The Laser Centre is the largest laser resource in Latvia and a unique experimental infrastructure at national and regional (Baltic States) scale. It was established in 2005 by a major investment of the University aimed at facilitating high-level research education embedded in the environment of a modern research laboratory. The infrastructure of the Laser Centre houses a laser pool consisting of several single mode ring dye laser systems that provide the necessary number of coherent light sources for complex laser manipulation experiments, and various diode laser sources. An incorporated teaching laboratory serves as the training ground for students in handling complex laser systems. It allows the researchers to perform experiments with supersonic molecular beams, reaction fragment imaging, Fourier spectrometry, and a magneto-optical trap for cold atom experiments is being built.

The Laser Centre was established as an open facility, with an idea to provide access to interested external researchers willing to use its infrastructures. It has become de facto the leading and largest laser laboratory in Latvia, with its researchers actively working in the areas of atomic, molecular, and chemical physics, astrophysics, as well as various kinds of applications of laser techniques. The scope of this research is reflected in regular publications in international scientific journals (like Phys. Rev. Lett., Phys. Rev. A, J. Chem. Phys., J. Phys. B etc.).

Research in the Laser Centre is structured topically in its four laboratories:

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratory (Prof. M. Auziņš)
  • Molecule Optical Polarization Laboratory (Prof. R. Ferbers)
  • Laboratory of Astrospectroscopy (Dr. L. Začs)
  • Color centre laboratory (NV in diamond)

During more than ten years of existence the Laser Centre has become the strongest scientific centre of laser based research, with ongoing research activities and training of PhD students and postdocs. The Laser Centre has numerous international collaborations with partners in most European countries, as well as USA and Taiwan. It has been successful in attracting funding from European Framework Programmes, NATO, INTAS, and EC structural funds. It has also achieved a good degree of visibility at national scale, considered to be a national model laboratory, which is evidenced by interviews of the mass media and regular open door events accepting the ground and secondary school students and science teachers. The Laser Centre welcomes interested researchers and students to communicate about possible collaborations and study options.

Head of the Unit

Mārcis Auziņš