Position Type
- Present

I arrived at Denison in 2012, following postdoctoral research in the Laser Cooling group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At Denison, I teach at all levels in the physics curriculum and particularly enjoy working with students in both introductory and advanced labs. I also have a strong commitment to undergraduate research.

My field of research is in experimental atomic physics and quantum information. In particular, I am interested in using light to control individual atoms, and to use this control to store, process, and transmit information. This is being pursued at Denison using trapped atomic ions, laser-cooled to near absolute zero (less than -459 °F). My research has been supported by grants from the Army Research Office, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the National Science Foundation.

B.S., B.A., University of Chicago; M.Sc., M.S.E., Ph.D. University of Michigan


Research Overview
Experimental research on atomic ion laser cooling and trapping, quantum optics, and quantum information.




  • S. Olmschenk, P. R. Banner, J. Hankes, and A. M. Nelson, “Optogalvanic spectroscopy of the hyperfine structure of the 5p65d 2D3/2,5/2 and 5p64f 2F5/2,7/2 levels of La III,” Phys. Rev. A 96, 032502 (2017)
  • S. Olmschenk and P. Becker, “Laser ablation production of Ba, Ca, Dy, Er, La, Lu, and Yb ions,” Appl. Phys. B 123, 99 (2017)
  • S. Olmschenk, R. Chicireanu, K. D. Nelson, and J. V. Porto, “Randomized benchmarking of atomic qubits in an optical lattice,” New J. Phys. 12, 113007 (2010)
  • S. Olmschenk, D. N. Matsukevich, P. Maunz, D. Hayes, L.-M. Duan, and C. Monroe, “Quantum Teleportation Between Distant Matter Qubits,” Science 323, 486 (2009)