Krausz Receives German Order of Merit
GARCHING, Germany, Nov. 17, 2011 — Ferenc Krausz, founder of the field of attosecond physics, today received the German Order of Merit for his role in that field and for his work in the development of new laser technologies. Horst Seehofer, minister president of Bavaria, presented the award.
Krausz is director of Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and chairman of experimental physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. His work on laser technologies not only will serve fundamental research, but also will be applied in medical diagnosis and therapy.
In 2002, he generated light pulses in the attosecond domain for the first time, and in 2003, using a new style of mirrors, developed a laser that generated light pulses consisting of only a few wave cycles with controlled waveforms. The perfectly controlled high-intensity fields of these femtosecond pulses exert forces on electrically charged elementary particles (electrons or protons) that are comparable to intra-atomic forces.
Krausz, who is interested in medical applications, initiated the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA), which is planned for construction. Here, the development of lasers generating extremely short intense light pulses will be pursued. The lasers will be the basis for new x-ray facilities expected to achieve imaging with an extremely high resolution, making it possible to discover cancer tissue at a very early stage. The new laser technologies also could lead to new compact sources for particle rays — protons and carbon ions — which have proved efficient for the treatment of a certain kind of tumors.
Born in Hungary in 1962, Krausz studied electrical engineering at Budapest University of Technology and theoretical physics at Eötvös-Loránd University in Budapest. He received his doctoral degree in quantum electronics from Vienna University of Technology. In 1999, he was appointed full professor at the Vienna university and in 2000, became director of the university’s Centre for Advanced Light Sources Photonics Institute.
Krausz has received numerous scientific awards and prizes.
The Order of Merit is given for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for outstanding service to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.
For more information, visit: www.mpq.mpg.de
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