Margaret Murnane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Margaret Mary Murnane (born 1959) is an Irish physicist. A professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1999. her interests are within Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, and Nanoscience. Her work with lasers has earned her multiple awards[1][2][3] including the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship award in 2000.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in County Limerick, Ireland, Murnane became interested in physics through her father who was a primary school teacher. She received her B.A. and B.S. from University College, Cork.[3] She moved to the United States to study at the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her Ph.D in 1989. She is married to Prof. Henry Kapteyn, a physicist in his own right. They work together and operate their own lab at JILA at the University of Colorado.[4]


Murnane has written or co-written approximately 130 publications in peer reviewed journals, with an average of 42 citations per paper. She built a laser that flashed for ten quadrillionths of a second - the fastest that any human being has ever created.[citation needed] In their lab, Murnane, Kapteyn, and their students make lasers whose beams flash like a strobe light - except that each flash is a trillion times faster. These lasers, like camera flashes, shine a light that lets them record the motions of atoms in chemical reactions. Some of her lasers can generate pulses of less than 12 femtoseconds.[5]



  1. ^ a b "Murnane, Margaret M.". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "1990 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award Recipient". American Physical Society. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "1997 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award Recipient". American Physical Society. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Davis, T. H. (2006). "Profile of Margaret M. Murnane". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (36): 13276–13278. doi:10.1073/pnas.0606322103. PMC 1569154. PMID 16938855.  edit
  5. ^ "Swift laser specifications". KM Labs. Retrieved 12 Mar 2012. 
  6. ^ "APS Newly Elected - April 2015". American Philosophical Society. 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "CU Professor Margaret Murnane Honored By National Women's Science Organization". University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  9. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter M" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 16 April 2011.