Pedagogic Committee

G. Mourou, Director, Extreme Light Insitute

C. Labaune, Director of Research, CNRS, École Polytechnique

B. Macon-Bogaert, President, Sciences Essonne

B. Bourdon, Communications Director, Université Paris-Sud 11

P. Chavel, Director of Research, CNRS

J-P. Huignard, Thales Research & Technology

D. Juraszek, Engineer, CEA

M-F. Karatchentzeff, Committee Member, Physics Olympiad

K. Lewis, Professor of College Preparatory Program

N. Sciardis, Project Leader, "Action pédagogique" of CEA

Communication Committee

B. Bourdon, Communications Director, Paris XI

A. Da Costa, Head of Communications, Triangle de la Physique

P. Delbonnel, Communications Director, Thales Optronique

J. Deschard, Communications Director, Ecole Polytechnique

L. Franchiset, Responsible for Communications, Institut d'Optique Graduate School

E. Lambouroud, Communications Director, Opticsvalley

N. Litwin, Responsible for External Communications, Ecole Polytechnique

J. Martin, Communications Assistant, Ecole Polytechnique

C. Perrin, Assistant Director of Communications, CEA

F. Tardivel, Director of Development and Communications, ENSTA ParisTech

F. Trouslard-Zielinski, Responsible for Communications, CNRS

S. Zaczek, Events Communications Assistant, Ecole Polytechnique

    Under the High Patronage of
Mister Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the French Republic

In 2010, the laser will be 50 years old.

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the laser.

With an exceptional event presided over by the inventor of the laser, Prof. C. H. Townes.

 

 

 

 

 





On May 16, 1960, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories observed a laser beam for the first time. This observation was the culmination of many years of research, including the discovery of stimulated emission by Albert Einstein in 1916; the predictions of the optical laser by C. H. Townes in 1958; the work on optical pumping by A. Kastler as well as the work of numerous others.

The laser changed our lives in a major way. Its light, still mysterious to scientists, is used, nonetheless, to measure, to solder and to heal. It distracts us and fascinates us. The laser has become an indispensable tool not only in research laboratories but also in our everyday lives and its development has led to numerous discoveries.

We invite you to participate in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Laser in the City of Light which will take place in June 2010. It will be an exceptional event since the inventor of the laser, Charles H. Townes, will be in attendance. The conference will last two days. The events of the first day will take place in the Louvre Palace in Paris. The second-day sessions will be held at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau.

 

Conference organized by the
Extreme Light Institute

 

 

   

 

The Plenary Sessions

These sessions are intended mainly for scientists. C. H. Townes and other laser pioneers will recount the history of the laser and describe early research activities. This will be followed by presentations by several Nobel Prize winners and other notables in laser physics. They will describe the evolution of the laser and its scientific and societal applications.

The Pedagogic Day

The day will include two special sessions dedicated to university, high school and grade school students and the general public. These sessions will be illustrated with experiments installed all day long.
Students and members of the public will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with several Nobel Prize recipients.
The entire day will be dedicated to science and festivity.

 

The conference schedule features plenary sessions including a day specially dedicated to student education.

The two-day plenary sessions will take place in Paris, Ecole du Louvre, on Tuesday, June  22, and in Palaiseau, Ecole Polytechnique, on Wednesday, June 23.

The pedagogic day will take place at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau on Wednesday, June 23.

The aim of the conference is to highlight the major contributions in laser development and show how they have led to the numerous applications of the laser presently in use in diverse scientific areas. Also,
•Increase the laser community influence in society
•Promote the field of Photonics
•Increase public awareness towards science and technology
•Promote scientific and engineering careers
•Arouse students' interest towards science and engineering

 
   

Under the chairmanship of the inventor of the laser, Prof. Charles H. Townes surrounded by six Nobel Prize winners and many other personalities in science, economics, technology and medicine, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the laser.

