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Princeton Professor Claire Gmachl to Speak at Brookhaven Lab on Lasers

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 9:21am
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Contacts: Diane Greenberg, (631) 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, (631) 344-5056

Princeton Professor Claire Gmachl to Speak at Brookhaven Lab on Lasers

February 23, 2010

UPTON, NY — Claire Gmachl, professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, will give a talk on “Engineering Light: Quantum Cascade Lasers,” at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory on Wednesday, March 17, at 4 p.m. in the Hamilton Seminar Room. Sponsored by Brookhaven Women in Science, the lecture is free and open to the public. Visitors to the Laboratory age 16 and over must bring a photo ID.

In 2010, the scientific community is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser, which has become a pervasive technology that has shaped much of modern life. For example, lasers are used in fiber optics needed for telecommunications and the World Wide Web, and they are used in eye surgery, DVD and Blu-Ray technologies, and optical storage data systems.

Gmachl has developed many quantum cascade lasers, which emit light in the mid-infrared region of the spectrum. These lasers are ideal for environmental sensing and medical diagnostic applications. In her talk, Gmachl will discuss how these lasers work, and their applications, including their use as chemical trace gas sensors. As examples of these applications, she will briefly present results from her field campaign at the Beijing Olympics, and ongoing campaigns in Texas, Maryland, and Ghana.

After earning a M.Sc. in physics from the University of Innsbruck in 1991, Gmachl went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Vienna in 1995. Gmachl worked at Bell Laboratories from 1996 to 2003, eventually becoming a distinguished member of the technical staff. She joined Princeton’s faculty in 2003 as an associate professor and became full professor in 2007. In 2006, she became director of the Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and Environment Center, a six-university engineering research center funded by the National Science Foundation, which has the goal of developing laser-based sensors capable of detecting minute amounts of chemicals. Popular Science named Gmachl among its “Class of 2004 – Brilliant Ten,” and in 2005, she won the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant.”

Call 631 344-2345 for more information about the lecture. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.

Number: 10-1084  |  BNL Media & Communications Office

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