Atomic physics

Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Research (LAMOR)


The Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Research (LAMOR) was formed in 1983 to provide a forum for experimental and theoretical research in atomic physics. The objectives of the laboratory are to facilitate and promote research in atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics; to provide an identifiable entity of high quality associated with Missouri S&T which is recognizable to other AMO researchers, funding agencies and the general public; and to collectively enhance the national and international reputation of AMO research at Missouri S&T.

The research interests of our AMO faculty covers a very broad range of phenomena, which are investigated in several experimental labs and theoretical groups. For research opportunities on the undergrad, graduate, and postdoc level please contact the group leaders.

In the lab of Dr. Michael Schulz the atomic few-body problem is studied in ion-atom and ion-molecule collisions, investigating correlation effects and coherence phenomena employing recoil-ion and projectile momentum imaging. His recent studies revealed that scattering cross sections can sensitively depend on the projectile coherence properties, a crucially important aspect which has been overlooked in decades of scattering theory.

Dr. Don Madison is one of the world’s leading scientists in the theory of atomic collisions with over 275 publications, 400 papers presented at meetings and 5500 citations. His research focuses on studying fundamental interactions at the atomic level revealed through the process of charged particle collisions with atoms and molecules.

Dr. Ulrich Jentschura studies the theory of dynamic processes in atoms, and quantum field theoretical effects in simple atomic systems, using a combination of analytic and numerical methods. These studies have led to some of the most accurate predictions of atomic transition frequencies available to date. His group also is active in the theory of high-energy laser physics, using relativistic quantum theory, and he combines quantum mechanics with general relativity. His work was mentioned in Dr. Theodor W. Hansch’s 2005 Nobel lecture recognizing the importance of theoretical calculations of energy levels in simple atomic systems.

Dr. Daniel Fischer experimentally studies correlated few-particle dynamics in laser-atom interactions. He addresses fundamental questions, e.g. what is the time delay in photoionization and tunneling? How is the ionization dynamics of an atom influenced by neighboring particles? What is the affect of symmetry breaking (chirality) in fragmentation processes? The combination of experimental techniques he employs is world-wide unique and allows to simultaneously control and analyze atomic few-particle systems in unprecedented detail. 

Dr. Story regularly wins the students’ acclaim for his excellent teaching of courses in laser physics. In a laboratory, his students demonstrated nuclear fusion as an undergraduate project in 2014. His research interest covers a large variety of phenomena: Autoionization of two electron atoms, dielectronic recombination, Low energy electron-ion scattering, laser cooling of atoms, fundamental measurement theory, multiphoton excitation and ionization of atoms, excited state photoionization of atoms, and temporal evolution of excited atoms.

Dr. Jerry Peacher is very active in teaching and has a background in the development of perturbative methods to describe elastic, excitation, and charge-transfer processes in ion-atom collisions.