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Alan Bristow


Condensed Matter Experiment / Photonics / Light-Matter Interactions

Prof. Bristow received his Ph.D. from the  University of Sheffield  in 2004. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the  University of Toronto  from 2003 to 2006, a Research Associate at  JILA  from 2006 to 2010 and an Adjunct Instructor at the  Colorado School of Mines  in 2009. He joined the department in 2010 and served as the Associate Chair from 2019 to 2021.

Prof. Bristow was on sabbatical at the Technical University of Dortmund in 2017 and 2018. He has been an Associate at National Institute of Standards and Technology since 2017 and an Associate Editor for Optical Materials Express since 2018. He is a member of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society .


Prof. Bristow has taught the following courses: *Current course(s)

  • PHYS-112 – University Physics II (with calculus)
  • PHYS-211 – Introduction to Mathematical Physics
  • PHYS-321 – Optics
  • PHYS-333 – Electricity & Magnetism I
  • *PHYS-334 – Electricity & Magnetism II

  • PHYS-479/779 – UG/Grad Laboratory Research (in the Ultrafast Nanophotonics Group)
  • PHYS-771 – Introduction to Solid State Physics
  • PHYS-772 – Semiconductor Physics
  • PHYS-774 – Optical Properties of Solids
  • PHYS-791 (Special Topics) – Laser Phys ics and Quantum Optics

In addition to teaching lecture courses, Prof. Bristow mentors undergraduate and graduate students in research activities. He has graduated Ph.D. students whom have gone on to be postdoctoral researchers at top-tier research schools, visiting professors at liberal arts colleges, and employees in industrial and government lab positions.


Prof. Bristow leads the “Ultrafast Nanophotonics Group,” using short laser pulses to determine coherent and dynamic properties of charge and spin carriers in condensed matter. Light-matter interactions provide insight into new physics at the nanoscale and prove to be useful tools for characterizing materials with potential for applications in electronics, photonics, spintronics and energy harvesting.

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Noble and Precious Metals: Properties, Nanoscale Effects and Applications ,” M. S. Seehra and A. D. Bristow (Eds.) IntechOpen (July 4th 2018)

Selected Journal Publications

Full List: Google Scholar