(provisional program)

 

1 |
Prof. Charles H. Townes and 6 other Nobel Prize winners

2 |
Other scientific personalities

3|
Programme Scientifique

50 Years of the Laser : An Exceptional Scientific Event

Professor Charles H. Townes, inventor of the Laser and Nobel Prize winner, has come to Paris, the City of Light, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first laser demonstration by Theodore Maiman on May 16, 1960. The widowed Mrs. Maiman has also come, along with five other Nobel Prize winners and 13 important figures in the laser domain, to attend two extrordinary days filled with scientific conferences and demonstrations at the Palais du Louvre and the École Polytechnique.

Paris is known as the "City of Light"; this argument was used by Gérard Mourou, director of the Institut de la Lumière Extrême (ILE, Extreme Light Institute), located on the École Polytechnique campus, to convince C.H. Townes to come to Paris at 95 years of age! "Having received the Charles Townes prize myself in 2009, I had the idea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Laser in Paris and at the Ecole Polytechnique, over two days. It was extremely important to bring the pioneers of the laser together once more, because these are exemplary figures in science. Charles Townes is widely admired in the scientific community, and his presence easily convinced the other Nobel Prize winners", explains Gérard Mourou. "I wanted this anniversary to take place in a prestigious location, the Louvre, and at a prestigious school, the École Polytechnique, where a score of important personalities in optics have taught or been trained."

The two largest international associations in optics, the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE, were also represented by their President and CEO.

Tuesday, the 22nd at the Louvre was devoted to the 600 researchers in attendance for the occasion. The wife of Theodor Maiman, inventor of the first Laser, came to present this first "pocket-sized" laser, "the Ruby Laser", which emits a laser through a ruby crystal. Charles H. Townes, Nobel Prize winner in 1964, spoke out about his discovery of the first Maser (M for "microwaves", as opposed to the L for "light" in Laser) in 1954 and the progress made since in this domain: "the laser has truly transformed science and technology". "You must be open-minded and take risks," Charles H. Townes advised the young researchers. "The entire world should be willing to take risks and make discoveries", he concluded.

Wednesday, June 23, the École Polytechnique was opening its doors to the general public and presenting scientific conferences, as well as educational sessions and activities prepared for 600 young high school students from France and abroad. The students met the Nobel Prize winners and were able to ask them ques- tions. "We wanted to present an image of science which was attractive," explains Christine Labaune, researcher from the Laboratory for Intense Laser Use (LULI) at the École Polytechnique and winner of the great Lazare Carnot Prize from the Académie des sciences in 2009. "The laser lends itself well to communication about science and about physics in particular. We will give them the opportunity to focus on a subject which affects them, to arouse their curiosity about the laser, which has changed our daily lives. We want to surprise them!" Additionally, several conferences were open to the general public in the afternoon.

"The Laser is still new, even at 50 years old. There is always a need to nourish the enthusiasm of researchers so that the domain blossoms even more. This is why we want to target young science-oriented students. Inviting the Nobel Prize winners here to speak and share their experiences may awaken their passions!" hopes Gérard Mourou.

1 | 2
 

The École Polytechnique is one of the world’s preeminent institutions of higher education and research. It is an outstanding leader of a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science and a great humanist tradition. Founded in 1794, the institution has trained illustrious Polytechniciens, who have played a key role in the history of France, in science and the economy. Its leadership in engineering education is based not only on the quality of its students, teachers and researchers but also on a strong and unique characteristic: a high level, multidisciplinary curriculum in both science and the humanities..

Currently:

École Polytechnique

International in scope (30% of its students, 19% of the teacher-researcher body), the École Polytechnique combines research, education and innovation at the highest scientific and technological levels.

Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a scientific emphasis and a strong humanist tradition. Throughout its three programs - engineering, Masters and PhD – the École Polytechnique educates women and men to become responsible and capable leaders in complex and innovative activities in order to respond to the challenges of 21st century society.

With its 22 laboratories - all joint research units with the CNRS - the Ecole Polytechnique Center of Research works at the frontiers of knowledge on major interdisciplinary scientific, technological and social issues.

The École Polytechnique, as a member of ParisTech, is also one of the driving forces behind the Saclay Campus Project, which it is undertaking with 20 other academic and scientific partners.

