OSE Seminar by Dr. Jean Claude Diels on From “normal size” laser to micro-laser to BIG laser

Departmental News

Dr. Jean Claude Diels

Posted: November 1, 2023

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023

Time: 12:45 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada) 

Free Pizzas and Sodas

Location: CHTM, Room 103 and Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 817 3791 4410
Passcode: 001334



The “normal size” laser has led us to demonstrate phase sensing with a resolution of 0.4 nanoradian.  That would correspond to an optical ath resolution of 0.07 femtometer.  Applying this method to an actual displacement sensor requires going to integrated optics, where nano-accuracy can be achieved.  At the other end of the scale, we are trying to expand our (optical) horizon to the km scale, using large lasers of sufficient power to manipulate the nonlinear properties of air.



Jean-Claude Diels started his career in Research constructing a CO2 laser as part of his one-year military service (too long) in Belgium.  He went then for 5 years (much too long) as a Research Scientist in the fundamental Research laboratories of “Philips Gloelampenfabrik” in Eindhoven, with assignment to “do modern research” with “unlimited budget (which was soon exceeded).  He spent the next 3 years (way too short) to do Ph.D. thesis research on coherent pulse propagation in two level systems with Professor Erwin L. Hahn at UC Berkeley.  The next two years (too long) were spent at the Max Plank Institute with Professor Fritz Schaefer, the colorful (usually covered with red) father of dye lasers.  He got an appointment as Research Assistant – then Associate – Professor at the University of Southern California (“What??? I have to raise my own salary?”).  After some experience at the “Centre d’Energie Atomique” of Saclay with Pierre Agostini (our latest Nobel prize) near Paris (not the Texan Paris), and before the collapse of the Center for Laser Studies at USC, he moved to the CAQE (Center for Applied Quantum Electronics) of the University of North Texas in Denton, where he stayed for 5 years (too long), interrupted by (a breath of fresh air) a sabbatical at the University of Bordeaux, France.  He has been since … (much too long) at the University of New Mexico, where he graduated (so far) 58 PhD students.  He co-authored with Wolfgang Rudolph the graduate textbook Ultrashort Laser Pulse Phenomena: Fundamentals, Techniques and Applications on a Femtosecond Time Scale and with Ladan Arrisian of the book, Lasers:  The Power and Precision of Light, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the laser, published 7 book chapters and edited a book on light filaments).  He is the recipient of the 51st Annual Research Lecturer Award (April 2006), and of the 2006 Engineering Excellence Award of the Optical Society of America.