Optics and Laser Physics

Co-funded by EPSCoR

For information contact

Neelee Glasco
Research Communications Coordinator, Extreme Light Lab
2015 Physics summer scholars
2015 Physics summer scholars

Application Dates

Nov 15 2015 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 5 2016 Arrival day
June 6 Program begins
August 10 Program ends
August 11 Departure day

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science

Applications are encouraged from students with sophomore standing or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This program encourages applications from students traditionally underrepresented in physics. These groups include women, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian Americans.


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences, the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It provides the underlying framework for chemistry, biology and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to work in the area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics, where rapidly advancing technology and novel ultrafast sources of light and of electrons are allowing researchers to investigate and control matter with unprecedented precision. Students can anticipate working on projects—simulations and lab experiments—related to lasers, optics, computer modeling, etc.

Students work with their mentor and graduate students in the Extreme Light Laboratory.
Students work with their mentor and graduate students in the Extreme Light Laboratory.


  • Competitive stipend: $4,000
  • Double-occupancy room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Herman Batelaan Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics

Quantum mechanics and electromagnetic interactions

We study the fundamental interaction between light, electrons, and atoms. Our interests focus on studying the foundations of quantum mechanics and electromagnetic interactions. These studies include theoretical analysis, simulation using supercomputing (HCC and XSEDE), and a strong emphasis on experiment.

Dr. Martin Centurion Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics

Ultrafast Science

Research conducted by my group focuses on the area of ultrafast science by studying diffractive imaging of isolated molecules with atomic resolution, ultrafast photo-induced chemical reactions, molecules controlled with laser pulses, and atoms and molecules in intense laser fields.

Dr. Matthias Fuchs Applied Physics; Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics; Optics; Particles and Fields

Ultrafast and High-Field X-ray

We are carrying out research in the fields of compact ultrafast X-ray source development with the potential for a X-ray free-electron laser on the university-laboratory scale, ultrafast X-ray scattering and high-field, nonlinear X-ray matter interaction.

Dr. Tim Gay Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics

Polarized Electrons

We are interested in polarized electron physics. Our work involves studies of polarized electrons scattering from atomic and chiral molecular targets, the development of novel sources of polarized electrons and electron polarimeters, and investigations of the fundamental nature of the electron.

Dr. Donald Umstadter Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics

Extreme Light and the DIOCLES Laser

The Extreme Light Laboratory houses the DIOCLES laser—one of the world’s most powerful lasers-- which allows scientists to perform research in the following areas: basic research on high-field relativistic laser-matter interactions, ultrafast dynamics, and advanced x-ray science and technology.