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Michaela Kleinert

Professor of Physics

Headshot of Michaela Kleinert

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Collins Science Center 314
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
Office Hours
No office hours in Fall 2020 (sabbatical).

Education and Professional Interests

2008: Ph.D. in atomic/molecular physics and optics from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 

2002: Diplom in physics from the Ruprecht-Karls University and the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany 


Dr. Kleinert is interested in investigating the interactions of atoms, molecules, or solids and laser light. She uses laser light and magnetic fields to cool and trap around 10 million rubidium and calcium atoms with the goal of forming cold RbCa dimers. These molecules possess unique properties, making them an ideal quantum playground. She is also interested in creating water-repellent metal surfaces using various pulsed laser systems that can, for example, be used to separate oil from water or to enhance acceptance of medical implants, and forming nanoparticles with pulsed lasers that find applications in medical applications. 


IDS 101       -  College Colloquium: Pets, pest, or pepperoni?

PHYS 110    -  Astronomy

PHYS 221    -  Introductory Physics I

PHYS 222    -  Introductory Physics II

PHYS 223    -  Modern Physics

PHYS 325    -  Mathematical Methods in Physics

PHYS 345    -  Electromagnetism

PHYS 360    -  Research Experience in Physics

PHYS 396W -  Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics (ATEP)

PHYS 399    -  Materials Science

PHYS 453    -  Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 470    -  Advanced Topics in Physics: Optics

PHYS 495/496 -  Research Seminar

Recent publications

D. 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)

M. 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) 

A. Parsagian*, M. Kleinert, Designing and building a permanent magnet Zeeman slower for calcium atoms using a 3D printer, Am. J. Phys. 83, 893 (2015)

M. Bhattacharya, S. Marin*, M. Kleinert, Coherent cancellation of geometric phase for the OH molecule in external fields, Phys. Rev. A 89, 052503 (2014) 

M. 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)

M. Bhattacharya, 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) 

C. 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)


Willamette University

Physics Department

Collins Science Center
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6894 voice
503-370-6773 fax