University of Rochester

Optics, Physics Research Among Best of '95

January 26, 1996

Research with light, lasers and subatomic particles has earned year-end kudos for several teams at the University of Rochester.

The team of Carlos Stroud, professor at the Institute of Optics, and graduate student Michael Noel was recognized by Optics and Photonics News, Science News, and Physics News in 1995 for its work using very short, precise laser pulses to make an electron interfere with itself inside an atom. Eventual applications could include new ways to store vast amounts of information.

At the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the design and construction of the world's most powerful ultraviolet laser, Omega, was included among the top 23 technical achievements in 1995 picked by Popular Mechanics. Scientists use the laser in fusion experiments; about once an hour Omega unleashes a laser pulse that packs a walloping 60 terawatts, nearly 100 times the peak power of the entire U.S. power grid. The 4.5-year effort to upgrade Omega was led by Professor Robert L. McCrory, director of the laboratory.

The discovery of a subatomic particle, the top quark, by an international team that included several University scientists and students was also cited by Science News, while Optics and Photonics News singled out the creation of new materials that emit light by Professor Robert Boyd and students George Fischer and Russell Gehr, as well as optical switching research by professors Nicholas George and Govind Agrawal and researcher Stojan Radic. tr