Shina Tan
Associate Professor
Ph.D. in Physics, University of Chicago 2006
M.S. in Physics, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 2000
B.S. in Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 1997
Research Interests

Ultracold atoms and molecules, Superfluidity, Superconductivity

There is a unifying theme across multiple fields of physics: if some particles have wave lengths comparable to their average distance, their properties must be described quantum mechanically. These include nuclear physics, as in atomic nuclei and neutron stars, in which the neutrons and/or protons are considered "cold" even at temperatures many orders of magnitude higher than room temperature, a large part of condensed matter / material physics, where electrons are the objects of main interest and are usually quantum degenerate, and the physics of cold atoms and molecules.

I am currently studying the quantum many-body and few-body theory of atoms and molecules (either fermions or bosons) at nanokelvin temperature scales, whose interaction strengths can be experimentally tuned across many orders of magnitude. In the few-body sector, topics include Efimov effect at large scattering length, mixed dimensionality (in the sense that different particles live in different spatial dimensions, and interact with each other), and effective three-body interactions. In the many-body sector, topics include exact relations among various physical observables, physics in one spatial dimension, and new states of matter for future experimental realization. My research area lies at the interface of condensed matter and Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physics. It also has intriguing connections to nuclear physics and particle physics (for instance, the effective three-body interaction is relevant for both cold atoms and mesons).

Another area of current interest is the application of quantum many-body theory to classical systems such as directed polymers. The interaction of the two areas is a two-way road. In the exploration of the classical systems, I got a deeper insight into quantum systems, such as ultracold atomic gases confined in a box trap.

Current students: Shangguo Zhu and Kevin Driscoll.

On a personal note, I am happily married. My wife and I have a daughter born in 2013.

Honors and Awards:
Overseas Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship 2011
George E. Valley Prize, American Physical Society 2010
Valentine Telegdi Prize, Department of Physics, University of Chicago
Excellent Graduate, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


  • Shi-Guo PengShina Tan, and Kaijun JiangManipulation of p-wave scattering of cold atoms in low dimensions using the magnetic field vectorarXiv:1312.3392 (2013);
  • Shangguo Zhu and Shina Tan, Universality in s-wave and higher partial-wave Feshbach resonances: An illustration with a single atom near two scattering centers, Phys. Rev. A 87, 063629 (2013);
  • D. Zeb Rocklin, Shina Tan, and Paul M. Goldbart, Directed-polymer systems explored via their quantum analogs: Topological constraints and their consequences, Phys. Rev. B 86, 165421 (2012);
  • Shina Tan, Universal Bound States of Two Particles in Mixed Dimensions or Near a Mirror, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 020401 (2012);
  • Shina Tan, Universal Energy Functional for Trapped Fermi Gases with Short Range Interactions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 145302 (2011);
  • Yusuke Nishida and Shina Tan, Liberating Efimov physics from three dimensions,
    Few-Body Syst. 51, 191 (2011);
  • Yusuke Nishida and Shina Tan, Confinement-induced p-wave resonances from s-wave interactions, Phys. Rev. A 82, 062713 (2010);
  • Shina Tan, M. Pustilnik, and L. I. Glazman, Relaxation of a High-Energy Quasiparticle in a One-Dimensional Bose Gas, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 090404 (2010);
  • Yusuke Nishida and Shina Tan, Confinement-induced Efimov resonances in Fermi-Fermi mixtures, Phys. Rev. A 79, 060701(R) (2009); 
  • Yusuke Nishida and Shina Tan, Universal Fermi gases in mixed dimensions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 170401 (2008);
  • Yusuke Nishida, D. T. Son, and Shina Tan, Universal Fermi Gas with Two- and Three- Body Resonances, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 090405 (2008);
  • Shina Tan, Three-boson problem at low energy and Implications for dilute Bose-Einstein condensates, Phys. Rev. A 78, 013636 (2008);
  • Shina Tan, Generalized Virial Theorem and Pressure Relation for a strongly correlated Fermi gas, Annals of Physics 323 (2008) 2987-2990;
  • Shina Tan, Large momentum part of a strongly correlated Fermi gas, Annals of Physics 323 (2008) 2971-2986;
  • Shina Tan, Energetics of a strongly correlated Fermi gas, Annals of Physics 323 (2008) 2952-2970;
  • Shina Tan and K. Levin, Modified many-body wave function for BCS-BEC crossover in Fermi gases, Phys. Rev. A 74, 043606 (2006);
  • Qijin Chen, J. Stajic, Shina Tan, and K. Levin, BCS-BEC Crossover: From High Temperature Superconductors to Ultracold Superfluids, Phys. Rep. 412, 1-88 (2005);
  • Shina Tan and K. Levin, Nernst effect and anomalous transport in cuprates: A preformed-pair alternative to the vortex scenario, Phys. Rev. B 69, 064510 (2004);
  • Shina Tan, Analytical structure matching and very precise approach to the Coulombic quantum three-body problem, Commun. Theor. Phys. (Beijing, China) 35, 71-77 (2001).