Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Ohio State has long been a center for atomic, molecular and optical physics (AMO physics). The research program in AMO goes beyond traditional spectroscopic studies, encompassing laser physics, ultrafast optical physics, laser-plasma processes, investigations of planetary atmospheres and the interstellar medium, optical cooling and trapping of atoms, network and quantum information sciences. The department enjoys collaborations with strong laser groups in the Department of Chemistry including the Laser Spectroscopy Facility, which is a state-of-the-art laser laboratory. In addition, Ohio State is a leader in ultrafast technologies to study atoms and molecules, ranging from isolated lasermatter interactions to solvent-solute interactions in liquids to laser-induced fusion processes.
Graduate students are a key element in the success of the programs. Many opportunities for research exist within the department, across disciplines and beyond. Graduate students are involved in the following research areas:

Optical Lattice

  • Quantum electronics working with millimeter and submillimeter waves; laboratory astrophysics and upper atmosphere physics; molecular collisions and chemical 
  • physics.
  • Network science studying the dynamics of networks.
  • Quantum information science research - how does the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics give rise to new methods for communication and computing?
  • Using laser light to manipulate the translational degrees of freedom of atoms. Atomic samples at ultra-cold (less than 1 millikelvin) temperatureStrong Fields may be obtained.
  • Multiphoton ionization of atoms and molecules.
  • Ultrashort laser-plasma interactions.
  • Coherent control of atomic systems.
  • Propagation of intense laser pulses through solids, liquids and gasses. This involves super continuum generation, intensity  dependent group velocity dispersion, plasma generation and other effects.
  • High Energy Density Physics, a relatively new field of the experimental study of matter at the extremes of density and temperature. Although not found naturally on earth, it is the most abundant form of matter in the universe: stars (

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics faculty

Pierre Agostini, Professor Emeritus
Doctorat, Universite Aix Marseille, 1967
Muliphoton Processes
Strong field interaction, high harmonic generation
Attosecond pulses, AttoPhysics
Kramer Akli, Assistant Research Professor
PhD, University of California, Davis, 2006
QED in extremely intense laser fields
Laser driven ion acceleration
High order harmonics from plasmas
Hot dense & warm dense matter
C. David Andereck, Emeritus Professor
PhD, Rutgers University, 1980
High energy density physics
Enam A. Chowdhury, Research Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Delaware, 2004
Short pulse lasers
Ultra-fast dynamics of solids
Ultra-intense and high energy density laser matter
Frank C. De Lucia, Distinguished University Professor
PhD, Duke University, 1969
Quantum electronics, millimeter and submillimeter waves
Laboratory astrophysics, upper atmospheric physics
Molecular spectroscopy and collisions, chemical physics
Louis DiMauro, Professor and the Edward and Sylvia Hagenlocker Chair
PhD, University of Connecticut, 1980
Atomic, chemical and ultrafast optical physics
Strong field interactions
Ultrafast laser physics
Nonlinear optics
Short wave length generation
Quantum control methods
Many body physics
Application of fourth generation light sources
Richard R. Freeman, Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
PhD, Harvard University, 1973
Interactions of high powered lasers with matter
Non-linear optics laser fusion experiments
Daniel Gauthier, Professor
PhD, University of Rochester, 1989
Network Science Research
Quantum Information Science Research
Gregory P. Lafyatis, Associate Professor
PhD, Harvard University, 1982
Laser physics
Trapping and cooling of atomic particles
Chris Orban, Assistant Professor (Ohio State Marion branch)
PhD, Ohio State University, 2011
Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas
Particle-in-Cell and hydrodynamic simulations
High Energy Density Physics
Douglass Schumacher, Associate Professor
PhD, University of Michigan, 1995
Ultrafast nonlinear optics
Intense field laser-matter interactions
High energy density physics
Ultrashort laser-plasma interactions
Nonlinear optics
Partical-in-cell simulation
Linn Van Woerkom, Professor and Associate Provost and Director, University Honors & Scholars Center
PhD, University of Southern California, 1987
High-intensity, ultrashort pulse laser-matter
High energy density physics
Ultrashort pulse and X-ray physics
Brenda P. Winnewisser, Adjunct Professor
PhD, Duke University, 1965
Fourier transformer infrared spectroscopy, spectral analysis
Solid hydrogen
History of science
Manfred Winnewisser, Adjunct Professor
Dr. rer. Nat., University of Karlsruhe, 1960
Fourier transformer infrared spectroscopy
Millimeter and submillimeter spectroscopy
Reactive and unstable species