Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science
Additional Titles: 
Director of the Stanford PULSE Institute; Professor of Applied Physics, Professor of Physics; Professor of Photon Science

Varian Physics Rm. 228
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford, California 94305-4060

PULSE Institute, SLAC
2575 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

StanfordWho directory listing

Phone Number: 
650-723-3571; 650-926-5337
Contact Email: 
Support Staff: 

How can we observe atomic and molecular processes on the shortest relevant time scales, from attoseconds to picoseconds? What can we learn about atomic motion and molecular bonds with these tools?

Professor Bucksbaum studies time-dependent quantum processes in atoms and molecules, from the passage of electrons across atoms in a few hundred attoseconds (billionths of a billionth of a second), to the bending and breaking of molecular bonds during collisions or chemical reactions in a few picoseconds (millionths of a millionth of a second). These observations are made using novel laser sources, some of which are unique to Stanford. The world’s first X-ray free electron laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory began to operate in 2009.  It allows us to view atomic motion on the atomic time scale in both space and time for the first time.

Current areas of focus:
- Attosecond Physics
- Ultrafast Quantum Control of Molecular Processes
- Strong Field laser-matter interactions

Career History

  • 2009-present: Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professorship in Natural Science
  • 2005-present: Director, Ultrafast Science Center; Professor, Stanford University (Department of Applied Physics, and Department of Physics)
  • 2004-2005: Visiting Scholar, Stanford Department of Applied Physics and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.
  • Peter Frankin University Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
  • Otto Laporte Collegiate Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
  • Director of FOCUS, the NSFCenter for the Advancement of Frontiers in Optical Coherent Ultrafast Science
  • Editor of VJUltrafast, the APS Virtual Journal of Ultrafast Science.
  • 9/90-8/98 Professor of Physics, University of Michigan.
  • 11/82-8/90 Principal Investigator Member of Technical Staff, Physics Research Division, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ 07974.
  • 1/89-8/90 Adjunct Associate Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
  • 8/80-11/82 Post-doctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ 07733, and at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, Berkeley, CA 94720.
  • Ph.D. (1980) and M.A. (1978) in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
  • A.B. (1975) magna cum laude in Physics, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Research Group

Graduate Students:
Greg McCracken
Chelsea Liekhus-Schmaltz
Song Wang
Julian Devin
Lucas Zipp
Matthew Ware
Andrei Kamalov

Research Staff and Postdoctoral Fellows:
James Cryan
Adi Natan
Fenglin Wang