Laser Physics

JILA physicists manipulate light to produce ultrashort laser pulses and coherent light sources at exotic wavelengths. As a leading developer of ultrashort laser pulses, JILA researchers have designed pulsed and single ultrashort pulses of light faster than the speed at which molecules form (1 femtosecond, or 10-15 s) and the speed at which electrons move (1 attosecond, or 10-18 s). JILA researchers pioneered the development of tabletop extreme ultraviolet coherent light sources, which opened a new dimension of laser applications.
This research explores the complex dance of electrons in matter, and therefore uncovers answers as to how materials bond and how magnetic systems can be manipulated. These studies have a wide breath of applications, including chemistry, biology, material sciences, medicine, telecommunications, and nanotechnology.

Researchers in Laser Physics

Photograph of Andreas Becker Andreas Becker
Focus: Ultrafast Phenomena, Attosecond Dynamics, Coherent Control Role: Theorist
Photograph of Murray Holland Murray Holland
Focus: Quantum Optics, Cold Atoms Role: Theorist
Photograph of Agnieszka Jaron-Becker Agnieszka Jaron-Becker
Focus: Theoretical AMO, Ultrafast Laser Science Role: Theorist
Photograph of Henry Kapteyn Henry Kapteyn
Focus: Ultrafast Lasers & X-Rays, Imaging, Chemical Physics, Quantum & Optical Science, Nanoscience, Materials, Molecular Science Role: Experimentalist
Photograph of Margaret Murnane Margaret Murnane
Focus: Ultrafast Lasers & X-Rays, Imaging, Chemical Physics, Quantum & Optical Science, Nanoscience, Materials, Molecular Science Role: Experimentalist
Markus Raschke Markus Raschke
Focus: Ultrafast Nano-optics, Chemical Physics, Nanoscience Role: Experimentalist
Photograph of Cindy Regal Cindy Regal, Baur-SPIE Chair in Optical Physics and Photonics at JILA
Focus: Quantum Nanomechanics, Single Atom Trapping Role: Experimentalist
Photograph of Ana Maria Rey Ana Maria Rey
Focus: Cold Atoms and Molecules, Quantum Many-body Systems, Precision Measurement, Quantum Information Role: Theorist
Photograph of Thomas Schibli Thomas Schibli
Focus: Optics and photonics through advanced functional materials, novel laser systems and measurement techniques Role: Experimentalist
Photograph of James Thompson James Thompson
Focus: Cold Atoms, Quantum Optics and Information, Precision Measurement Role: Experimentalist
Photograph of Jun Ye Jun Ye
Focus: Cold Atoms and Molecules, Frequency Combs, Ultrastable Lasers, Precision Measurement Role: Experimentalist

Recent Highlights in Laser Physics

Within atomic and laser physics communities, scientist John “Jan” Hall is a key figure in the history of laser frequency stabilization and precision measurement using lasers. Hall's work revolved around understanding and manipulating stable lasers in ways that were revolutionary for their time. His work laid a technical foundation for measuring…

In a new study published in Scientific Reports, JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Andreas Becker and his team theorized a new method to produce extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and x-ray light with elliptical polarization, a special shape in which…

Deep within every piece of magnetic material, electrons dance to the invisible tune of quantum mechanics. Their spins, akin to tiny atomic tops, dictate the magnetic behavior of the material they inhabit. This microscopic ballet is the cornerstone of magnetic phenomena, and it's these spins that a team of JILA researchers—headed by JILA Fellows…