Ed Fry's research interests lie in atomic physics and light scattering: foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum optics, laser excitation and ionization of atoms, surface scattering of hydrogen atoms, multichannel scattered light polarization analysis.
He is internationally known for his work in quantum mechanics, quantum optics and other research areas.
Fry also helped secure funding that established both Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin as founding members in the Giant Magellan Telescope project, a $1 billion effort to build the largest ground-based telescope in the world at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Texas’ two flagship universities are joined by several other influential U.S. research institutions — including Harvard University, the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago — in the international project currently under construction and set to begin science operations within the next decade.
In addition to academia, Fry served his profession as director of the Texas Laser Laboratory at the Houston Advanced Research Center in The Woodlands from 1994 to 1997. His research interests lie in the areas of atomic physics and light scattering, foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum optics, laser excitation and ionization of atoms, surface scattering of hydrogen atoms, multichannel scattered light polarization analysis and ocean optics.
A fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, Fry also is a member of the scientific research society Sigma Xi, which honored him with its Texas A&M Distinguished Scientist Award for 2001. He has twice received Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in both Teaching (1993) and Administration (2012), in addition to the Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics’ EG&G Medal in 1995. He also serves as deputy director of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and as a member of its Advocate Council.
He is a distinguished professor and associate department head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy in the College of Science at Texas A&M.
Fry earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Michigan, where he spent a year and a half as a visiting associate professor from 1977 to 1979. He was appointed as a distinguished professor, Texas A&M’s highest honorific rank for faculty, in 2010.