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Morty KhakooMorty Khakoo


Dr. Murtadha "Morty" Khakoo was born in Zanzibar Town on the island of Zanzibar, which lies off of the eastern coast of Tanzania. He accompanied his early studies with football (soccer), fishing with friends, and enjoying the sandy beaches afforded by island life.

Dr. Khakoo completed high school in Abingdon, UK. Afterwards, he attended University College in London, where he graduated with honors. He remained at University College to complete his doctorate in atomic physics while developing a love for London which persists even to this day.

In 1989, Dr. Khakoo joined the Cal State Fullerton Physics faculty. In addition to teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level physics courses at CSUF, Professor Khakoo devotes his energy towards the advancement of experimental research in atomic physics, working together with students and colleagues in order to maintain a very vibrant and extremely active laboratory.

A Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Chartered Physicist, Dr. Khakoo has been the recipient of more than $2.1 million in grants and fellowships and co-holds a patent for a pulsed-electron gun. 

Dr. Khakoo values his family over his passion for experimental physics. He lives in Orange County with his wife Sherbanu and his two children, Naushad and Sabaha.

Dr. Khakoo's Research

Dr. Khakoo focuses his research efforts on experimental inquiries into atomic physics -- specifically, on electron scattering from fundamental targets.

The goal of this research is to provide experimental electron-gas scattering data in the form of cross-sections, cross-section ratios, and coherence and correlation parameters as fundamental tests of current electron scattering models. As well as spin polar electron polarimetry; gas dynamics of molecular beams; and atomic and molecular sources from discharge media. This information is very useful for plasma processing applications, astrophysical modeling applications, lighting industry applications, and Tokamak magnetic confinement fusion research. With special interests in fundamental targets such as H, He, rare gases, metallic vapors, and H2, N2, O2, CO, and CO2.


Research Summaries

Electron scattering from atomic targets

Electron scattering from molecular targets

Monte Carlo modeling of Mott scattering from Au and Th foils

Research Publications (PDF)

(2011) Near-threshold electron impact doubly differential cross sections for the ionization of argon and krypton

(2011) Radiative transition parameters of the 107,109Ag2 C 1Πu - X 1Σg+ band system

(2011) Symmetry relations in the relative intensities of the energy loss lines of argon excited by electrons in the ground state to the 3p 54s fine-structure states

(2011) Near-threshold electron impact excitation of the argon 3p 54s configuration - new and revised normalized differential cross sections using recent time-of-flight measurements for normalization

(2010) Low-energy elastic electron scattering from furan

(2010) Elastic electron scattering by ethyl vinyl ether

(2010) Total electron scattering cross sections for methanol and ethanol at intermediate energies

(2009) Integral cross-sections for the electron impact excitation of the
C 3Πu, E 3Σg+, and a'' 1Σg+ states of N2

(2009) Low energy electron scattering from polyatomic targets

(2009) Three-body dynamics in single ionization of atomic hydrogen by 75keV proton impact

(2009) Vibrational excitation of water by electron impact

(2009) Near-threshold electron impact doubly differential cross-sections for the ionization of neon and xenon

(2008) Electron scattering of slow electrons by n-propanol and n-butanol

(2008) Electron scattering from H2O: elastic scattering

(2008) Low energy elastic differential electron scattering from water

(2008) Low energy electron scattering from methanol and ethanol

(2008) Electron impact excitation of the X 1Σg+(v'' = 0) state to the
a'' 1Σg+, b 1Πu, c 1Πu, o 1Πu, b' 1Σu+, c' 1Σu+, F 3Πu, and G 3Πu states of molecular nitrogen

(2007) Direct evidence for channel-coupling effects in molecules: electron impact excitation of the
a'' 1Σg+ state of N2

(2007) Low energy elastic electron scattering from ethylene

(2005) Low energy electron impact ionization of helium - doubly differential cross-sections

(2005) Integral cross sections for the direct excitation of the
A 3Σu+, B 3Πg, W 3Δu, B' 3Σu-, a' 1Σu-, a 1Πg, w 1Δu, and C 3Πu electronic states of N2 by electron impact

(2005) Differential cross sections for the electron impact excitation of the
A 3Σu+, B 3Πg, W 3Δu, B' 3Σu-, a' 1Σu-, a 1Πg, w 1Δu, and C 3Πu states of N2

(2004) Low-energy electron scattering from atomic hydrogen. II. Elastic and inelastic scattering

(2004) Low-energy electron scattering from atomic hydrogen. I. Ionization

(2004) Electron impact excitation of the argon 3p54s configuration: differential cross-sections and cross-section ratios

(2003) Electron-impact ionization of atomic hydrogen at incident electron energies of 15.6, 17.6, 25, and 40 eV

(2003) Accurate determination of background scattered electrons in crossed electron- and gas-beam experiments using a moveable gas beam source


Older papers

(2005) Electron impact excitation of argon and krypton: improved r-ratios

(2002) Differential cross-sections for the electron-impact excitation of molecular hydrogen

(2002) Differential cross-sections and cross-section ratios for the electron-impact excitation of neon

(2000) Angular profiles of molecular beams from effusive tube sources

(1999) Differential cross-sections for electron-impact excitation of krypton and Letter to the editor

(1999) Elastic electron scattering from laser-excited Ba atoms and Letter to the editor [JPL collaboration]

(1999) Absolute differential cross sections for the electron impact excitation of the 12S to the 22S and 22P levels of atomic hydrogen at 50 and 100 eV

(1996) Electron-impact excitation of the 11S to 31P and 41P transitions in helium

(1996) Differential cross sections for electron impact excitation of Xe

(1996) A time-of-flight spectrometer for electron-gas scattering

(1995) Electron impact excitation of the 11S to 31P transition in helium

(1994) Electron-impact excitation of select levels of Ne, Kr, Ar, and Xe

The Lab

Morty in the labMorty in the labDr. Khakoo's experimental research laboratory is located in the Science Laboratory Center, on the first floor of Dan Black Hall at CSU Fullerton. Completed in 1994, the SLC is a state-of-the-art research facility for exploration into most major branches of science, including atomic physics, laboratory astrophysics, and fiber optics.

