Prof. Kapteyn's research is in developing, and putting to use, techniques for generating coherent x-rays using tabletop-scale laser technology. Contemporary laser technlogy, much of which was developed by the group of Prof. Kapteyn and Prof. Margaret Murnane, makes it possible to generate light pulses of terawatt (10^12 W) or higher peak power, in a flash of light only 10 femtoseconds (10^-14 sec) in duration, using a tabletop laser setup. The interaction of this intense light with atoms and molecules upconverts some of the incident light into a coherent beam of light at much higher frequencies, in effect creating for the first time a tabletop x-ray laser source that generates extremely short bursts. Much of the technology for doing this was also developed in the Kapteyn/Murnane lab, and they have also used this new capability for novel research investigating dynamic processes in atoms, molecules, and materials.
PHYS 4430 - Advanced Laboratory
Two lectures, one lab per week. Experiments introduce students to realities of the experimental physics so they gain a better understanding of theory and an appreciation of the vast amount of experimental work done in the physical sciences today. Same as PHYS 5430.
PHYS 5160 - Fundamentals of Optics and Lasers
Covers the basic physic of lasers. Topics include basics of optical resonators and gaussian beam propagation, stimulated emission, laser threshold conditions, laser linewidth, q-switching and mode locking of lasers, tuning of Cw lasers, and specifics of various common lasers.
PHYS 7810 - Special Topics in Physics
Fall 2020 / Spring 2022
Various topics not normally covered in the curriculum; offered intermittently depending on student demand and availability of instructors. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours.