UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy

Prof Peter Barker

Prof Peter Barker

Professor in Physics

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2006

Research summary

My research interests are in the manipulation of molecules in strong optical fields with a particular emphasis on the creation of slow cold molecular gases by optical Stark deceleration and the cooling of these molecules to ultra-cold temperatures. I have a background in atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy, non-linear optics, and laser-induced phenomena in gases. I also have expertise in developing applications from more basic optical physics research.


University of Queensland
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1996
University of Queensland
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1990
University of Queensland
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1989


I studied for a BSc in Physics at the University of Queensland in Australia and was awarded a PhD in Physics from the same university in 1996 working on applied laser spectroscopy. From 1997 to 2001 I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and then a Research Scientist and Lecturer in the Applied Physics Group in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University working on an interdisciplinary project with Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore developing a new type of wind tunnel for accelerating gases to hypersonic speeds using lasers and electron beams. In 2001, I took up the position of Lecturer in the Physics Department at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and became a Senior Lecturer in 2004. In October 2006 I joined the AMOPP group at Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL as a Reader and are currently an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow. I was promoted to Professor in October 2007.