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EPS-QEOD Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications

The EPS Prize Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 4 September 2018, from 17:15 - 18:15 in the Lecture Hall.

The European Physical Society (EPS) Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications is a major prize awarded on behalf of the European Physical Society through its Quantum Electronics & Optics Division (QEOD).  The prize is awarded every 2 years in recognition of recent work by one or more individuals (no more than three) for scientific excellence in the area of laser science and applications in its broadest sense.  Relevant topics include laser source development, power-scaling concepts, pump source development, nonlinear optics, ultrafast sources, material science, spectroscopic and characterisation techniques, and applications both in optics and photonics as well as in other fields.

The work for which the individual(s) is/are nominated must be such that a significant component of it was performed during the period 5 years prior to the award. In addition, the award will recognise research for which a significant portion of the work was carried out in Europe or in cooperation with European researchers, and may be given for either pure or applied research.  The award is accompanied by an engraved glass medal, a certificate, and a monetary sum of 2000 euros.

The 2018 Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications is awarded to Prof. R.J. Dwayne Miller for his Achieving the Fundamental Limit to Minimally Invasive Surgery with Complete Biodiagnostics for Surgical Guidance.

Time of presentation: 17:15-18:15
The title of the talk will be: "Picosecond Infrared Laser (PIRL) Scalpel: Achieving Fundamental (Single Cell) Limits to Minimally Invasive Surgery and Biodiagnostics"
The first atomic movie of strongly driven phase transitions revealed the means to limit nucleation growth and associated shock wave damage.  This insight has led to the achievement of effectively scar free laser surgery with an intrinsic molecular bar code to accurately guide surgery with prospect to map cells.


 DwayneProf. R.J. Dwayne Miller, MPI for the Structure, and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg, Germany
R. J. Dwayne Miller has published over 200 research articles, one book, and several reviews. He has pioneered the development of both coherent multidimensional spectroscopy methods, associated ultrafast laser technology, and introduced the  concept of using ultrabright electron sources to probe structural dynamics.  The electron sources developed by his group are sufficiently bright to literally light up atomic motions in real time. He and his group were the first to capture atomic motions during the defining moments of chemistry – to directly observe the very essence of chemistry. This work accomplished one of the dream experiments in science, to bring the chemists’ collective gedanken experiment of chemistry to direct observation.  As a testimony to the importance of basic research, this work provided new insight into strongly driven phase transitions that led to the ultimate limit in minimally invasive laser surgery with intact molecular signatures for guidance, and scar free healing.

His research accomplishments have been recognized with an A.P. Sloan Fellowship, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Presidential Young Investigator Award (USA), Polanyi Award, Rutherford Medal in Chemistry, the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Medal, and numerous named lectureships.  He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the CIC, Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and distinguished University Professor at the University of Toronto.  He recently received the E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy, conferred by the American Chemical Society (2015), the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2016), and Doctorate of Science Degree (honoris causa) from the University of Waterloo (2017).  He is also a strong advocate for science promotion earning the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada (2011) for founding Science Rendezvous, which is the largest celebration of science (geographically at least) with over 300 events all across Canada with new initiatives in the North, aimed to make science accessible to the general public with over 250,000 attendees annually, made possible by >6000 volunteers/researchers.




2016 (Europhoton, Vienna, Austria):
The second edition of the EPS-QEOD Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications was awarded to Prof. Reinhard Kienberger for his seminal contributions to establishing the basic techniques for attosecond science with laser-based as well as accelerator-based sources.. He obtained his Ph.D. in quantum optics at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) in 2002 on sub-femtosecond pulse generation and measurement in the XUV regime. He spent a year at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park, CA, USA, to develop a measurement system for sub-picosecond pulses in the hard x-ray regime bringing together know-how in ultrashort pulse generation and measurement spanning the whole high photon energy range. From 2007, he was leader of an independent Junior Research Group at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching/Munich, Germany. Kienberger was awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for top science in Germany in 2006 and a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2008. In the same year, he was appointed professor for experimental physics at the Technical University of Munich, where he became full professor and head of the Chair for Laser and X-ray Science in 2013. In 2015 he received an ERC Consolidator Grant. He was also awarded the ICO Prize of the International Commission for Optics, the Ernst Abbe Medal of the Carl Zeiss Foundation and he is Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Kienberger has made seminal contributions to the development of attosecond pulse generation and of methods for their characterization. He has been investigating ultrafast electron dynamics in atoms molecules and solids with attosecond techniques.

2014 (Europhoton, Neuchâtel, Switzerland):
The first edition edition of the EPS-QEOD Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications was awarded to Thomas Udem, research associate at Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany. The Prize was awarded to Dr. Thomas Udem "For significant contributions to the development of optical frequency combs and their extension into the vacuum-ultra-violet region, as well as the realization of applications in astronomy, metrology and ultra-precise fast sensitive spectroscopy".

High precision spectroscopy of hydrogen constitutes a very precise test of Quantum Electrodynamics, which is one of the most accurate theories among all fields of physics. To further increase the measuring accuracy, Thomas Udem and his team devised the so-called frequency comb technique at the end of the nineties. This technique allows to directly counting the oscillations of the optical wave of a laser that is used to interrogate the energy levels of the hydrogen atom. Other atoms and ions can be investigated with this technique, for example to set up an all-optical atomic clock. Currently Thomas Udem is working on extending the frequency combs to much shorter wavelengths by employing the process of high-order harmonic generation. By means of this technique, more sensitive tests on hydrogen-like ions could be conducted. Another project aims at precisely calibrating astronomical instruments, in order to detect extra solar planets and eventually probe the proclaimed acceleration of the cosmic expansion in real time.

 Thomas Udem studied physics at the University of Giessen (Germany) and at the University of Washington in Seattle (USA). After his diploma in 1993, he joined the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics at Garching (Germany). In 1997 he received his PhD from the University of Munich for developing new methods of absolute optical frequency measurements including the optical frequency comb. As a postdoc he worked on refining the frequency comb technology by introducing the self- referencing technique and applied it to measure transition frequencies in atomic hydrogen. After another postdoc at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder (USA), he returned to Garching and became research associate there. Since then, he has been working on high precision metrology on hydrogen-like systems, ion traps and astronomical frequency combs.



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