Harold Metcalf

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Harold J. Metcalf , called Hal Metcalf, (born June 11, 1940 in Boston , Massachusetts ) is an American physicist .

Metcalf graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in 1962 and a PhD in physics from Brown University in 1967 . From 1968 he conducted research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY), where he became Assistant Professor in 1970 , Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor of Physics in 1983. From 1988 to 1994 he was Director of Graduate Studies in Physics at SUNY. In 1999 he received the title of Distinguished Professor of the SUNY.

From the end of the 1960s he dealt with laser spectroscopy for precision measurements in atomic physics, where he worked with nitrogen laser-pumped dye lasers. He examined the hydroxyl radical and the Stark effect in Rydberg atoms . From 1981 he dealt with laser cooling .

In 1982 he and William D. Phillips , who received the Nobel Prize in Physics , proposed the concept of the Zeeman-Slower from the National Bureau of Standards (NIST) .

He also dealt with sub-Doppler cooling, quantum states of motion , dark states and magnetic effects. In recent times he has dealt with ultra-strong optical forces ( optical force , see optical tweezers ) with polychromatic light and their application in atomic nanofabrication. He is the co-author of a popular textbook on laser cooling.

At SUNY, in addition to specialized atomic physics courses, he initiated a Master of Science in Instrumentation program and co-founded the Laser Teaching Center.

From 1977/78 he was visiting professor at MIT and from 1981 to 1986 a consultant at NIST. In 1986/87 he was visiting professor at the École normal supérieure in Paris and he was visiting professor at the Ben Gurion University and the University of Utrecht . He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America .


  • with Peter van der Straten: Laser Cooling and Trapping , Springer Verlag, 1999

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Life data according to American Men and Women of Science , Thomson Gale 2004
  2. ^ William D. Phillips, Harold Metcalf: Laser Deceleration of an Atomic Beam . In: Physical Review Letters . tape 48 , no. 9 , March 1982, p. 596-599 , doi : 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.48.596 .