Arlan Mantz

Oakes Ames Professor Emeritus of Physics

Joined Connecticut College: 1995-2009

B.A. Catawba College; M.Sc., Ph.D, Ohio State University


Study of the temperature dependence of molecular absorption line widths and shapes using tunable lasers

Arlan Mantz retired from teaching at Connecticut College in 2009 and continued at the College as a senior research scientist in the laser spectroscopy lab.

Professor Mantz's research interests reflect his previous industrial research and management experience.

He continues to be actively engaged in research which utilizes tunable diode lasers in the detailed study of molecular absorption line shapes at room temperature and at low temperatures. The molecular temperatures simulate temperatures in the atmospheres of the outer planets (and their moons) in our solar systems.

Low molecular temperatures are achieved through a new experimental technique called collisional cooling. Instrumental development over the past several years concentrated on the development of laser stabilization techniques to control the emission line width of semiconductor lasers while they are being scanned. Recent instrument development has dealt with achieving long absorption paths at uniform temperatures between room temperature and 15 Kelvin.

Professor Mantz utilizes his experience in optics, spectroscopy and quantum mechanics in courses like "Advanced Physical Optics, Thermodynamics, and Statistical Mechanics," "Applied Quantum Mechanics," "Experimental Physics," and "Modern Physics."

Professor Mantz also advises students who are interested in combining studies in business, patent law or engineering with the sciences, like physics, materials science, nanotechnology and environmental science.

Mantz maintains active collaboration with scientists at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France where he also has been an invited professor.  Frequently students worked with Professor Mantz in Paris.

Professor Mantz has published more than ninety papers describing his research results in refereed journals and other publications, including "A multispectrum analysis of widths and shifts in the 2010 to 2260 cm-1 region of12C16O broadening by Helium at temperatures between 80 and 297K", J. Molecular Structure 742, 99-119 (2005); and "Performance of a Herriot Cell, designed for variable temperatures between 296 and 20K", J. Molecular Spectroscopy 241(2007),18-25.

Professor Mantz has presented many plenary papers in international conferences, and has written several review articles and book chapters on the subjects of tunable laser spectroscopy and experimental spectroscopic methods. A recent invited paper was presented in the XIVth Symposium on High Resolution Molecular Spectroscopy, held onboard a ship while cruising the Yenisee River in Siberia. The paper was titled "Infrared Absorption Line Broadening and Line Profile Studies between 296K and 6K Using Tunable Diode Lasers."

Mantz holds several patents on such diverse subjects as laser-stable isotope ratio monitors for medical applications and a method to study time resolved spectra utilizing Fourier transform interferometers.

He is co-organizer of an international conference on tunable diode laser spectroscopy, which is held every two years. The 2007 meeting, the sixth in the series, took place in Reims, France. The 2009 TLDS conference was in Zermatt, Switzerland. For more information, visit

He is co-chair and international correspondent for a new series of seminars called the Prokhorov Seminars, honoring the late Nobel Laureate Alexander M. Prokhorov.

View the physics department website.

Contact Arlan Mantz

Mailing Address

Arlan Mantz
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320