And:

HISTORY

The day following the Revolution of 1789, France found itself in a state of chaos and in dire need of engineers and managers. The Public Health Committee created a Public Works Committee, to organize a new "Central School of Public Works.” According to the old calendar of the French Revolution, the 7th of Vendémiaire, year III (September 28, 1794) marked the creation of this Central School of Public Works, the future École Polytechnique.

The École, established at the Palais Bourbon, was inaugurated on December 21, 1794, with 272 students in attendance. After a second exam session, the first class of 400 students began a three-year course of instruction in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The École was renamed "École Polytechnique" by law on the 15th of Fructidor, year III (September 1, 1795) in order to emphasize the multiple disciplines taught at the school.

In 1805, Napoleon granted the school military status and relocated it to the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in Paris.

The École has been nicknamed "X" since the mid-19th century due to the insignia of the school, two crossed cannons. Since there is a predominance of mathematics in the education of polytechniciens, “X” may also symbolise the unknown "x" in mathematics.

In 1970, the school received civil status although it maintained its attachment to the Ministry of Defense. Women were first admitted to this military school in l972 when the class accepted seven women including its valedictorian (Anne Chopinet). In 1976, the École moved to its present location in Palaiseau (Essonne).

The École Polytechnique, as a member of ParisTech, is also one of the driving forces behind the Saclay campus project, which it is undertaking with 20 other academic and scientific partners.

1 | 2
 

The École Polytechnique is one of the world’s preeminent institutions of higher education and research. It is an outstanding leader of a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science and a great humanist tradition. Founded in 1794, the institution has trained illustrious Polytechniciens, who have played a key role in the history of France, in science and the economy. Its leadership in engineering education is based not only on the quality of its students, teachers and researchers but also on a strong and unique characteristic: a high level, multidisciplinary curriculum in both science and the humanities..

Currently:

École Polytechnique

International in scope (30% of its students, 19% of the teacher-researcher body), the École Polytechnique combines research, education and innovation at the highest scientific and technological levels.

Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a scientific emphasis and a strong humanist tradition. Throughout its three programs - engineering, Masters and PhD – the École Polytechnique educates women and men to become responsible and capable leaders in complex and innovative activities in order to respond to the challenges of 21st century society.

With its 22 laboratories - all joint research units with the CNRS - the Ecole Polytechnique Center of Research works at the frontiers of knowledge on major interdisciplinary scientific, technological and social issues.

The École Polytechnique, as a member of ParisTech, is also one of the driving forces behind the Saclay Campus Project, which it is undertaking with 20 other academic and scientific partners.

And:

HISTORY

The day following the Revolution of 1789, France found itself in a state of chaos and in dire need of engineers and managers. The Public Health Committee created a Public Works Committee, to organize a new "Central School of Public Works.” According to the old calendar of the French Revolution, the 7th of Vendémiaire, year III (September 28, 1794) marked the creation of this Central School of Public Works, the future École Polytechnique.

The École, established at the Palais Bourbon, was inaugurated on December 21, 1794, with 272 students in attendance. After a second exam session, the first class of 400 students began a three-year course of instruction in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The École was renamed "École Polytechnique" by law on the 15th of Fructidor, year III (September 1, 1795) in order to emphasize the multiple disciplines taught at the school.

In 1805, Napoleon granted the school military status and relocated it to the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in Paris.

The École has been nicknamed "X" since the mid-19th century due to the insignia of the school, two crossed cannons. Since there is a predominance of mathematics in the education of polytechniciens, “X” may also symbolise the unknown "x" in mathematics.

In 1970, the school received civil status although it maintained its attachment to the Ministry of Defense. Women were first admitted to this military school in l972 when the class accepted seven women including its valedictorian (Anne Chopinet). In 1976, the École moved to its present location in Palaiseau (Essonne).

The École Polytechnique, as a member of ParisTech, is also one of the driving forces behind the Saclay campus project, which it is undertaking with 20 other academic and scientific partners.

