Michaela Kleinert

Associate Professor of Physics

Education and Professional Interests

  • Ph.D. in atomic/molecular physics and optics from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2008)
  • Diplom in physics from the Ruprecht-Karls University and the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany (2002)

Dr. Kleinert's research interests are centered around the interaction between atoms or molecules and light. Her main research effort involves the cooling and trapping of two different atomic species, rubidium and calcium, and the formation of cold RbCa dimers. She is also interested in creating hydrophobic surfaces using a picosecond pulsed laser system, and forming nanoparticles with a nanosecond pulsed laser. 

Recent publications

  • Lo, J. Kleinert, M. Kleinert, Conservation of extremal ellipticity and analytical expression for astigmatism and asymmetry in Gaussian beam imaging, Applied Optics 56, 2523 – 2528 (2017).
  • Kleinert, M. E. Gold Dahl*, S. Bergeson, Measurement of the Yb I 1S01P1 transition frequency at 399 nm using an optical frequency comb, Physical Review A 94, 052511 (2016) 
  • Parsagian*, M. Kleinert, Designing and building a permanent magnet Zeeman slower for calcium atoms using a 3D printer, Am. J. Phys. 83, 893 (2015). 
  • Bhattacharya, S. Marin*, M. Kleinert, Coherent cancellation of geometric phase for the OH molecule in external fields, Phys. Rev. A 89, 052503 (2014) 
  • Kleinert, M. Bhattacharya, Chiral symmetries associated with angular momentum, Eur. J. Phys. 35, 025007 (2014) 
  • Cawley*, Z. Howard*, M. Kleinert, M. Bhattacharya, Analytical study of level crossings in the Stark-Zeeman spectrum of ground state OH, Eur. Phys. J. D 67, 233 (2013). 
  • Bhatthacharya, Z. Howard*, M. Kleinert, “Ground-state OH molecule in combined electric and magnetic fields: Analytic solutions of the effective Hamiltonian”, Phys. Rev. A 88, 012503 (2013) 
  • Luetjen*, J. Hallsted*, M. Kleinert, Measuring the refractive index of thin transparent films using an extended cavity diode laser, Am. J. Phys. 81, 929 (2013).

Awards and Grants


  • Mortar Board Professor of the Year, 2018
  • Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching and Research, 2017


  • NSF AIP award #1505919: Optics and Photonics Training for Inquisitive eXperimentalists, OPTIX (2015-2018) 
  • NSF subaward to Prof. Scott Bergeson’s NSF award #1500376: (Collaborative research: Plasma physics at small Coulomb logarithms (2015 – 2018) 
  • Recipient of the Minus K Educational Giveaway negative-stiffness low-frequency vibration isolator (April 2015) 
  • Atkinson Research Expense Program entitled Ultrafast Laser Ablation Studies and Micromachining (2014) 
  • Hewlett Grant entitled A galvanometric scan lens system for ablation studies using an ultrafast industrial laser system; completed successfully (2013) 
  • Hewlett Grant entitled Technical assistance with identification, testing and organization of lab equipment for introductory and intermediate labs; completed successfully (2013) 
  • Donation of several high-power pulsed laser system (Duetto laser with Fuego amplifier; Mazama laser; two Avia lasers; each worth >$100k) from Electro-Scientific Industries (ESI, 2012 - 2017). 
  • Hewlett Grant entitled Development of a new course for science majors: Advanced Data Analysis and Simulation (ADAS); completed successfully (2012) 
  • NSF RUI award #1068112: RUI: Heteronuclear alkaline/alkaline-earth molecules (2011-2014) 
  • Hewlett Grant entitled Assembly and testing of a pulsed dye laser system to be used in faculty-student research and upper-level physics courses; successfully completed (2011)