J. Michael O'Hare

Professor Emeritus; Distinguished Service Professor
College of Arts and Sciences: Physics


Dr. O'Hare is a Distinguished Service Professor and Professor Emeritus of Physics and Electro-Optics. He served as chair of the Department of Physics from 1983 to 2007. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he received his B.S. degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, his M.S. from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from The State University of New York at Buffalo. He joined the faculty of The University of Dayton in 1966 and since then has taught physics courses at all levels. He has research experience in atomic, molecular, solid state and optical physics. While at the University of Dayton he has done theoretical and experimental work on the optical properties of materials, and was the principal investigator on various research contracts with the Air Force Materials Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Dr. O'Hare was a co-principal investigator on a NASA sponsored NOVA grant for the design of curricula for developing scientific literacy in preservice teachers.

Faculty Perspective

The most exciting thing about an academic career is the opportunity to teach and interact with students. In addition to teaching, it also allows you to pursue a research agenda of your own interest. I was the chair of the physics department for almost 20 years, which is a long time to be chair of a department. However, it has not been that difficult for me because of the tremendous collegiality that exists in the UD Physics Department.


  • Ph.D., State University of New York, Buffalo, 1966

Research Interests

  • Condensed matter theory
  • Optical properties of materials
  • Nonlinear optics