Loeb Lecture in Physics: Donna Strickland

February 14, 2019
Photo of Donna Strickland

The lectures, sponsored by the Morris Loeb Lectureship Fund, are free and open to the public.


Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo
Nobel Laureate, Physics 2018

"From Nonlinear Optics to High-Intensity Laser Physics"

Monday, March 4, 2019 @ 4:15pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge

The laser increased the intensity of light that can be generated by orders of magnitude and thus brought about nonlinear optical interactions with matter. Chirped pulse amplification, also known as CPA, changed the intensity level by a few more orders of magnitude and helped usher in a new type of laser-matter interaction that is referred to as high-intensity laser physics. In this talk, I will discuss the differences between nonlinear optics and high-intensity laser physics. The development of CPA and why short, intense laser pulses can cut transparent material will also be included. I will also discuss future applications.

"Investigation of Multi-frequency Raman Generated Spectra"

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Since the advent of lasers, many different nonlinear optical techniques have led to shorter, higher-intensity pulses. At Waterloo, we are studying Multi-frequency Raman generation (MRG), which efficiently generates a large number of Raman orders spanning the spectral region from the infrared to the ultraviolet. The bandwidth of the Raman orders is sufficient to generate single-femtosecond duration pulses. While the pulse duration is longer than what is possible with high order harmonic generation, the conversion efficiency is much higher. While most research in this field is concerned with making as many Raman orders as possible, we noticed that the spectra of the individual Raman orders changed dramatically when changing either the dispersion in the nonlinear medium or the laser pump intensity. In this talk, I will discuss the possible physical process causing these changes in the spectra as well as how the changes effect the generation of ultrashort intense pulses.

"Two-Color CPA Laser Development for Nonlinear Optics"

Wednesday, March 6 @ 4:15pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge

There are a host of nonlinear optical experiments requiring two synchronized pulses having different frequencies. At Waterloo, we have developed two-color Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) laser systems to carry out some of these nonlinear optics experiments. Currently, we are studying Multi-frequency Raman generation (MRG) with the aim of produce ultrashort pulses using a two-colour, Ti:sapphire system. A second two-color system based on fiber CPA is used to generate long wavelength mid-infrared radiation through difference frequency mixing. In the future, the two-color fiber system should also provide a high average power source of single-femtosecond pulses using MRG.