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2020 Dr. Philip H. Bucksbaum

Dr. Philip H. Bucksbaum
Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Photon Science, Applied Physics, and Physics at Stanford University

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Rackham Amphitheatre
Horace H. Rackham Graduate School
915 E. Washington Street 48109
University of Michigan Central Campus

There was a reception prior to the lecture, beginning at 3:30 PM in Assembly Hall, located across the hall from the Amphitheatre.


Tracking the Motion Inside Molecules with X-Ray Lasers

Lecture Abstract:

The last decade marked the development of a new kind of powerful research laser that can deliver a trillion 1-Angstrom x-rays in a femtosecond or even less. This x-ray free-electron laser is revolutionizing the way scientists observe dynamics on the quantum scale in the laboratory. We are beginning to learn how to track the relative motion of atoms inside molecules. Professor Bucksbaum will discuss the current efforts and future opportunities to employ these sources for molecular movies.

Brief Biosketch: 

Dr. Philip Bucksbaum holds the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Chaired Professorship in Natural Science at Stanford University, with appointments in Physics, Applied Physics, and in Photon Science at SLAC. He also founded and formerly directed the Stanford PULSE Institute ( He studies the interaction of intense coherent radiation with atoms and molecules, with an emphasis on interactions induced by attosecond pulsed radiation and ultrashort x-ray lasers.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Dr. Bucksbaum was on the faculty at the University of Michigan, and a member of the research staff at Bell Laboratories. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his A.B. degree in Physics, magna cum laude from Harvard College.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was president of the Optical Society in 2014 and is currently serving as president of the American Physical Society for 2020.