How chirped pulse amplification helped to revolutionize the science of lasers

Lasers are cool – this is a fact that both children and scientists can confirm. Laser physics has become an increasingly important area, with a plethora of applications in both basic and applied research ranging from space exploration to industrial manufacturing, eye surgery and medical imaging. Within the field of high-intensity lasers, there is hardly anyone who understands the technology better than Donna Strickland. A professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, she is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification (which is the current state-of-the-art technique used by most of the highest-power lasers in the world). Donna not only helped revolutionise laser physics, she also continuously shed light on a lack of women in her field and has worked hard to bring more women into her department at Waterloo. At Falling Walls, Donna will talk about the relevance of lasers, the relationship between light and matter and the challenge of cutting through something