The University of Southampton

ORC Director gives talk in presence of two Nobel prize winners

Published: 22 June 2010

ORC Director, Professor David Payne, gave a talk about the development of the fibre laser at a recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser which was attended by two Nobel prize winners.

The event, held at the Royal Academy of Engineering, was a double celebration of the anniversary of the laser and the award of the 2009 Nobel Prize to Professor Charles Kao for his invention of fibre optics communications. Professor Kao and fellow Nobel prize winner from 1964, Professor Charles Townes both attended the celebrations.

Professor Payne gave a presentation entitled “fibre lasers past, present and future” in the morning session which was dedicated to the laser anniversary.

The fibre laser has its origins in the silica fibre that powers the internet and for which the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Charles Kao. Add the revolutionary optical telecoms fibre amplifier developed by Professor Payne and his team at Southampton in 1985 and you have an invention regarded as being 15 years ahead of its time. Today fibre laser technology is used widely in telecommunications, manufacturing, medicine and science.

This event is one of many where David has given a presentation during the year-long celebrations for the 50th anniversary. He has already spoken at some of the major photonics conferences including AAAS and gave a presentation at the recent Chelmsford Science festival. 

More details about the event can be found at:

http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/50th_Anniversary/default.htm

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