Paul Corkum Fluid Mechanics, Power Systems, Electromagnetics, Photonics, Electronics

Developed attosecond (10^-18 or a billion billionths of a second) light pulses for molecular imaging.

"Comparing one attosecond to one second is like comparing one second to the age of the universe."

The Story

Corkum is the father of attosecond laser imaging of molecules and atoms. Very good biographies exist at the University of Ottawa, at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and on Wikipedia. Also a great personal interview at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Career Advice

"This is an exciting time in science. Technology is allowing us precision and control that was not possible before. There are opportunities everywhere. My advice to a young scientist: if you have the talent, immerse yourself in the new technology and ideas and follow where your imagination leads you." (from an interview on the Royal Society of Chemistry website)

The Person

St John, New Brunswick
Ottawa, Ontario
Other Interests
Cross country skiing, skating, and canoeing.
Chair in attosecond photonics
University of Ottawa and National Research Council
  • BSc Acadia University, 1965
  • MSc Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, 1967
  • PhD Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, 1972
  • Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (NSERC, 2009)
  • John C. Polanyi Award (NSERC, 2008)
  • Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science (American Physical Society, 2006)
  • Killam Prize (Canada Council for the Arts, 2006)
  • Charles Townes Award (Optical Society of America, 2005)
  • Quantum Electronics Award (IEEE, 2005)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2003)
  • Tory Medal (Royal Society of Canada, 2003)
  • Einstein Award (Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics, 1999)
  • Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics (Canadian Association of Physicists, 1996)
High school physics teacher
Last Updated
April 13, 2011

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