is an American
physicist and the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University
. In 2007, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences
Gerald Gabrielse studied at Trinity Christian College
for two years and then moved to Calvin College
. He graduated with a B.S. (honors) from Calvin College. He then completed his M.S. (1975) and Ph.D. (1980) in physics from the University of Chicago
After completing his PhD, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington
. He became a professor of physics at Harvard University
in 1987. He was named the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University in 2003.
Gabrielse led the international TRAP team that developed the techniques to accumulate antiprotons at 4 K - an energy more than 1010
times lower than previously realized. These techniques are being used in all efforts to produce and study cold antihydrogen. These techniques also led to the most stringent CPT test with baryons when the charge-to-mass ratio of a single antiproton and proton were compared to 9 parts in 1011, an accuracy improved by nearly a factor of a million.
Gabrielse also led The international ATRAP Collaboration which now uses these antiprotons to produce cold antihydrogen atoms, an important step towards comparing antihydrogen and hydrogen atoms via precise laser spectroscopy. The group's nested Penning trap, invented and demonstrated at Harvard University as a method for getting cold antiprotons and cold positrons to interact, was the crucial device that first permitted the observation of cold antihydrogen. ATRAP's first demonstration of positron cooling in a nested Penning trap established the crucial technique needed to first produce cold antihydrogen; ATRAP and others then used this device and method to observe cold antihydrogen. ATRAP's field ionization detection technique allowed a background-free observation and the first measurement of states of antihydrogen being produced, and their method to drive the production of antihydrogen substantially increased the production rate. ATRAP also demonstrated a second method to produce slow antihydrogen, for the first time using lasers to control the production via a charge exchange method.
Gabrielse identifies himself as a Reformed Christian
scientist. He said:
I do not believe that science and the Bible are in conflict. However, it is possible to misunderstand the Bible and to misunderstand science. It is important to figure out what of each might be misunderstood.
On an episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien
that aired on February 21, 2007, Jim Carrey and Conan O'Brien humorously discussed content from a paper entitled, "Stochastic Phase-Switching of a Parametrically-Driven Electron in a Penning Trap Gerald Gabrielse said that it was 'perhaps the most obscure paper I've ever written'.