Dr. Paul Corkum accepts King Faisal Prize

April 19, 2013— Ottawa, Ontario

NRC and uOttawa collaboration produces technology that does things that "seemed impossible".

An Ottawa photonics researcher has been recognised internationally for his pioneering work at the frontiers of science and technology, creating and applying the world's fastest laser light flashes.

Dr. Paul Corkum has just returned from Saudi Arabia where he was awarded the prestigious King Faisal Prize for his foundational contributions to the attosecond field. One of the world's top scientific honours, the King Faisal International Prize is awarded annually to recognize dedicated men and women whose contributions make a positive difference to benefit humanity. Winners of the King Faisal Prize have often gone on to win Nobel prizes for their work.

Dr. Corkum's attosecond technology produces the shortest light flashes in the world, which are used to measure and control the very fastest processes that occur in atoms, molecules and solids. They can even be used to take photos of electrons and chemical reactions, previously deemed 'impossible'.

This ground-breaking work is part of a strategic collaboration between the University of Ottawa and NRC to jointly pursue research and development in the emerging field of ultra-fast photonics technology: Dr. Corkum is Director of the NRC-uOttawa Joint Attosecond Science Laboratory (JASLab) at NRC's Sussex Drive facilities in Ottawa.

What is an attosecond?

An attosecond is an insanely tiny measurement of time. It is one quintillionth of a second, or 10-18 of a second. An attosecond is to a second what a second is to about 32 billion years, or twice the age of the universe!

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