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Daniel Smalley

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Office: 450D EB
Phone: (801) 422-4343


Late on a stormy night (Friday the 13th it was!) a shrill cry pierced the darkness and Daniel Smalley was born. Young Daniel was a farmhand by day and an intrepid experimenter by night. He once used an old metal bucket, some sand and a computer fan to construct an aluminum furnace for melting pop-cans and old screen doors into machine tool parts. He also built a number of circuits, a methane digester, a wind-powered electrolysis machine, a laser and a number of fine origami creations of various shapes and sizes. He experimented a great deal with holography, and for this reason was led to attend MIT where he earned a B.S., M.Eng, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees while working to create the world's first low-cost holographic video monitor. Now as an associate BYU professor, he is working to make the 3D displays of science fiction a reality using waveguide-based modulators and optical tractor beam technologies.

Selected Publications:

  • Smalley, Daniel Elijah, Nygaard, E., Squire, K., Van Wagoner, J., Rasmussen, Jens J, Gneiting, S., Qaderi, K., Goodsell, J., Rogers, W., Lindsey, M., Costner, K., Monk, A., Pearson, M., Haymore, B., & Peatross, Justin B. A photophoretic-trap volumetric display.  Nature, . 553 , 486 - 490. doi:10.1038/nature25176

  • McLaughlin, Stephen, Gneiting, S. Gneiting, Henrie, Alexander, & Smalley, Daniel Elijah. (2017). Backside emission leaky-mode modulators. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Optics Express, The Optical Society. 25 (20622-20627)

  • , Kamran Qaderi, & Smalley, Daniel Elijah. (2017). Paired leaky-mode spatial light modulators with 28° total deflection angle. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Optics Letters.

  • Qaderi, Kamran, & Smalley, Daniel Elijah. (5 September 2016). Leaky-mode waveguide modulators with high deflection angle for use in holographic video displays. Journal Article, Optics Express, Optical Society of America. 24 (18) doi:

  • Gneitling, Scott, Kimball, Jacob, Henrie, Andrew, McLaughlin, Stephen, DeGraw, Taylor, & Smalley, Daniel Elijah. Characterization of Anisotropic Leaky Mode Modulators for Holovideo. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Journal of Visualized Experiments, .

  • Smalley, Daniel Elijah. (14 February 2015). Light at the end of a tunnel. Magazine Article. The Economist, .

  • Henrie, Drew, Haymore, Benjamin, & Smalley, Daniel Elijah. (3 February 2015). Frequency Division Color Characterization Apparatus for Anisotropic Leaky Mode Light Modulators. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Review of Scientific Instruments, AIP.

  • Smalley, DE, Smithwick, QYJ, Bove, VM, Barabas, J, & Jolly, S. (2013). Anisotropic leaky-mode modulator for holographic video displays. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Nature. 498 (7454) , 313–317.

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