The Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics group has theoretical and experimental components. The theoretical group is engaged in research directed toward the elucidation of the fundamental details of the structure and dynamics of electrons and positrons interacting within atoms and molecules in the gas phase at thermal and ultra-cold energies. The primary aim of this group is to perform state-of-the-art calculations of (1) photoionization and photodetachment of electrons from atoms and molecules, (2) electron-atom and electron molecule collisional processes, (3) the collisional processes in molecular plasmas with or without light emitted/absorbed, and (4) elementary processes in ultra-cold atomic and molecular gases near the quantum degeneracy using completely ab-initio sophisticated theoretical approach. The theoretical group has active collaboration with experimental and theoretical groups in many National Laboratories, like Oak Ridge, Argon, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore in the US and abroad.
The AMO experimental group is focused on far/Terahertz spectroscopy and technology development, in particular, intracavity laser absorption spectroscopy for ultra-trace vapor detection. Professor Zenghu Chang is an expert in Attosecond laser pulse generation, characterization and applications. The extremely short XUV pulses are used to probe and control electron dynamics in matter. Overlap between theory and experiment will form a critical component of our research program. Application of this Attosecond laser pulse source will provide a special impetus to the program. Both theoretical and experimental research has applications in astrophysics, radiation physics and chemistry and plasma physics.