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A pioneer in applied laser science and spectroscopy

In the hands of Daniel Murnick, ultra-violet light and lasers are tools for improving life.

Murnick – who holds the Donald H. Jacobs Chair of Applied Physics – is immersed in the frontier aspects of applied laser science and spectroscopy. In 2002 Murnick helped develop a new method for producing ultraviolet light – an innovation expected to have far-reaching consequences for the semiconductor industry, as well as for hospitals and water treatment processes. All use deep UV light technology: semiconductors use it for materials processing, hospitals use it for sterilizing equipment, and UV light sources are used for the production of ozone for drinking water purification. Murnick and other researchers found a new and more efficient way to produce UV light. “Ultraviolet light sources can run cool and produce high brightness and high power” in this new method, Murnick explains.

Murnick’s research in the late 1990s led to a medical innovation designed to spare patients from invasive exploratory surgery to diagnose ulcers. Murnick developed a breath test called LARA – Laser Assisted Ratio Analyzer – that detects the bacterium that causes most stomach and intestinal ulcers. The patented procedure was recognized with the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey in 1996, and licensed to a New Jersey firm, Alimenterics Inc.

Murnick was appointed a physics professor at Rutgers in 1988, after a career at Bell Labs where was awarded the Humboldt Award for Distinguished American Scientists for the German government.

He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a guest appointment there as well as in GSI in Darmstadt, Germany.

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