Alexander L. Gaeta
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.
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.