Physics & Astronomy


Cross-Disciplinary Physics

Optical Science

Optics is one of the oldest branches of physics, with foundations going back to the times of Descartes, Huygens, and Newton. Modern optical science spans a variety of diverse topics including the classical optics of lens design and imaging, fiber optics and optical communication, optoelectronic materials and devices, the application of optical methods in medicine, and the fundamental quantum mechanics of the interaction of light with matter, including applications to quantum computing.

At the University of Rochester, research in optical science is carried out in both the Department of Physics and Astronomy and in the Institute of Optics, with several faculty members holding joint appointments in both departments. For a description of the activities of faculty holding appointments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, please see our Quantum Optics page. Through the Cross-Disciplinary Physics program, students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are also free to pursue research with other faculty holding appointments in the Institute of Optics. These faculty include:

Prof. Alonso Wave propagation; partially coherent wave fields
Prof. Berger Medical Optics
Prof. Brown Optoelectronics
Prof. Fienup Image Processing
Prof. George Physical Optics and Imaging
Prof. Guo High Intensity Laser-Matter Interactions
Prof. Jacobs Liquid Crystal Optics
Prof. Knox Ultrafast Optics and Telecommunications
Prof. Moore Optical Engineering
Prof. Seka Laser Physics and Engineering
Prof. Teegarden Optical Materials
Prof. Wicks Semiconductor Lasers and Molecular Beam Epitaxy
Prof. Williams The Human Visual System and Physiological Optics
Prof. Zavislan Optical Engineering and Biomedical Optics

See also our Quantum Optics page.