#11 Dr. Jeff Squier, Department Head of Physics at Colorado School of Mines – Laser Pulses: Focusing Light in Time & Space

Ultrashort laser pulses, only a few 100 millionths of a billionth of a second can now be routinely created, and are finding their way into real world applications. For example, these ultrashort bursts of light are enabling new forms of microscopy that allow scientists to visualize biological structure and function in three dimensions. A particularly exciting application is using these bursts of light to perform delicate surgeries. State-of-the-art eye correction now employs such lasers for example.

At the Colorado School of Mines we have developed a novel lensing system that allows us to focus these bursts of light inspace and time! The ability to create such lensing systems has resulted in a profoundly different manner in which we can optically manipulate materials. Short movie clips demonstrating the perplexing behavior of ultrashort laser pulses that are simultaneously focused in space and time will be presented.

Dr. Squier is the Department Head of Physics at Colorado School of Mines. He also is a CSM alum, with a Bachelors degree in Engineering Physics and a Masters in Applied Physics. Squier has a PhD in Optics, awarded by University of Rochester. His research interests include Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electronics—he has his own UAV fleet—as well as 3D multiphoton microscopy for biological and material science applications, and micromachining with intense femtosecond laser pulses.