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On October 2, the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018 were announced in Stockholm. Among the winners is a famous French and American physicist, director of the Institute of Extreme Light Fields in Paris, Professor Gerard Mourou. Under the leadership of Professor Mourou, the megagrant “Extreme Light Fields and Their Applications” was implemented at the UNN Faculty of Radiophysics. Project Co-Director was Professor Mikhail Bakunov, Head of the General Physics Department at Lobachevsky University.

Gerard Mourou was invited to work at Lobachevsky University in 2010, under the grant program of the Russian Federation Government for state support of research under the guidance of leading scientists in Russian universities. In the framework of the megagrant, a laboratory for studying extreme light fields was established at the UNN.

According to Professor Mourou, extreme light is produced by lasers that allow one to achieve the power that is thousands of times higher than the total power of all electrical grids in the world. Scientists call extreme light a new tool in high energy physics that can be used to study the atomic structure of matter and vacuum.

“We take this superpower and focus it on a site smaller than the cross section of a human hair. We are trying to achieve the kind of power that could warm up the vacuum. Such a laser, for example, was used for proton therapy in cancer treatment,“ said Gerard Mourou.

Congratulations to Professor Gerard Mourou and our most sincere wishes of successful scientific and creative work!


Gerard Mourou was born in Albertville, France, in 1944. He completed a degree in physics from the University of Grenoble in 1967 followed by a PhD in 1973 from Paris VI. After his PhD, Mourou went to the University of Rochester in the US, before heading to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he became founding director of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science in 1991. In 2004, Mourou returned to France to become director of the Laboratoire d’ Optique Appliquée at ENSTA-Ecole Polytechnique. The main work of Gerard Moore is associated with the development of laser systems that generate ultrashort pulses. In 1985, together with Donna Strickland, another 2018 Nobel Prize winner, he proposed a new technique for obtaining super-powerful laser pulses, amplification of chirped pulses. At the moment, this technique is the main one for obtaining femtosecond pulses. The use of this technique also made it possible to significantly increase the intensity of the generated laser pulses.