 

Deadline: June 12th

Registration to the plenary sessions

Registration to the pedagogic day (all pedagogic sessions are in French)

For group registrations, please contact secretary@laser50paris.com

 

 

 

Guest of Honor:

Kathleen Maiman,
shown with husband
Ted Maiman c. 1998

 

 
  Provisional:
Pr. Alain Aspect, Institut d’optique, Graduate School (France)
From Einstein to Wheeler : wave-particle duality brought to light

Pr. Sigrid Avrillier, Université de Villetaneuse, (France)
Lasers et Médecine

Dr. Catherine Césarsky, Haut commissaire à l’ Energie Atomique, (France)
Fifty years of laser physics at CEA

Pr. Emmanuel Desurvire, Thalès, (France)
Prs. E. Desurvire, D.Payne and M.Nakazawa: Fibre-laser amplifiers within a fiberglass Web
Pr. Serge Haroche, Collège de France Ecole Normale Supérieure (France)
Exploring the quantum nature of light in a photon box
Pr. Ferenc Krausz, Max Planck Institute, Garching (Germany)
Attoworld - Where a second lasts an eternity
Dr. Marc Nantel, Ontario Centers of Excellence, Toronto (Canada)
Moderator - Nobel Round Table
Pr. John Nuckolls, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (USA)
Laser Inertial Fusion Energy
Pr. Wilson Sibbett, University of St. Andrews, (UK)
Ultrafast lasers - invention to practicality
Dr. Erich Spitz, Thalès, (France)
The first steps towards lasers and their applications in France
Pr. Orazio Svelto, Institut Polytechnique de Milan (Italie)
Early developments in Laser Science and Technology
Pr. Toshiki Tajima, Chaire Blaise Pascal
Institut de la Lumière Extrême (France)

High Field Science
Dr. Pierre Tournois, Société Fastlite (France)
Time Control of Laser Pulses
Pr. Juris Upatnieks (E. Leith), University of Michigan (USA)
Challenges of making the first carrier-frequency holograms
Pr. Gabriel Weinreich (P. Franken), University of Michigan (USA)
Optical Harmonics: Memories of the Past and Fantasies of the Future

1 |
Prof. Charles H. Townes and 6 other Nobel Prize winners

2 |
Other scientific personalities

3|
Scientific Program

 

 

 

 

Tentative Schedule:

50 Years of the Laser in the City of Light
Scientific Program:

The Birth and the Very First Steps of the Laser

  • Origin of the Laser (C. Townes)
  • Optical Harmonics: Memories of the Past and Fantasies of the Future G. Weinreich)
  • Challenges of making the first carrier-frequency holograms (J. Upatnieks)
  • The Laser gives birth to Nonlinear Optics (N. Bloembergen)
  • Early developments in Laser Science and Technology (O. Svelto)
  • The first steps towards lasers and their applications in France (E. Spitz)

Major Contributions in Laser Development

  • Laser Manipulation of Atoms (C. Cohen-Tannoudji)
  • Seeing in 4-Dimensions—from Cats to Atoms (A. Zewail)
  • Heterostructure Lasers: How it all got started (H. Kroemer)
  • Fifty years of laser physics at CEA (C. Cesarsky)
  • Exploring the quantum nature of light in a photon box (S. Haroche)
  • From Einstein to Wheeler :  wave-particle duality brought to light (A. Aspect)
  • Ultrafast lasers - invention to practicality (W. Sibbett)
  • Time Control of Laser Pulses (P. Tournois)
  • Attoworld - Where a second lasts an eternity (F. Kraucz))
  • High Field Science (T. Tajima)

Scientific and Societal Laser Applications

  • Fibre-laser amplifiers within a fiberglass Web  (C. Kao, E. Desurvire, M. Nakasawa, D.N. Payne) )
  • Lasers and Medicine (S. Avrillier)
  • Laser Inertial Fusion Energy  (J. Nuckolls)

1 |
Prof. Charles H. Townes and 6 other Nobel Prize winners

2 |
Other scientific personalities

3|
Programme Scientifique

 
History [x]

École Polytechnique

The Louvre

Downloads

Flyer

Poster

Links

laserfest.org

50ansdulaser.com

Ted Maiman holding his ruby laser on the laser’s 25th anniversary.