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Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Optical Lattice

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 laser matter 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: 

  • 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) temperature s may be obtained
  • Multiphoton ionization of atoms and molecules
Strong Field
  • 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.


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
PhD, University of Rochester, 1989
Network Science Research
Quantum Information Science Research
PhD, Harvard University, 1982
Laser physics
Trapping and cooling of atomic particles

Contact Info

Professional Work

Professional Website

PhD, Princeton University, 2005
Ultrafast Laser-Matter Interaction
Attosecond Physics
Ionization delays
Strong Field Interactions
High Harmonic Generation
Quantum Materials


PhD, Ohio State University, 2011
Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas
Particle-in-Cell and hydrodynamic simulations
High Energy Density Physics
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

Contact Info

Professional Work

Lab Website



B.S. Physics - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013

M.A. Physics - University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016

Ph.D. Physics - University of California, Santa Barbara, 2019



Boeing Quantum Creators Prize (Chicago Quantum Exchange), 2023

The Maria Lastra Excellence in Mentoring Award (PME, University of Chicago), 2021

Doctorat, Universite Aix Marseille, 1967
Muliphoton Processes
Strong field interaction, high harmonic generation
Attosecond pulses, AttoPhysics