Kevin KnabeK-State Physics Graduate Student Awarded Fellowship to Study Suitable Nonlinear Optics, Fiber Laser Sources at National Institute of Standards & Technology

A Kansas State University doctoral student from Derby has been awarded a fellowship for physics research that will make it possible for basic chemical compounds to be detected quickly and accurately.

Kevin Knabe, a K-State doctoral student in physics, received a fellowship from the National Research Council's Research Associateship Program, funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The fellowship will pay his salary at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., for two years while he researches the technology of extending optical frequency combs into the infrared region of the spectrum.

Knabe said that an outcome of the research could be identifying basic chemical compounds. Different molecules have different absorption fingerprints, and because few laser sources exist in the infrared region, Knabe will be working on new ways to fix this. 

This area of research will be useful for many applications, including high precision spectroscopy of basic molecular bonds, determining the chemical composition of the atmosphere and precision ranging, which is similar to radar.

Knabe studies under Kristan Corwin, K-State associate professor of physics. He is a 1999 graduate of Derby High School and the son of Otis and Cathy Knabe of Derby.