Whether it’s solving the world’s biggest problems or investigating the potential of novel discoveries, researchers at UCF are on the edge scientific breakthroughs that aim to make an impact. Through the Research in 60 Seconds series, student and faculty researchers condense their complex studies into bite-sized summaries so you can know how and why Knights plan to improve our world.

In honor of International Day of Light (May 16), here’s a look at 21st Century Scholar Chair Professor of Optics, Photonics and Physics Konstantin Vodopyanov‘s research. Vodopyanov is a pioneer in CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics. This field focuses on the science and technology of light.

Why are you interested in this research?
I love doing something that no one has done before.

Who inspires you to conduct your research?

How does UCF empower you to do your research?
High-class colleagues in my area of research.

What major grants and honors have you earned to support your research?
I have received support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

Why is this research important?
This research might revolutionize early diagnostics of multiple health conditions through totally non-invasive medical breath analysis. It may also contribute to the search for life in the solar system and beyond through detection of trace molecules through their unique spectroscopic signatures.