Bason Clancy

B.S. Colorado School of Mines
M.S. Purdue University
Ph.D. Duke University


I received my Ph.D. in physics in 2008 from Duke University where I spent my free time enjoying good southern cooking, playing rugby, and watching a lot of great college basketball. While I was there I worked under Dr. John Thomas in the field of Atomic and Molecular Optics, specializing in experiments with ultracold atomic Fermions. Under certain resonant conditions, we created unique quantum fluids called strongly interacting Fermi gases. These fluids can be used to model other strongly interacting systems in nature, such as the quark-gluon plasma of the big bang, high temperature superconductors, and nuclear matter. My work focused on the hydrodynamics and thermodynamics of strongly interacting Fermi gases in different regimes. This research may seem a bit removed from the work being done in the Block lab, but the same trapping technology employed to probe the properties of proteins is also used to confine and create ultracold quantum gases.

In order to gain experience with biological systems I joined the Block lab in the fall of 2008, returning to my home state of sunny California after being gone for way too long. My main research interest is in understanding how conformational changes in proteins determine their function. Currently I am investigating the mechanical properties of the molecular motor proteins Kinesin and Eg5, which are involved with intracellular transport and cellular division, respectively.