Paul Corkum

Last updated
Paul B. Corkum
Born (1943-10-30) October 30, 1943 (age 76)
Alma mater Acadia University
Lehigh University
Known forDeveloping ultra-rapid laser technology
Scientific career
Fields Attosecond physics
Laser science
Institutions University of Ottawa

Paul Bruce Corkum OC OOnt FRSC FRS (born October 30, 1943) is a Canadian physicist specializing in attosecond physics and laser science. [1] He holds a joint University of OttawaNRC chair in Attosecond Photonics. [1] He is one of the students of strong field atomic physics, i.e. atoms and plasmas in super-intense laser fields.


Biography and research

Corkum was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. [2] He obtained his BSc (1965) from Acadia University, Nova Scotia, and his MSc (1967) and PhD (1972) in theoretical physics from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania. [2] [3] He won several awards for his work on laser science.

Corkum is both a theorist and an experimentalist. In the 1980s he developed a model of the ionization of atoms (i.e. plasma production) and on this basis proposed a new approach to making X-ray lasers (Optical field Ionization, OFI). OFI lasers are today one of the most important developments in X-ray laser research.

In the early 1990s in strong field atomic physics there were discoveries of high harmonic generation and correlated double ionization (in which an atom can absorb hundreds of photons and emit two electrons). Corkum's Recollision Electron Model [4] served as the basis for the generation of attosecond pulses from lasers. With this method in 2001 Corkum with colleagues in Vienna succeeded in demonstrating for the first time laser pulse lengths lasting less than 1 femtosecond. [5] The method was used for the generation of higher harmonics and (as a type of laser tunneling microscope) for exploration of atoms and molecules in the angstrom range and below.

Corkum's recollision electron physics has led to many advances in understanding the interactions among coherent electrons, coherent light, and coherent atoms or molecules. The recollision electron can be thought of as an electron interferometer built by laser light generated from atoms or molecules. As an interferometer, the recollision electron can be used to measure atomic and molecular orbitals by means of interfering waves from the bound electrons and the recollision electrons.

From 1997 to 2009, he was the adjunct professor of physics at McMaster University.



Selected works

Related Research Articles

Atomic, molecular, and optical physics (AMO) is the study of matter-matter and light-matter interactions; at the scale of one or a few atoms and energy scales around several electron volts. The three areas are closely interrelated. AMO theory includes classical, semi-classical and quantum treatments. Typically, the theory and applications of emission, absorption, scattering of electromagnetic radiation (light) from excited atoms and molecules, analysis of spectroscopy, generation of lasers and masers, and the optical properties of matter in general, fall into these categories.

Ionization or ionisation, is the process by which an atom or a molecule acquires a negative or positive charge by gaining or losing electrons, often in conjunction with other chemical changes. The resulting electrically charged atom or molecule is called an ion. Ionization can result from the loss of an electron after collisions with subatomic particles, collisions with other atoms, molecules and ions, or through the interaction with electromagnetic radiation. Heterolytic bond cleavage and heterolytic substitution reactions can result in the formation of ion pairs. Ionization can occur through radioactive decay by the internal conversion process, in which an excited nucleus transfers its energy to one of the inner-shell electrons causing it to be ejected.

Photoionization ion formation via a photon interacting with a molecule or atom

Photoionization is the physical process in which an ion is formed from the interaction of a photon with an atom or molecule.

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Lene Hau Danish physicist

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High harmonic generation (HHG) is a non-linear process during which a target is illuminated by an intense laser pulse. Under such conditions, the sample will emit the high harmonics of the generation beam. Due to the coherent nature of the process, high harmonics generation is a prerequisite of attophysics.

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Resonance ionization

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High Harmonic Generation (HHG) is a non-perturbative and extremely nonlinear optical process taking place when a highly intense ultrashort laser pulse undergoes an interaction with a nonlinear media. A typical high order harmonic spectra contains frequency combs separated by twice the laser frequency. HHG is an excellent table top source of highly coherent extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray laser pulses.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering" (Press release). NSERC. 16 March 2009., as published in Physics in Canada , 65(2) 58.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Paul Corkum, Jean-Marie Dufour, B. Brett Finlay, Roderick Guthrie and Susan Sherwin to receive $100,000 Killam Prizes for 2006" (Press release). Canadian Council for the Arts. 27 March 2006. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Paul Corkum". Institute for Quantum Computing . Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  4. Corkum, Paul (March 2011). "Recollision Physics" (PDF). Physics Today. 64 (3): 36–41. Bibcode:2011PhT....64c..36C. doi:10.1063/1.3563818.
  5. Hentschel, M.; et al. (29 Nov 2001). "Attosecond metrology". Nature. 414 (6863): 509–513. Bibcode:2001Natur.414..509H. doi:10.1038/35107000. PMID   11734845.
  6. Royal Medal 2017
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2013-09-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. King Faisal Prize 2013 - Physics
  9. "Current Winner: Paul Corkum" (Press release). NSERC. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  10. "Paul Corkum receives NSERC's prestigious Polanyi Award" (Press release). University of Ottawa. 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  11. "New Appointees to the Order of Ontario". January 23, 2014.
  12. "Paul Corkum – Biography". Joint Attosecond Science Laboratory. Archived from the original on 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2010-09-23.