University of Texas
William Monford "Monty" Wood
December 20, 1960–



William Monford "Monty" Wood with Professor Michael Downer (on left)

Details of above photo Michael and Monty working on a femtosecond laser amplifier located in RLM 2.408. Downer writes, "He was my 3rd PhD students (out of more than 40 total). The picture dates from 1988. This was our first-generation femtosecond laser, based on liquid fluorescing dyes. The red-ish tubes visible in the photo contain the flowing dye. The laser is not operating in the photo, hence the absence of laser goggles. This system produced laser pulses with a whopping 30 gigawatts (GW) peak power, and was used to study ionization physics. Now a system based on solid-state gain media has replaced it, and produces pulses of 30 terawatts (TW) peak power, and is used to study laser-plasma particle acceleration. Monty went on to become a staff scientist at Los Alamos NM.


Monty earned his PhD in 1991. His dissertation was entitled, "Femtosecond time-Resolved Study of Plasma Generation and dynamics by Blueshifting of High Intensity Laser Pulses". His supervisor was Michael Downer. At Texas, Wood was a recipient of a Robert A. Welch Fellowship and an outstanding graduate student award.

Monty Wood was born Decembe 20, 1060, in Contra Costa, CA. Wood was a National Merit Scholar. In 1983, Wood earned a BS and MA from Reed College. His thesis was "The Sagnac Effect". It was supervised by Dr. Nicholas A. Wheeler. Following graduation for the University of Texas, Wood joined the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for two years. He then joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as Research Physicist and Data Analyst Expert. After 25 years, he retired in 2018 and became self-employed. Hisconsulting company is Wood Analytics. One of his current interest is creating successful stock trading systems based on data correlation and solid money management practices.

At Los Alamos, Wood won a number of LANL Defense Programs Award of Excellence.


Downer and Wood.