Gérard Mourou

Gérard Mourou

Professor Gérard Mourou was the founding Director of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan. For forty years, Professor Gérard Mourou has pioneered the field of ultrafast lasers and their applications in scientific, engineering and medical disciplines. He is also the initiator of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) in Europe. With his student Donna Strickland he is the inventor of the Chirped Pulses Amplification (CPA) technique which allowed for amplifying  ultrashort laser pulses to very high optical powers (presently Petawatt) with the laser pulse being stretched out temporally and spectrally prior to amplification.

He has been the recipient of the Wood Prize from The Optical Society, the Edgerton Prize from the SPIE, the Sarnoff Prize from the IEEE, the 2004 IEEE/LEOS Quantum Electronics Award, 2005 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the 2009 Charles Hard Townes Award, te 2016 Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis and the 2016 Frederic Ives Meda./Jarus Quinn Prize.

He is a fellow of The Optical Society and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Professor Mourou is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Currently he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Michigan and the Ecole polytechnique in Palaiseau France.

On 2 October 2018, Mourou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Donna Strickland, for their work on chirped pulse amplification. Strickland and Mourou found that stretching a laser out reduced its peak power, which could then be greatly amplified using normal instruments. Mourou and Strickland shared half of the Prize while the other half was awarded to Arthur Ashkin.

Select Relevant Papers from OSA Publishing

  1. G. A. Mourou, "Compression of High Energy Pulses to the Sub-attosecond Regime: Route to Exawatt Laser Subatomic Physics," in High-Brightness Sources and Light-Driven Interactions, OSA technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2016), paper JS1A.2.
  2. G. Korn, S. V. Bulanov, J. Chambaret, D. Charambilidis, J. Collier, M. Dunne, K. Ertel, J. Hein, S. Karsch, F. Krausz, G. Mourou, P. Nickles, K. Osvay, B. Rus, W. Sandner, G. Tsakiris, and T. Tajima, "Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI): Physics and Lasers at the ultra-intense frontier," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics 2010, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2010), paper JThG2.
  3. G. Mourou, "EXTREME LIGHT PHYSICS (ELI)," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Pacific Rim 2009, (Optical Society of America, 2009), paper PL_1.
  4. V. Yanovsky, V. Chvykov, G. Kalinchenko, P. Rousseau, T. Planchon, T. Matsuoka, A. Maksimchuk, J. Nees, G. Cheriaux, G. Mourou, and K. Krushelnick, "Ultra-high intensity- 300-TW laser at 0.1 Hz repetition rate.," Opt. Express 16, 2109-2114 (2008)
  5. A. G. Mordovanakis, J. Easter, P. Masson-Laborde, B. Hou, G. Mourou, K. Krushelnick, W. Rozmus, and J. Nees, "Relativistic Electron Jets from Laser-Solid Interactions at Kilohertz Repetition Rate," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference and Photonic Applications Systems Technologies, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2008), paper JWB3.
  6. K. -. Liao, A. G. Mordovanakis, B. Hou, G. Chang, G. Mourou, J. Nees, and A. Galvanauskas, "An efficient Ni Kα X-ray source driven by a high energy fiber CPA system," in CLEO/Europe and IQEC 2007 Conference Digest, (Optical Society of America, 2007), paper CP1_4.
  7. A. Maksimchuk, S. Reed, N. Naumova, S. Bulanov, V. Chvykov, B. Hou, G. Kalintchenko, T. Matsuoka, P. Rousseau, G. Mourou, V. Yanovsky, J. R. Beene, D. R. Schultz, D. W. Stracener, and C. R. Vane, "Acceleration of Quasi-Monochromatic Electron Beams in Laser Wakefield to 300 MeV and Initiation of Photonuclear Reactions," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference and Photonic Applications Systems Technologies, Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2006), paper JWC1.
  8. G. Mourou, "Relativistic Optics: A New Approach to Attosecond Physics," in Frontiers in Optics, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2006), paper JWG1.
  9. V. P. Yanovsky, V. V. Chvykov, S. Bahk, G. Kalintchenko, K. Ta Phuoc, Y. Chang, and G. Mourou, "Development of Petawatt scale Ti:sapphire laser at 0.05 Hz repetition rate," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2003), paper CME6.
  10. C. Y. Chien, J. S. Coe, G. Mourou, J. C. Kieffer, M. Chaker, Y. Beaudoin, O. Peyrusse, and D. Gilles, "Production of a high-density and high-temperature plasma with an intense high-contrast subpicosecond laser," Opt. Lett. 18, 1535-1537 (1993)
  11. C. Sauteret, D. Husson, G. Thiell, S. Seznec, S. Gary, A. Migus, and G. Mourou, "Generation of 20-TW pulses of picosecond duration using chirped-pulse amplification in a Nd:glass power chain," Opt. Lett. 16, 238-240 (1991)
  12. P. MAINE, D. STRICKLAND, M. BOUVIER, and G. MOUROU, "Amplification of picosecond pulses to the terawatt level by chirped pulse amplification and compression," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, D. Auston, R. Jacobs, R. Bartolini, and P. Liao, eds., Vol. 14 of OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 1987), paper FR2.
  13. D. STRICKLAND, P. MAINE, M. BOUVIER, S. WILLIAMSON, and G. MOUROU, "Picosecond pulse amplification using pulse compression techniques," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, G. Bjorklund, E. Hinkley, P. Moulton, and D. Pinnow, eds., OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 1986), paper THL1.

Visit OSA Publishing for a compiled list of articles published by Gérard Mourou.


OSA Awards Won

Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize
Charles Hard Townes Medal
R. W. Wood Prize


Gerard Mourou and his wife toasting to OSA’s Centennial in 2016.