Physics fascinates Ph.D. student at Colorado School of Mines

Alyssa Motz holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and a master’s in applied physics. | File photo
Alyssa Allende Motz, a Ph.D. student at Colorado School of Mines, finds physics endlessly fascinating because she learns how to learn and think of the world so that she can make more conclusions and ask more questions.

Motz holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and a master’s in applied physics. With all of her experience, she believes that physics is more than an issue of how matter travels through time and space and how laws govern the way humans think of force and energy.

Motz chose to study physics for her Ph.D. because she still had more questions that needed answered: “The more you find out, the more you find out that you don’t know,” she said.

On a regular basis, Motz works with nonlinear microscopy and nonlinear optics. This means that she focuses a laser beam on a tiny point to diffract limits of light and take high-resolution images.

“In my research, we wanted to push the resolution limits, and we thought this really wouldn’t change the scope of something called a lifetime measurement,” Motz said. “What we found out was that at first what appeared to be lifetimes that looked incorrect was actually a feature of the measurement being different from the macroscale measurement. It actually led to more questions. But then more was found out with the same kind of measurement, just on a different kind of scale.”

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