Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics builds on the greatest advances of twentieth century: the development of quantum mechanical description of matter and the invention of the coherent light sources in the form of lasers. Lasers provide us with an extraordinary tool to manipulate properties of atoms, molecules and complex systems, leading to ever-increasing technological applications. The AMO faculty at the University of Arizona are investigating light-matter interaction over a range of temporal, spatial, and energy scales.

We are pushing the envelope on the physics of ultrafast optical sources, aiming at the attosecond and x-ray frontiers. The exceedingly fast laser pulses - lasting less than millionth of a billionth of a second - are enabling us to probe electron dynamics at their natural time scales, perform attosecond spectroscopy and metrology, and control the complex energy redistribution pathways in molecules and materials. University of Arizona researchers are also addressing the physical phenomena at extremely low temperatures where the mind-bending implications of quantum mechanics can be exploited. Atom interferometry, quantum information processing, Bose-Einstein condensation, and quantum optics are being pursued for high precision measurements.

The AMO physics program is ranked 9th in the nation by US News and World Report, and we have a long track record as world-leaders in the field. Past contributions include the discovery of nonlinear optics, trailblazing research in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, quantum electrodynamics and quantum optics, and early work on bec and quantum information science.