One of the vacuum chambersOne of the vacuum chambersSeveral vacuum chambers house the various electron scattering test regions and represent the core elements of Dr. Khakoo's laboratory equipment. Three such chambers are present in the laboratory; low-energy electron spectrometers collimate, monochromate, and direct electrons onto gaseous targets, while a computer-monitored residual energy detector counts and registers scattered electrons.

Much of the equipment in Dr. Khakoo's lab has been donated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a close partner of the lab in the exploration of physical phenomena.

Leigh at the computerLeigh at the computerSeveral computers monitor and control 'round-the-clock experiments while recording precise measurements of experimental data. Sophisticated computerized data analysis enables the research team to extract meaningful physical conclusions from the raw data produced by these experiments. Finally, these computers provide tools for the research team to design new experimental equipment, write new proposals, and maintain the website.

Lab Staff

Dr. Khakoo leads a team of highly motivated and extremely capable experimenters who perform research into electron scattering from fundamental targets.

Leigh HargreavesLeigh HargreavesDr. Leigh Hargreaves has come to Fullerton from the Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, where he explored experimental methods for studying electron scattering from short-lived free radicals. Leigh has also worked at the University of Adelaide studying electron ionization of rare gas atoms and buckyballs. He has joined the CSUF Physics department as a student research director and part-time lecturer. His favorite thing to do in the lab? Perform miracles with LabView.

Colin CampbellColin CampbellColin Campbell is a part-time faculty member of the CSUF Physics department, and he's the lab's technical expert. He loves to build things with his own hands while exhibiting supreme patience and open approachability towards his student assistants.

Joshua TannerJoshua TannerJoshua Tanner is a CSUF Physics graduate student. He loves to put the scientific knowledge he has learned so far into practical use whether it be through experimental physics or side projects. Understanding more about the world and seeing it in action is his goal!

Danny OrtonDanny OrtonDanny Orton is a CSUF undergraduate student double-majoring in Mathematics and Physics. Ask him about Portal 2, wakeboarding, or number theory -- all three subjects will likely net you an enthusiastic response. He will be traveling to Brazil with Colin Campbell this summer (2011) to visit Dr. Khakoo's colleagues in bioethanol research.

Alexs GaufAlexs GaufAlexs Gauf is another Physics/Mathematics double-major at CSU Fullerton. His keen insight and matter-of-fact attitude toward school make him a student researcher with considerable potential. He's a fan of House and is focused clearly on his academic and professional goals. His favorite thing to say, and always with a comical grin: "[whatever the topic of conversation is] is for suckers."

Amos JoAmos JoAmos Jo is pursuing a major in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. Inspired by a sudden change of heart, he has returned to school after eight years of full-time work to pursue a career in environmental science and sustainability. He's good at breaking things, especially if they are interesting things...

Kevin RalphsKevin RalphsKevin Ralphs is a Physics/Mathematics double-major at CSU Fullerton. Strong-willed and extremely bright, Kevin is known for his natural tendency to ace his classes... and give detailed lessons on physics and math to his peers.

But even Legends aren't perfect -- Kevin has earned a B+ at CSUF!

Zac Yauney is an intern from Troy High school who is interested in math and physics. He hopes that by completing an internship with Dr. Khakoo he will be one step closer to someday becoming a great physics researcher and Nobel Laureate.

Phillipe RodriguezPhillipe RodriguezPhillipe Rodriguez joined the CSUF team as an intern from Los Altos High School. He aspires to expand his knowledge of physics through constant experimentation and constantly works to grasp the concepts needed for success, working diligently toward the end result. He thanks Dr. Khakoo and his high school physics teacher,  Mr. Mark Hughes, for such a wonderful opportunity in the field of physics.

Gabby SernaGabby SernaGabriela Serna studies Physics and Mathematics at Cal State Fullerton. Her hardworking ethic has been noticed by professors at CSUF. She works as a lab assistant studying electron scatter with Dr. Khakoo and Dr. Hargreaves. In addition to electron scatter studies, Gabriela also works closely with Dr. Smith and Dr. Loverude on teaching strategies for Astronomy.

Cris Navarro is a Physics undergraduate at Cal State Fullerton working as a lab assistant for Dr. Khakoo and learning as much as he can in the process. Cris has also worked under Colin Campbell to organize and maintain a variety of lecture demonstrations which has given him a basic understanding oh physics phenomena.


Isik, Sandor, and friends at JPL.Isik, Sandor, and friends at JPL.

































Dr. Khakoo wishes to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support and/or funding:

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Isik Kanik, Paul Johnson

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The National Science Foundation Research in Undergraduate Institutions grant (NSF-RUI)

The American Chemical Society

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) Cottrell Fund

The US Department of Energy DOE-AWUI Summer Faculty Fellowship

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) Junior-Senior and Minigrant funds

CSUF Physics Department faculty and staff

And last, but certainly not least -- ashante and salaamu to Sherbanu, Naushad, and Sabaha for all your love. Hamna matata.

Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
California State University, Fullerton.  T (657) 278-3366 / F (657) 278-2555
Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.



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