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Gérard Mourou honoured by the American Physical Society

After receiving the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and the Frederic Ives Medal in 2016, Emeritus professor and member of the Haut collège of École Polytechnique Gérard Mourou will be honoured by the largest association of physicists in 2018, the American Physical Society.

Emeritus professor Gérard Mourou will be honoured by the largest association of physicists in 2018, the American Physical Society and will receive the Arthur L. Schawlow Award in Laser Science, which recognizes outstanding contributions to basic research which uses lasers to advance knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light.

Gérard Mourou is the co-inventor, with his student Donna Strickland, of the technique Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA).  This technique made possible the amplification of short laser pulses (approx. 10-15 second) to extremely high peak power, equal to terawatt (1012 watts). It revolutionized the laser science field and found new applications in different branches of Physic, including nuclear and particle physics. Adapted to the medical field, it has led to new advances in refractive surgery of the eye and cataract.

Emeritus professor and member of the Haut collège of École Polytechnique, Gérard Mourou is also emeritus professor at the University of Michigan and director of the International Center for Zetta-Exawatt Science and Technology (IZEST) with more than 27 laboratories around the world. He initiated the  Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) in Europe in 2012 with its three  pillars located in Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. In parallel, he established the project Apollon in France, located on the plateau de Saclay. The ELI and Apollon projects represent the largest laser facilities in the world.

Current researches try to created short laser pulses equivalent to exawatt (1018 watts) and zettawatt (1021 watts). Actually, Gérard Mourou collaborates with partners to find solution for cleaning the space of millions of orbital debris generated by the launch of satellites. He is looking to use lasers for changing the orbit of debris.