University of Ottawa physicist captures light — accolades too

Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

University of Ottawa professor and National Research Council scientist Paul Corkum, known as the father of attosecond molecular imaging, will be the guest of honour at the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, where he will receive the prestigious Harvey Prize for his contributions to the field of attosecond science. This new prize seems to confirm what is being said more and more in the scientific community: that Paul Corkum may be in the running for the Nobel Prize.

The Harvey Prize is awarded annually by the Technion to outstanding international scholars and scientists in the areas of science and technology, human health and contribution to peace in the Middle East. It is known as a good predictor of the Nobel Prize.

Professor Corkum, an internationally renowned physicist, secured his international reputation when he became the first to successfully produce 650-attosecond pulses, incredibly short flashes of light that allow scientists to capture the movement of subatomic particles and observe molecular reactions as they occur.

His research brings physicists a big step closer to controlling the movements of electrons as they speed along inside molecules. This manipulation of electrons in attosecond time could lead to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as computing, engineering and medicine.

Corkum will visit the Technion to receive his award and to deliver a guest lecture to Israeli scientists, academics and leaders.

A highly decorated researcher and scholar, Corkum was recently awarded the Frederic Ives Medal, the highest award given by the Optical Society of America; the King Faisal International Prize for Science; and the Royal Photographic Society Progress Medal. His other prestigious awards and professional honours include the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering and the John C. Polanyi Award.

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Kina Leclair
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 ext.2529
Cell.: 613-762-2908

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