Optics and LASERS

Research in optics and lasers at MSU extends from exploring fundamental physics to development of optical instruments and photonic devices. Research areas include: developing and studying new types of optical materials, sensors, and lasers; using optical crystals as novel photonic processing devices; exploring the non-linear response of molecules to laser pulses shorter than a trillionth of a second; and applying advanced laser and non-linear optics technologies to remote sensing and medical applications. Collaborations with researchers in the Optical Technology Center, Spectrum Lab, and Bozeman's growing optics industry provide enhanced research opportunities.

Spectrum Laboratory The Spectrum Lab was established in 1999 to advance the opto-electronic technologies emerging from the research laboratories of Montana State University and foster their transition to Montana companies, while providing enhanced educational opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students. Teams of research scientists and students in Spectrum Lab and from science and engineering departments across the campus collaborate on research including photonic signal processing, lidar, quantum computing, laser development and stabilization, and optical material engineering and characterization.
Information on our optics and laser research programs can be found below.

Applied Optics Research Group

  • CW Raman lasers 
  • Lidar transmitters and receivers for water vapor detection 
  • Diode laser applications and development

Ultrastable Lasers and Materials for Signal Processing, Memories, and Lasers
Dr. Rufus Cone, Professor of Physics, Distinguished Professor College of Letters and Science

  • Ultra-high resolution optical spectroscopy of solids to sub-100Hz level
  • Designing new optical signal processing and memory materials and devices
  • Developing new laser crystals and methods for analysis of laser crystals
  • Relation of crystal valence and conduction band states to rare earth ion levels via UV photoemission
  • Stabilization of lasers to spectral holes - several patents issued for technology

Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics and Holography
Dr. Aleksander Rebane, Professor of Physics

  • Femtosecond Time-and-Space Domain Holography
  • One- and Two-Photon Coherent Transients and Spectral Hole Burning
  • New Multi-Photon Absorbing NLO Materials
  • Ultrafast Multi-Photon Spectroscopy

RF Photonics Group
Dr. Wm Randall Babbitt, Director Spectrum Laboratory, Professor of Physics

Spectrum Laboratory

The Spectrum Lab was established in 1999 to advance the opto-electronic technologies emerging from the research laboratories of Montana State University and foster their transition to Montana companies and in the process providing enhanced educational opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students.

Optical Technology Center

Optical Technology Center (OpTeC).  OpTeC was established in 1995 to promote education and research in the rapidly growing fields of optical science and engineering. The Center is located at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.

Physics Faculty Participating in Optics and Laser Research Programs:

 

Wm. Randall Babbitt,  Ph.D

Professor

Phone: 406-994-6156
Email: rbabbitt@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 210, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Rufus L. Cone,  Ph.D

Distinguished Professor, Letters and Science

Phone: 406-994-6175
Email: rufus.cone@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 207, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Alan Craig,  Ph.D

Research Professor

Phone: 406-994-6869
Email: craig@physics.montana.edu

modular , MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Mikhail Drobijev,  Ph.D

Assistant Research Professor

Phone: 406-994-7810
Email: mikhail.drobijev@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 220, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, M

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Roger Macfarlane,  Ph.D

Senior Research Scientist

Phone: 406-994-4363
Email: macfarla@physics.montana.edu

Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 209, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Paul Nachman,  Ph.D

Affiliate Research Professor

Phone: 406-994-7828
Email: paul.nachman@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 116, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Aleks Rebane,  Ph.D

Professor

Phone: 406-994-7831
Email: arebane@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 208, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Paul Rugheimer,  Ph.D

Assistant Teaching Professor

Phone: 406-994-7655
Email: paul.rugheimer@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 213, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Joseph A. Shaw,  Ph.D

Affiliate Professor

Phone: 406-994-7261
Email: jshaw@ece.montana.edu

Cobleigh 518, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Charles Thiel,  Ph.D

Research Scientist

Phone: 406-994-4363
Email: charles.thiel@montana.edu
Barnard Hall (EPS) Room 209, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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rbabbitt@montana.edu