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You are here: Home News Wolfgang-Paul-Lecture 2019: Paul Corkum

2019: Paul Corkum

NRC Portrait April 2017 D214-18-0902-5106.jpeg.jpg   

Paul Corkum (OC, FRS, FRSC, FRPS) graduated from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, in 1972 with a Ph. D. in theoretical physics.  In 1973 he joined the staff of the National Research Council of Canada where he built one of the world’s most famous groups working on the interaction of very short light pulses with matter. Corkum is best known for introducing many of the concepts of how intense light pulses interact with atoms, molecules and solids, and then confirming the concepts experimentally. He was the first to show how to make and measure an attosecond pulse and how this new technology could be used to image atomic-scale structure.


Corkum holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa and directs the Joint NRC/University of Ottawa Attosecond Science Laboratory. He is a member of the Royal Societies of London and of Canada and also a foreign member of the US National Academy of Science, the Austrian Academy of Science, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Awards and Honors:

  • Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics (2019)
  • SPIE Gold Medal (2018)
  • Isaac Newton Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics (2018)
  • Royal Medal for major contributions to laser physics and the development of the field of attosecond science (2017)
  • National Research Council of Canada’s Schneider Medal (2017)
  • Russian Academy of Sciences Lomonosov Gold Medal for outstanding achievements in the natural sciences & humanities (2015)
  • Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate (2015)
  • Optical Society of America’s Charles Ives Award (2014)
  • Royal Photographic Society’s Progress Medal (2013)
  • Israel’s Harvey Prize for Physical Sciences (2013)
  • Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal International Prize for Science (2013)
  • ACS Zewail Award (2010)
  • American Physical Societies’ Schawlow Prize (2006)
  • Optical Society’s Charles H. Townes Award (2005)
  • IEEE’s Quantum Electronics Award (2005)
  • Royal Society of Canada’s Tory Award (2003)
  • Canadian Association of Physicists’ Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics (1996)


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