Canada opens attosecond research lab

November 30, 2009-- A new C$2.7-million state-of-the-art laboratory in Ottawa will be home to Canada's fastest X-ray laser. The Joint Laboratory for Attosecond Science (JASLab) will be led by Dr. Paul Corkum, this year's winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.

Nov 30th, 2009

November 30, 2009-- A new C$2.7-million state-of-the-art laboratory in Ottawa will be home to Canada's fastest X-ray laser. The Joint Laboratory for Attosecond Science (JASLab) will be led by Dr. Paul Corkum, this year's winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.

The announcement was made at the National Research Council by Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, on behalf of Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear.

"Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve Canadians' quality of life," said Mr. Galipeau. "This new laboratory will make Canada an international leader in light research and will help attract and train the world's best scientists in this field."

There are still only a handful of labs in the world that can produce attosecond pulses (1 as = 10-18 s), which enable researchers to take pictures of molecules during chemical reactions and study the motion of electrons. An attosecond pulse is so fast that it can freeze the motion of an electron orbiting an atom.

Dr. Corkum is a pioneer in the field of attosecond science with a long and distinguished career as a research scientist at NRC. He is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa. "JASLab is an important strategic addition to Ottawa's suite of photonics tools," he said. "It will provide more opportunities for researchers from NRC and the University of Ottawa to work in a scientific field being pioneered in Canada with tremendous strategic potential."

JASLab is the only facility of its kind in the world and a strategic collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the University of Ottawa. In 2008, NRC and the University of Ottawa began a partnership to co-manage research and development in the field of attosecond science. This partnership was cemented through the tenure and cross-appointment of attosecond scientist Dr. Paul Corkum at both institutions.


For more information about JASLab, see the NRC website

--Posted by Steve Anderson, stevega@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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