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(Ph. D. MIT, 1983) Expertise in: Plasma Physics; Fusion Physics; Fluid Physics; Turbulence Theory; Nonlinear Dynamics; CFD; Quantum Mechanical Foundations; and Chemical Plume Tracing Using Robotic Swarms.
Dr. Thayer is currently an Associate Academic Professional in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wyoming (UW). For more than 10 years as a faculty member at UW, he has been passionate about providing high quality instruction in all areas of upper division physics theory courses (including: classical mechanics; electricity and magnetism; quantum mechanics; mathematical physics; and plasma physics). In addition to his focus on teaching excellence, Dr. Thayer has extensively been involved in the development of novel chemical plume tracing (CPT) approaches using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations in conjunction with robotic swarm experiments, in collaboration with the Computer Science and the Mathematics Depts. at UW. Links to two of his most recent CPT refereed publications are provided below.
"Foundations of swarm robotic chemical plume tracing from a fluid dynamics perspective," D. Spears, D. Thayer, and D. Zarzhitsky, International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, Special Issue on Swarm Robotics, 2, pp. 745-785 (2009).
"Experimental studies of swarm robotic chemical plume tracing using computational fluid dynamics simulations," D. Zarzhitsky, D. Spears, and D. Thayer, International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, in press (2010).
Throughout Dr. Thayer's extensive career he has always been in the pursuit of a deep understanding of quantum mechanical foundations. Prior to joining the UW faculty, and after retiring from his physics research career and several years running a stock trading fund, Dr. Thayer spent four sabbatical years formulating an infinite complexity hidden variable theory of spin which agrees with quantum mechanical predictions, and thus does not have the limitation of failing Bell Inequality tests. Although a complete understanding of all quantum mechanical phenomena is still beyond his reach, in a similar manner to Dr. David Bohm's focus throughout his career, Dr. Thayer's drive towards such fundamental pursuits has never waned.
Previous positions that Dr. Thayer has held have been: as a Senior Scientist at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) working directly under the CEO, Dr. J. Robert Beyster, on business development for this multi-billion dollar research corporation; as a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) at the University of California at Berkeley; and as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at the Institute for Fusion Studies (IFS) at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Plasma Fusion Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In these areas of research alone, Dr. Thayer has over 50 publications, where a couple representative publications are given below.
"Thermally driven turbulence and transport in a sheared system," D.R.Thayer and P.H. Diamond, Phys. Rev. Lett., 65, p. 2784 (1990).
"Wave propagation in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies through the turbulent edge," D.R. Thayer, Phys. Fluids B, 1, p. 1818 (1989).