A new home in Arizona

September 1, 2017 | Thorsten Naeser

Our former colleague Mohammed Hassan has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at the University of Arizona (UA). The university has a strong Atomic and Molecular Optics Division (AMO) and a highly respected College of Optical Sciences as well. Mohammed Hassan will take up his new appointment next summer. He’s planning to establish a Program in Attosecond Physics. Here Mohammed talks to Thorsten Naeser about his plans.

Mohammed, do you already know Arizona a little bit?

I knew the University of Arizona by reputation, thanks to its record in laser physics and optical sciences. I had visited once before for the »Frontiers in Optics« conference in 2014 and I like it very much. The weather is hot in July and August, but the landscaping and the mountain views are great. It reminds me of Munich, and the people are so friendly.

Will you take your family with you?

We moved from California to Tucson, where the UA is located, at the beginning of this month. The city is very nice and family friendly. Also, the education system in Tucson is very good, and its public schools are ranked top in the US, especially the charter schools, which is very good for my kids. Also, there are many art and natural history museums, music, and a wonderful zoo in the town. I think my family will love it.

Why did you decide to go to the university of Arizona?

The University of Arizona is one of the top-ranked universities in physics and number one in optics and laser science in US. The university has very strong AMO program, which includes attosecond activities, a field which is represented at only a few universities in the US. Also, the College of Optical Sciences has great faculty and students. On top of that, the Physics Department strongly supports my intention to establish a strong attosecond program.

What kind of research will you be pursuing?

I plan to set up a multidisciplinary attosecond program, combining the expertise in attosecond physics which I acquired at the MPQ with the experience in ultrafast electron microscopy that I gained during my time at Caltech.

Will you collaborate with your old colleagues at MPQ?

Definitely, I know that the Attosecond Division at MPQ and Prof. Krausz are establishing a global attosecond science network, which will include highly regarded research institutions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Canada and the US. I think my collaboration with my colleagues at MPQ will strengthen this network in the US and will also be important for my research program.