Alexander Gaeta

DAVID M. RICKEY PROFESSOR OF APPLIED PHYSICS AND OF MATERIALS SCIENCE (JOINT APPOINTMENT IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING)

906 CEPSR

Tel(212) 854-6564

Alexander Gaeta studies quantum and nonlinear optics, or how laser light interacts with matter. He is uncovering new ways to use these interactions to see ultrafast processes in physics and to enhance communications, computing, and navigation, chemical sensing, and security.

Research Interests

Ultrafast nonlinear optics, nanophotonics, the generation and processing of quantum fields of light, nonlinear optical devices for communications and computing.

His team is particularly focused on how light of one color interacts with a material to create new colors. For example, they can create these new frequencies of light using silicon rings created by Professor Michal Lipson’s group, which results in the generation of optical frequency “combs”.  Such a comb source consists of many colors that are discretely spaced with extraordinary precision and have a wide range of applications in extremely accurate clocks, optical communications, astronomical measurements, spectroscopy, and sensing of chemical and biological agents. Overall, his research covers a wide range of topics within quantum and nonlinear optics and includes nonlinear optics with femtosecond laser pulses, nanophotonics, nonlinear propagation in optical waveguides, and the generation and processing of light fields for quantum computing and communications.

Gaeta received his BS, MS, and PhD in optics from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY in 1983, 1985, and 1991, respectively. He remained there as a postdoctoral associate from 1991 – 1992.  Gaeta joined Columbia Engineering as the David M. Rickey Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science in 2015. Prior to that, Gaeta was the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering at Cornell University and was Chair of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics from 2011 – 2014. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Optical Society of America and is also the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Optica

Research Experience

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, 1990 – 1992 

Professional Experience

  • David M. Rickey Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, Columbia University, 2015 –
  • Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2013 – 2015
  • Founding Editor-in-Chief, Optica, Optical Society of America, 2013 –
  • Director, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2011 – 2014
  • Co-founded PicoLuz, Inc. (with Michal Lipson and Alex Cable), 2010
  • Director, NSF Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technologies, Cornell University, 2007-2012
  • Associate Director, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2006 – 2007
  • Editorial Board, Laser Physics Letters, 2005 - 2009
  • Editorial Board, New Journal of Physics, 2005 - 2008
  • Professor, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2004 – 2013
  • Director of Graduate Studies, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 1999 – 2004
  • Associate Professor, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 1998 – 2004
  • Assistant Professor, School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 1992 – 1998

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Member, Long-Term Publications Group, Optical Society of America, 2010-2012
  • Director-at-Large, Board of Directors, Optical Society of America, 2008-2010
  • I. Rabi Prize Committee of the American Physical Society, 2007-2010
  • Member, Strategic Planning Committee, Optical Society of America, 2006-2008
  • Chair, Science and Engineering Council Optical Society of America, 2004-2006
  • Executive Committee, Member-at-Large, Division of Laser Science, American Physical Society, 2004-2005
  • Chair, Division of Quantum Electronics, Optical Society of America, term 2000-2002

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America
  • College of Engineering Teaching Award, 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2007
  • Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, 1995
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 1993

Selected Publications

  • Dutt, S. Miller, K. Luke, J. Cardenas, A. L. Gaeta, P. Nussenzveig, and M. Lipson, “Tunable squeezing using coupled ring resonators on a silicon nitride chip,” Opt. Lett. 41, 223 (2016)
  • D. Popmintchev,C. Hernández-García, F. Dollar, C. Mancuso, J. A. Pérez-Hernández, M.-C. Chen, A. Hankla, X. Gao, B. Shim, A. L. Gaeta, M. Tarazkar, D. A. Romanov, R. J. Levis, J. A. Gaffney, M. Foord, S. B. Libby, A. Jaron-Becker, A. Becker, L. Plaja, M. M. Murnane, H. C. Kapteyn, T. Popmintchev, “Ultraviolet surprise: Efficient soft x-ray high-harmonic generation in multiply ionized plasmas,” Science 4, 1225 (2015)
  • P. S. Donvalkar, S. Ramelow, S. Clemmen, and A. L. Gaeta, “Continuous generation of Rubidium vapor in hollow-core photonic bandgap fibers,” Opt. Lett. 40, 5379 (2015)
  • Y. Okawachi, M. Yu, K. Luke, D. O. Carvalho, S. Ramelow, A. Farsi, M. Lipson, and A. L. Gaeta, “Dual-pumped degenerate Kerr oscillator in a silicon nitride microresonator,” Opt. Lett. 40, 5267 (2015)
  • R. Johnson, A. S. Mayer, A. Klenner, K. Luke, E. S. Lamb, M. R. E. Lamont, C. Joshi, Y. Okawachi, F. W. Wise, M. Lipson, U. Keller, and A. L. Gaeta, “Octave-spanning coherent supercontinuum generation in a silicon nitride waveguide,” Opt. Lett. 40, 5117 (2015)

Some of our work involves the interaction of light with matter at extremely short durations—billionth of millionth of seconds—and at extreme light intensities. It can be pretty spectacular"

Alexander Gaeta
DAVID M. RICKEY PROFESSOR OF APPLIED PHYSICS AND OF MATERIALS SCIENCE (JOINT APPOINTMENT IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING)