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Department of Physics

Dr. Baldassare Di Bartolo

professor of physics



Phone: 617-552-3601
Higgins Hall 330D

Prof. Di Bartolo's Lab Website


  • Dott. Ing., Doctor degree in Industrial Engineering, University of Palermo, Italy
  • Diploma of Specialization in Telecommunications received from the "Istituto Superiore delle Telecomunicazioni" (Viale Trastevere, Rome, Italy)
  • Diploma of Specialization in Radar Technique received from the "Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche" (Piazzale delle Scienze, Rome, Italy)
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Areas of Research

Solid State Spectroscopy, Flash Photolysis and Molecular Spectroscopy, Photoacoustics, Femtospectroscopy, Nano-spectroscopy.


Baldassare Di Bartolo is a Professor of Physics at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, which he joined in September 1968. He received his first degree, Dottore Ingegnere, in Industrial Engineering, at the University of Palermo, Italy, from where he has graduated in 1950. After a year of post-graduate studies at the Istituto Superiore delle Telecomunicazioni in Rome, he was granted a Diploma of Specialization in Telecommunications. Another Diploma of Specialization in Radar Technique followed in 1953, was granted by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Rome, after an additional year of post-graduate studies. From 1953 to 1956 he worked with the Microlambda Company in Naples as a design engineer in the field of microwave components and taught courses on Information Theory at the Istituto Universitario Navale in Naples.

In 1956 he received a Fulbright grant and a scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he worked as a member of the "Foreign Student Summer Project"; he returned to MIT in 1957 as a visiting fellow at the Department of Physics. In 1958 he became a staff member of the Laboratory for Insulation Research of MIT and from 1960 to 1963, while still with this laboratory, he was a graduate student in Physics. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1964. From 1964 to 1968, Dr. Di Bartolo directed the Spectroscopy Laboratory of MITHRAS, a division of Sanders Associates, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Prof. Di Bartolo has spent his sabbatical year 1975-76 as a Visiting Professor of Physics in the Laboratoire de Spectroscopie et Luminescence, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon (France), his sabbatical year 1983-84 as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Summer of 1988 as a fellow of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - American Society for Engineering Education Program at the NASA - Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and his sabbatical years 1994, 2002 and 2009 as a Visiting Scientist at the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Laboratory of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since September 1973, Dr. Di Bartolo has been Director of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy of the "Ettore Majorana" International Center for Scientific Culture; in this capacity he has directed 30 "summer" schools: see Erice Schools


Professional Experience at Boston College

  • Years at Boston College: 47
  • Courses taught to nonscience majors, science majors, undergraduates and graduate students.
  • Several new courses introduced at undergraduate and graduate levels: for several years, a new graduate course on a different topic.
  • Number of Ph. D. theses directed: 27; M.S. theses: 3; B.S. theses: 1.
  • Number of books written: 8; number of books edited: 26; number of articles in scientific journals: 150; number of presentations in scientific meetings: 135.
  • Director of the "International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy" of the International Center for Scientific Culture "Ettore Majorana".
  • 30 Summer Schools in Spectroscopy-related subjects already directed in Italy, with such sponsors as NATO, NASA, and National Science Foundation.
  • Contracts with NASA, including graduate student support.
  • Collaboration with Lincoln Laboratory, NASA, University of Paris, University of Lyon, Harvard University, University of Palermo, Wheaton College, "Centro de Investigaciones en Optica" of Mexico, Istanbul Technical University, Ege University of Turkey, etc.

Selected Publications


Lezioni sulla Teoria Matematica della Communicazione (Lessons on the  Mathematical Theory of Communication), by B. Di Bartolo and R. Vinciguerra, Liguori Publisher, Naples, 1955.

Optical Interactions in Solids, John Wiley and Sons, Publishers, New York, 1968.

Phonons and Resonances in Solids, by B. Di Bartolo and R.C. Powell, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1976.

Luminescence of Inorganic Solids, B. Di Bartolo, editor, published by Plenum Press, New York, 1978.

Classical Theory of Electromagnetism, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1991.

Classical Theory of Electromagnetism, 2nd Edition, World Scientific, New Jersey, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, 2004, winner of the 2006 Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award in the Natural Sciences.

Optical Interactions in Solids, 2nd Edition, World Scientific 2010

Lattice Vibrations and Optical Spectroscopy of Solids: A Group-Theoretical

Approach, by B. Di Bartolo and R. Powell, World Scientific, 2014


"Misura e Controllo del Campo Magnetico a Mezzo di Sostanze Paramagnetiche (Measure and Control of the Magnetic Field by Means ofParamagnetic Substances),"  Automazione ed Automatismi, Anno III, Gen. Feb. 1959.

"Thermal Effects on the Fluorescence Lifetime and Spectrum of Mg0:V2+," Phys. Rev. 137A,1770 (1965) (with R. Peccei).

"A Simple Extension of the Crystal Field Model to Charge Transfer Spectra," in Optical

Properties of Ions in Crystals, eds. H.M. Crosswhite and H.W.  Moos, Interscience, New York (1967) p. 527 (with C.S. Naiman).

"Optical Properties of Heavily Doped Ruby," Physica Status Solidi (a) 10,  215 (1972) (with R.C. Powell).

