The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, Donna Strickland (Guelph-Canada, 1959), currently receiving the Gold medal of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the highest distinction awarded by this organization, “for his discoveries in the field of optics, which represent a very important advance, from a conceptual and applied point of view.”
This professor at the University of Waterloo (Canada), a pioneer in research in the field of lasers, received this recognition in an event at the CSIC central campus in Madrid led by the acting Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant and the president of CSIC, Heloísa del Pino. The researcher’s candidacy is proposed by the Women and Science Commission of CSIC.
Strickland welcomed the presence of many women in this scientific field before delivering her lecture in English entitled Generation of high intensity ultrashort optical pulsesof the interactions of lasers with matter and the technical developments derived from this research.
The Minister for Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, thanked him for “explaining how research works with generosity”, and for his “hunger for continue to give answers to the world” through his work, encouraged the students who attended the event to follow in his footsteps: “I am sure that when I was your age I did not dream that I would be a Nobel Prize winner.”
SINC consulted, Strickland offered it COUNSEL to young people who want to develop a scientific career: “You must know what you want to do and then find a way to do it, because if you like what you do, then you will work hard and you will succeed. .”
For her part, Eloísa del Pino, president of CSIC, emphasized that who better to receive the highest award of the institution, dedicated to recognizing those who “light the path of science”, than “a light scientist”, whose research forms the basis, for example, of healing eye diseases.
Strickland’s works paved the way many applications that require ultra-short laser pulses, such as making precise cuts in industry and laser refractive surgery in medicine.
Loss ultrashort pulse lasers They are also the basis of some diagnostic imaging techniques, multiphoton microscopy, and the so-called second harmonic generation, among others, as explained by the researcher himself in his conference.
Throughout his career, Strickland worked at the National Research Council of Canada, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Princeton University (United States). In 1997 he returned to his native country at the University of Waterloo, where he is currently a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Relations with the Spanish scientific community
Strickland’s discoveries relate to a large number of CSIC researchers. The letters of support accompanying this proposal for the awarding of the medal (from researchers such as Avelino Corma, Susana Marcos, Juan Diego Ania, Pablo Artal, Mª Josefa Yzuel, Pascuala García and Mª Luisa Calvo, and others pa) revealed the contacts that remained over time with research staff in Spain and emphasized his collaborative nature and his skills as a scientific communicator.
“Girls like her are great example for thousands of women and young people who are building their future in the field of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) in our country”, POINTS the acting president of the government, Pedro Sánchez after meeting the winner.
Among the personalities who also received the CSIC Gold Medal is the British scientist Stephen Hawking, which gained recognition in 1989; the Italian Nobel Rita Levi-Montalcini, in 1990; NASA, recognized in 1999; the American Nobel Prize Roy Jay Glauber, given in 2008; the Colombian neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás; award in 2012, and astrophysics Jocelyn Bell distinguished in 2015.