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David Olsgaard

Co-Department Chair of Chemistry/Physics, Professor of Physics, Director of Dual-Degree Engineering, Advisor of Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society
David Olsgaard brings expertise in the laboratory and experimental sides of physics, especially in lasers, optics, and atomic physics. He is also director of Simpson’s Dual-Degree Engineering program.


David Olsgaard enjoys teaching physics at all levels and working with students on laboratory projects. He developed the popular Introduction to Laser Science course with laser laboratory at Simpson College, and is currently working to develop new experiments in quantum optics and entanglement. When not engaged with college duties he enjoys reading, playing tennis, home projects, and traveling with his family.


  • Laser Science
  • Atomic Physics
  • Quantum Optics
  • Laboratory Instrumentation


  • 2017 Recipient of a Jonathan F. Reichert Foundation grant for the development of new experiments in quantum optics.


  • Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Old Dominion University, VA
  • M.S. Physics, Old Dominion University, VA
  • B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, North Dakota State University


  • Eight refereed research papers published in: Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A, Journal of the Optical Society of America B, Optics and Spectroscopy, and Journal of Chemical Physics.
  • Ten published abstracts and conference presentations.
  • “The Big Bang...Whispers of Faith,” David Olsgaard, Cover article for The Simpson Magazine, Spring 2000.