After receiving his PhD in 1954 (under the guidance of Sam Legvold), Tom Rossing did research on magnetic thin films at the UNIVAC Division of Sperry Rand in St. Paul. In 1957 he joined the faculty of St. Olaf College, and in 1971 became a Professor of Physics at Northern Illinois University. He has served terms as department chair at both of these institutions. At various times in his career, he has done research on molecular relaxation, magnetic spin waves, magnetic levitation, the acoustics of musical instruments, singing, and psychoacoustics.
Physics has taken him to many interesting places, and has given lectures on five continents. During leaves of absence from his home institutions he has done research at Stanford, MIT, Oxford, Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), the Institute for Perception Research (Eindhoven), Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (Braunschweig), the Fraunhofer Institut (Stuttgart), University of New England (Australia), Ecole Nationale Sup?rieure des T?l?communications (Paris), and Argonne National Laboratory.
Throughout his career he has managed to maintain an equal balance between physics research and teaching; his Millikan Medal (from the American Association of Physics Teachers) and Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics (from the Acoustical Society of America) lie side by side. Tom has 350 publications, including 15 books, 9 U.S. and 11 foreign patents, and has been elected to fellowship in ASA, APS, and AAAS. He has also served as president of the AAPT.