Geek Of The Week: Donna Strickland

Geek Of The Week: Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist and Nobel laureate, who is an associate professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Waterloo. A pioneer in the field of pulsed lasers, she received the Nobel Prize in Physics in October, 2018, together with GĂ©rard Mourou and Arthur Ashkin.

Strickland and Mourou published their pioneering work “Compression of amplified chirped optical pulses” in 1985 while Strickland was still a doctoral student under Mourou. Their invention of chirped pulse amplification for lasers led to the development of the field of high-intensity ultrashort pulses of light beams. Because the ultrabrief and ultrasharp light beams are capable of making extremely precise cuts, the technique is used in laser micromachining, laser surgery, medicine, fundamental science studies, and other applications. It has enabled doctors to perform millions of corrective laser eye surgeries. Strickland said that after developing the technique they knew it would be a game-changer.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.