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Frank W. Wise

  • Frank W. Wise
  • Dept: Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Title: Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering
  • Address: 252 Clark Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-1184
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Wise was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories before coming to Cornell. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1988, and was named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1989. He has received several awards for excellence and innovation in teaching. From 2007 to 2011 he was director of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics.

Research Interests

Our main research projects are listed below.

Development of femtosecond-pulse lasers and amplifiers We are working to develop sources of ultrashort optical pulses that could be used in applications outside of basic research laboratories. Currently we are focused on fiber lasers and amplifiers. Our activities range from theoretical studies of new mechanisms for shaping pulses in lasers to laser engineering and commercial development.

Studies of optical spatiotemporal solitons Optical solitons are packets of localized electromagnetic radiation that propagate without spreading out spatially despite diffraction nor temporally despite group-velocity dispersion. We are working to generate fully-confined spatiotemporal solitons (sometimes referred to as "light bullets").

Selected Publications

  • Larson, D., W. Zipfel, R. Williams, M. Bruchez, S. Clark, Frank William Wise, W W Webb. 2003. "Water-soluble quantum dots for multiphoton fluorescence imaging in vivo." Science 300: 1434.
  • Renninger, W. H., Frank William Wise. 2013. "Optical solitons in graded-index multimode fibres." Nature communications 4: 1719.
  • Wright, L G., D N. Christodoulides, F W Wise. 2015. "Controllable spatiotemporal nonlinear effects in multimode fibres." Nature Photonics 9 (5): 306-310.
  • Whitham, K., J. Yang, B H. Savitzky, L F. Kourkoutis, Frank William Wise, T Hanrath. 2016. "Charge transport and localization in atomically coherent quantum dot solids.." Nature Materials 15 (5): 557-563.
  • Wright, L G., Z. Liu, D A. Nolan, M J. Li, D N. Christodoulides, F W Wise. 2016. "Self-organized instability in graded-index multimode fibre." Nature Photonics 10 (12): 771-776.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award (1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005) (College of Engineering, Cornell University)
  • Optical Society Of America Distinguished Traveling Lecturer 2016
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (National Science Foundation) 1989



  • BS (Engineering Physics), Princeton University, 1980
  • MS (Electrical Engineering), University of California, Berkeley, 1982
  • MS (Applied Physics), Cornell University, 1986
  • Ph D (Applied Physics), Cornell University, 1988