"Energy Transfer Between Manganese and Erbium Ions in MnF2," in Luminescence of Crystals, Molecules and Solutions, edited by F. Williams, Plenum Press, New York (1973), p. 388 and in News of USSR Academy of Sciences, Physics Series, Moscow 1973, Vol 37, N.4, p. 778 (with J.M. Flaherty).

"Radiative and Radiationless Processes and Mn®Er Energy Transfer in MnF2:Er," in Spectroscopie des Elements de Transition et des Elements Lourds dans les Solides,

Edition du CNRS, 15 Quai Anatole France, Paris (1977), p. 191 (with J.M. Flaherty).

"Recombination Rates of Chlorine Atoms in Flash Photolysis of Chlorine Molecules,"

J. of Chem. Kinetics 15, 1235 (1983) (with P. Papagiannakopoulos).

"Light Shift of Sharp Lines in RE-Doped Solids,"  J. of Luminescence 58, 290 (1994) (with J. M. Collins).

G. Lei and B. Di Bartolo, "Measurement of Rotational and Vibrational Relaxation in Gases by Photoacoustic Resonance: Applications to SF6", J. Appl. Phys. 79 , 2890 (1996).

B. M. Walsh, N. P. Barnes, R. L. Hutcheson, R. W. Equall, and B. Di Bartolo, “Compositional Tuning of Nd: YAG to 0. 94411 mm,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, vol 19 of OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Series (Optical Society of America, Washington D. C.)

B. E. Bowlby and B. Di Bartolo, “Spectroscopy of Trivalent Praseodymium in Barium Yttrium Fluoride,” in Optical Spectra and Chemical Bonding in Inorganic Compounds, a special volume dedicated to Professor Christian Jorgensen, T. Schönherr editor, Springer-Verlag, Structure and Bonding 106, 193 (2004)

X. Chen, B. Di Bartolo, N. Barnes and B. Walsh, “Thermal Tuning and Broadening of the Spectral lLnes of Trivalent Neodymium in Laser Crystals,” Physica Status Solidi (b) Vol. 241, No.8, pp.1957-1976, 2004.

W. A. Wall, B. Di Bartolo, J. Collins and H. Orucu, “Vibrationally- Assisted Transitions and Phonon Spectra in Crystalline Solids,” Journal of Luminescence 129, 1782 (2009)

B. Di Bartolo and J. Collins, “Principles of Photoluminescence,” a chapter in the Handbook of Photoluminescence Semiconductor Materials, CRC Press , 2011,  pp. 1-20

H. Orucu, G. Ozen, B. Di Bartolo and J. Collins, “Site-Selective Spectroscopy of Garnet Crystals Doped with Chromium Ions,” in The Journal of Physical Chemistry 116, pp.8815-8826 (2012)

G.Ozen, M. Erdem, J. Collins, M. Bettinelli, B. Di Bartolo, F. Piccinelli and A. Speghini, “Effect of Spatial Confinement on Luminescence of Y3Al5O12 Nano-Particles Doped with Chromium Ions,” J. of Luminescence 144, 191-197 (2013)

G. Ozen, J. Collins, M. Bettinelli and B. Di Bartolo, “Luminescence of Y3Al5O12 Nano-Particles Doped with Praseodymium Ions,” Optical Materials 35, 1360-1365 (2013)

G. Bilir, G. Ozen, J. Collins and B. Di Bartolo, “Synthesis and Spectroscopic Properties of Nano-Scale Y2O3: Nd3+ Phosphors,” ECS Transactions 50(41), 1-7 (2013)

G. Bilir, G. Ozen, J. Collins and B. Di Bartolo, “Fabrication and Spectral Investigation of Y2O3 Nano-Particles,” Applied Physics A 7804, 2-12 (2013)

G. Bilir and B. Di Bartolo, “Production of Bright, Wideband White Light from Y2O3 Nano-Powders Induced by Laser Diode Emission,” Optical Materials 36, 1357-1360 (2014)

G. Bilir and B Di Bartolo, “Production of Bright, Wideband White Light from Y2O3 Nano-powders Induced by Laser Diode Emission” – Patent Pending

G. Bilir, G. Özen, J. Collins, M. Cesaria, B. Di Bartolo, “Unconventional Production of Bright White Light Emission by Nd-doped and Nominally Un-doped Y2O3 nanopowders”, IEEE Photonics Journal, 6 (4) 8200518 (2014)

G. Bilir, G. Özen, M. Bettinelli, F. Piccinelli, M. Cesaria, B. Di Bartolo “Broadband Visible Light Emission from Nominally Un-doped and Cr3+ doped Garnet Nanopowders”, IEEE Photonics Journal, 6 (4) 2201211 (2014)

G. Bilir, G. Ozen, J. Collins, B. Di Bartolo, “Fabrication and Spectral Investigation of Y2O3:Nd3+ Nanoparticles”, Appl. Phys. A, 115(1) 263-273 (2014)

M. Cesaria, G. Bilir, G. Özen, M. Bettinelli, J. Collins, F. Piccinelli, and B. Di Bartolo, “Incandescet Lamp-Like Emission from Doped and Undoped Nanopowders,” in “Nanostructures for Optics and Photonics,” edited by B. Di Bartolo, J. Collins and L. Silvestri., 273-284, Springer 2014