Douglas W. McColm

Headshot of Douglas Mccolm

Senior Lecturer Emeritus


Research Interests:

Professor McColm's research spans both experimental and theoretical atomic physics. Currently he is working on two projects.

An experiment to remeasure the electric dipole moment of the electron is in the design stage, in collaboration with scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and at the University of Colorado. The technique will use laser cooling and trapping of atoms, reaching temperatures in the milli-Kelvin range. The result of the experiment will be important to theorists in elementary particle physics because a very small electric dipole moment is predicted by some models but is not a feature of standard approaches.

A program of calculations of wave functions in light atoms is continuing with emphasis on non-variational methods of calculating the helium non-relativistic wave function using techniques that employ the standard theory of angular momentum. Non-variational approaches can be quite rigorous, and act as a guide to the quantum-mechanical effects present in atomic systems.

Experimental atomic physics
Molecular beam studies

Research Areas

Career History

  • Ph.D. - Yale University, 1961


  • NSF Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Elected to Phi Beta Kappa
  • Elected to Sigma Xi
  • Member of American Physical Society