. Kolosnitsyn, M.Yu. Konstantinov, V.N. Melnikov, R.J. Newby, R.G. Schunk, and L.L. Smalley. Measurement Science and Technology 10, 514-524 (1999).

Professional Memberships and Service

Professional Memberships

  • American Physical Society, member (1997-present).
  • Optical Society of America, member (2012-present).
  • American Association of Physics Teachers, member (2013-present).
  • Society of Physics Students, faculty member (1996-present).
  • Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, member (2013-present), executive board member (2014-present), program committee (2014-present).
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy, member (2016-present)


  • DU Division of Academic Affairs, STEM education working group member (2015).
  • DU Office of Research, Research computing working group member (2015).
  • DU Office of Research, Faculty Development Fund award committee member (2015).
  • DU Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, plenary session moderator (2015, 2014).
  • DU Undergraduate Research Program Ethics Forum, moderator (2014).
  • DU Undergraduate Research Program Ethics Forum, group mentor (2014).
  • BSNES Academic Integrity violation panel (2015).
  • BSNES Assistant dean search committee member (2015).
  • BSNES Mitch Johnson Student Service Award, award committee member (2015).
  • Physics Dept. Computer committee (2015-present).
  • Physics Dept. Hiring committee for Director of Instructional Laboratories, member (2013).
  • Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, Regional 7 Committee, alternate member (2016)
  • Libermann Hall Foucault Pendulum installation, faculty mentor (2014-present).
Research Interests
  • Experimental modeling of condensed matter systems using ultracold atoms, in particular building analogs to look at the microscopic behavior of junctions between different materials.
  • Quantum computing and studies of quantum information using ultracold atoms.
  • Applied infrared and UV/visible optical spectroscopy for chemical detection and analysis
  • Development of inexpensive laboratory equipment using 3D printed materials and microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino)