Curriculum Vitae - Charles A. Brau

Charles A. Brau
Professor of Physics

Department: Physics and Astronomy


Office: 6639b Stevenson Center
Phone: 615-322-2559
Home Phone: 615-269-6721
Cell Phone: 615-403-1760
Fax: 615-343-7263


  • B.E.P. (Cornell, 1961)
  • M.A. (Harvard, 1962)
  • Ph.D. (Harvard, 1965)

Research Area

  • Atomic and molecular physics
  • Lasers and light sources
  • Electron beams

Current Research

  • High-brightness electron beams
  • Tabletop Cherenkov and Smith-Purcell FELs
  • Compton backscatter x-ray sources and FELs

Current Courses

  • P227a Intermediste Classical Mechanics
  • P121b Principles of Physics

Current Positions

  • 1988-present : Professor of Physics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Previous Positions

  • 1965-70: Senior Research Staff Scientist, Avco Everett Research Laboratory, Everett, MA
  • 1970-71: NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, Kamerlingh-Onnes Laboratory, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 1971-76: Senior Research Staff Scientist, Avco Everett Research Laboratory, Everett, MA
  • 1976-87: Program Manager, Free-Electron Laser, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
  • 1987-88: Sabbatical Leave, Quantum Institute/University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 1988: Visiting Scientist, Department of Nuclear Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • 1988-95: Director of the Free-Electron Laser Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Professional Societies

  • Tau Beta Pi Association
  • American Physical Society (Fellow)
  • Sigma Xi

Professional Honors

  • 1995 - William Streifer Award for Scientific Achievement (IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society)
  • 1996 - Free-Electron Laser Prize (18th International Conference on Free-Electron Lasers, Rome)

Research Group

  • Heather Andrews
  • Jonathan Jarvis

Undergraduate Students

  • Robert Jefferson


  • "Near-Resonant Vibrational Energy Transfer in N2-CO2 Mixtures," R. D.Sharma and C. A. Brau, Phys. Rev. Lett. 19, 1273 (1967).
  • "Emission Spectrum of XeI* in Electron-Beam Excited Xe/I2 Mixtures," J. J. Ewing and C. A. Brau, Phys. Rev. A12, 129 (1975).
  • "354-nm Laser Action on XeF," C. A. Brau and J.J. Ewing, Appl. Phys. Lett. 27, 435 (1975).
  • "Laser Action on the 2Sigma+ - 2Sigma+ Bands of KrF and XeCl," J. Ewing C. A. Brau, Appl. Phys. Lett. 27, 350 (1975).
  • "Emisson spectra of XeBr, XeCl, XeF, and KrF," C. A. Brau and J. J. Ewing, J. Chem. Phys. 63, 4640 (1975).
  • "Laser Action on the 342-nm Molecular Iodine Band," J. J. Ewing and C. A. Brau, Appl. Phys. Lett. 27, 557 (1975).
  • "Rare-Gas Halogen Excimers," C. A. Brau, Chapter 4 of Excimer Lasers, C. K. Rhodes, Ed., Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1979).
  • "Ground-State Dissociative Attachment Rates in HCl and Cl2," R. C. Sze, A. E. Green, and C. A. Brau, J. Appl. Phys. 53, 1312 (1982).
  • "Free-Electron Lasers," C. A. Brau, Science 239, 1115 (1988).
  • Free-Electron Lasers, C. A. Brau, Academic Press, Boston (1990).
  • "Undulator Radiation," C. A. Brau, Am. J. Physics 64, 662 (1996).
  • "High-Brightness Photoelectric Field-Emission Cathodes for Free-Electron Laser Applications," Nucl. Instr. Meth. A393, 426 (1997).
  • "High-Brightness Electron Beams - Small Free-Electron Lasers," C.A. Brau, Nucl. Instr. Meth. A 407, 1 (1998).
  • Modern Problems in Classical Electrodynamics, C. A. Brau, Oxford University Press, New York (2003, in press).


  • "Combination Free Electron Laser and Gaseous Laser," C. A. Brau, S. D. Rockwood, and W. E. Stein, February 19, 1980.
  • "Microwave Accelerator e-Beam Pumped Laser," C. A. Brau, W. E. Stein, and S. D. Rockwood, March 11, 1980.
  • "RF Feedback Free-Electron Laser," C. A. Brau, D. A. Swenson, and T. J. Boyd, September 1, 1981.
  • "Catalac Free Electron Laser," C. A. Brau, D. A. Swenson, and T. J. Boyd, April 6, 1981.
  • "Circular Free Electron Laser," C. A. Brau, N. A. Kurnit, and R. K. Cooper, April 10, 1984.
  • "Free Electron Laser Using RF Coupled Accelerating and Decelerating Structures," C. A. Brau, D. A. Swenson, and T. J. Boyd October 23, 1984.


Married, 3 children, 7 grandchildren


Hobbies: bicycling, photography

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