Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland

Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland (University of Waterloo)

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Nov. 7, 2019 18:30

Abstract: This year, we have the honour of having Dr. Strickland talk about the work for which Gérard Mourou and she were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018.

With the invention of lasers, the intensity of a light wave was increased by orders of magnitude over what had been achieved with a light bulb or sunlight. This much higher intensity led to new phenomena being observed, such as violet light coming out when red light went into the material. After Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou developed chirped pulse amplification, also known as CPA, the intensity again increased by more than a factor of 1,000 and it once again made new types of interactions possible between light and matter. They developed a laser that could deliver short pulses of light that knocked the electrons off their atoms. This new understanding of laser-matter interactions, led to the development of new machining techniques that are used in laser eye surgery or micromachining of glass used in cell phones.