The University of Michigan is recognized as one of the leading institutions in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics research. Over the past century, physics faculty have made pioneering contributions to AMO science, including:
- Development of atomic structure theory, Samuel Goudsmit, George Uhlenbeck, and Otto Laporte, 1920s-1930s.
- Invention of microwave spectroscopy, David Dennison, 1930s.
- First g-2 measurements, H. Richard Crane, 1950s.
- Birth of nonlinear optics, Peter Franken, 1960s.
- Development of positronium spectroscopy, Arthur Rich, 1960s.
- Laser cooling and precision atomic measurements, Carl Wieman, 1980s (Physics Nobel Prize, 1997).
- Ultra-short and high-intensity laser physics, Gérard Mourou, 1980s-1990s (Physics Nobel Prize, 2018).
Many of our AMO Physics graduates have successfully obtained positions at major research universities, four-year colleges, national laboratories, and industry.
Currently, our AMO program consists of more than a dozen research groups who explore a broad range of topics in quantum information science, precision measurements, biophysics, and ultrafast optical science. Graduate and undergraduate students play key roles in these cutting-edge activities, which are carried out in state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories.