News at the University of New Brunswick

Third woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize in physics to deliver Priestman Lecture at UNB

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton will host Canadian Nobel laureate Dr. Donna Strickland on Thursday, Jan. 30, for the annual Bryan Priestman Memorial Lecture.

In her talk, titled “Generating High-Intensity, Ultrashort Optical Pulses,” Dr. Strickland will discuss her award-winning research involving the development of chirped pulsed amplification (CPA). This development allowed for the creation of a laser that could deliver short pulses of light with the ability to knock electrons off their atoms.

Dr. Strickland, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at University of Waterloo, became the third woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018 for developing CPA with her PhD supervisor, Gérard Mourou. The research, which was originally published in 1985 when Dr. Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester, paved the way for cutting-edge innovation in both industry and medicine. These advances have led to the creation of new machining techniques used in laser eye surgery and micromachining of glass used in cell phones.

Established in 1951, the Bryan Priestman Memorial Lectures were created in memory of Dr. Bryan Priestman, previous head of UNB’s department of physics. In November 1945, Priestman died while attempting to save a boy from drowning in the St. John River.

The Bryan Priestman Memorial lectures celebrate Priestman’s passion for science by providing opportunities for scientific discoveries to be communicated to the general public. Since its inception, the Bryan Priestman Memorial Lecture series has hosted more than 30 scientists and Nobel laureates, delivering talks on topics such as biochemical evolution, radiation, the evolution of bacteria, comet crashes and the preservation of nature.

The Bryan Priestman Memorial Lecture will host Dr. Strickland on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 5:30 p.m. in Toole Hall, Room 3, UNB Fredericton. All are welcome to attend.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: University of Waterloo