Charles (Chip) Durfee
Professor, Department of Physics

I am interested in the fundamentals and applications of light propagation. On the technology side, I develop laser systems that range from diode-pumped Ti:sapphire oscillators to high power ultrafast amplifiers. Coherent beam propagation, control and characterization have been a long-term interest. This includes exotic forms of structured light: spatial and temporal focusing, vortex beams, and Bessel-Gauss beams. We use linear interferometric and nonlinear tools to characterize the properties of these beams. Nonlinear dynamics of beam propagation in free space (filamentation) and guided waves (solitons and continuum generation) are active areas in which we are working. We strive to couple our experimental measurements with theoretical analysis and computational modeling.


CoorsTek 312

Labs and Research Centers

303-384-2015 (lab)
303-273-3794 (office)


  • Visiting Research Fellow: Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, ENSTA, 2008
  • Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS), Research Fellow
  • PhD, Physics University of Maryland, 1994
  • Eastman Kodak, Development Engineer, 1985-1987
  • BS, Physics and Applied Physics, Yale University, 1984

Awards and Recognitions

  • Visiting Research Fellow: Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, ENSTA
  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America

Research Areas

  • Lasers and ultrafast optics
  • Nonlinear optical dynamics
  • Guided-wave optics: gases, optical fibers, surface plasmons