Will Williams

Associate Professor of Physics

Will Williams

Contact & Office Hours

McConnell Hall 312



Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison

B.S., Clarkson University


Will Williams’ research is in experimental cold atom physics.  His current project is high precision spectroscopy of light atoms as tests of quantum electrodynamics (QED).

Williams received dual B.S. degrees—one in physics and one in mathematics—from Clarkson University. He went on to a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he got his doctorate in experimental cold atom physics.  After getting his Ph.D., Williams became a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, which is located outside Chicago and managed by the Department of Energy.  Next, he took a second postdoc position at Old Dominion University.  During his two postdocs, Williams designed, built and ran experiments at many different facilities around the country, including the Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics (CENPA), the free electron laser at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory and NASA.

2021 – National Science Foundation (PHY-2110311)
2016 – National Science Foundation Early CAREER award (PHY-1555232)
2014 – National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant (PHY-1428112)

Recent papers: *indicates student author

M. T. Herd, E. C. Cook, and W. D. Williams, “Absolute frequency measurement of the 6D5/2 level of neutral 133Cs using two-photon spectroscopy”, Physical Review A 104, 042812 (2021)

W.D. Williams, M.T. Herd, E.C. Cook, “Pulsed triple frequency modulation for frequency stabilization and control of two lasers to an optical cavity”, Review of Scientific Instruments 91, 085116 (2020)

E.C. Cook, A.D. Vira,* W.D. Williams, “Resonant two-photon spectroscopy of the 2s3d 1D2 level of neutral 9Be”, Physical Review A 101, 042503 (2020)

E.C. Cook, A.D. Vira,* C. Patterson,* E. Livernois,* and W.D. Williams, “Testing quantum electrodynamics in the lowest singlet state of neutral beryllium-9”, Physical Review Letters 121, 053001 (2018)

 A.L. Win, W.D. Williams, T. Carroll, and C.I. Sukenik, “Catalysis of Stark-tuned interactions between ultracold Rydberg atoms,” Physics Review A 98, 032703 (2018)

 W.D. Williams, M.-T. Herd, and W.B. Hawkins “Spectroscopic study of the 7p1/2 and 7p3/2 states in cesium-133: Hyperfine structure and absolute energy,” Laser Physics Letters 15 (9), 095702 (2018)

 C. Patterson,* A.D. Vira,* M.-T. Herd, W.B. Hawkins, and W.D. Williams, “Calibrating an ultra-low expansion cavity for high precision spectroscopy from 439.6 nm – 475.7 nm using molecular tellurium lines,” Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 033107 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5008290