Professor Gérard Mourou,
Nobel Prize Winner
Lecture Title: Extreme Light Passion
Gérard Albert Mourou is a French scientist and pioneer in the field of electrical engineering and lasers. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, along with Donna Strickland, for the invention of chirped pulse amplification, a technique later used to create ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (petawatt) laser pulses.
In 1994, Mourou and his team at the University of Michigan discovered that the balance between the self-focusing refraction and self-attenuating diffraction by ionization and rarefaction of a laser beam of terawatt intensities in the atmosphere creates “filaments” which act as waveguides for the beam thus preventing divergence.