Gérard Mourou

Facts

Gérard Mourou

© Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud

Gérard Mourou
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018

Born: 22 June 1944, Albertville, France

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France

Prize motivation: "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses."

Prize share: 1/4

Life

Gérard Mourou was born in Albertville, France. He studied physics at the University of Grenoble and then at the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie in Paris, where he earned his PhD in 1973. He later moved to the United States and became a professor at the University of Rochester, where he did his Nobel Prize awarded work along with Donna Strickland. He subsequently worked at the University of Michigan and the École Polytechnique in Paris.

Work

The sharp beams of laser light have given us new opportunities for deepening our knowledge about the world and shaping it. In 1985, Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou succeeded in creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power, then amplified them, and finally compressed them. The intensity of the pulse then increases dramatically. "Chirped pulse amplification" has many uses, including corrective eye surgeries.

To cite this section
MLA style: Gérard Mourou – Facts – 2018. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Tue. 23 Apr 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2018/mourou/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.