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Institute of Optics Director Named AAAS Fellow

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 28, 2013 — University of Rochester Institute of Optics director Xi-Cheng Zhang has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to the generation and detection of broadband terahertz waves.

Zhang, M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics at the university, was elected as an AAAS fellow by his peers in the association. His work with terahertz waves centers on their application for free-space electro-optic sampling and terahertz air photonics with femtosecond lasers.

Zhang believes that fundamental research on terahertz waves will have an impact in many scientific areas, beyond its historical uses in the astronomy and laser fusion communities. Research in his group includes applying terahertz technology to study cultural artifacts, such as frescoes and ceramic pots, and also to monitor the possible presence of explosive materials from a distance.

He joined the university as Institute of Optics director on Jan. 1, 2012, from the Center for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he had been founding director since 1991. Prior to that, Zhang was a guest scientist at MIT, a research physicist at the Amoco Research Center in Illinois and a research scientist at Columbia University in New York. He has also held professorships at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and at eight different universities and institutes in China. Zhang is the co-founder of Zomega Terahertz Corp. He served as chairman of the NATO Sensor and Electronics Technology Task Group from 2007 to 2010, and as chairman of the NATO Exploratory Team from 2005 to 2006.

Zhang has received some 30 honors and awards during his career, most recently the Kenneth Button Prize from the International Society of Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves, and the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Photonics Society in recognition of his innovative work in the field of lasers and electro-optics. He has been awarded 28 US patents and has authored or co-authored 23 books and book chapters and 300 refereed papers.

This year’s AAAS fellows, all 388 of them, can be viewed here. They each will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Feb. 15 at the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

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Nov 2013
The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
femtosecond laser
A type of ultrafast laser that creates a minimal amount of heat-affected zones by having a pulse duration below the picosecond level, making the technology ideal for micromachining, medical device fabrication, scientific research, eye surgery and bioimaging.
AAASAmericasastronomyBusinessfemtosecond laserIEEEimagingMITNATONew YorkopticsRochesterRPISensors & DetectorsterahertzXi-Cheng Zhanglasers

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