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John Nees elected OSA Fellow

Nees recognized for work with ultrafast lasers| Short Read
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John Nees has been elected Fellow of OSA, the Optical Society, “for contributions to the development of short pulse high rep rate laser technology as well as to the science of high intensity short pulse laser interactions with matter.”

Nees is an Associate Research Scientist in the EECS Department, and Director of the relativistic lambda cubed laser laboratory, which is part of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. His current research is focused on making precision studies of relativistic optics. Applications include production of positrons (or antielectrons), and the production of fusion from fast deuterons (which come from the nucleus of deuterium, also called “heavy hydrogen.”)

Over the past 30 years, Nees has made many key research contributions in the fields of high intensity laser engineering and experimental high field physics. During his career, he moved from ultrafast optoelectronics to high field laser science. In the area of high field science, he contributed to many important advances in the development of high repetition rate short pulse Ti:Sapphire lasers.

The use of high average power lasers as high flux compact sources of energetic radiation is seen as a potentially transformational technology for many applications in science, medicine and homeland security. For example, such lasers could enable incredible resolution of under one micron in x-ray imaging and microscopy.

Nees was named Outstanding Investigator of the Year Award from the College of Engineering in 2006. He has six U.S. patents.

About OSA Fellows

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OSA‘s mission is to promote the generation, application and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. Fellows are members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. Only 10% of OSA membership may be fellows, and the number elected each year is typically limited to 0.5% of membership.

OSA was founded in 1916, and is the leading professional organization for leaders in the field of the science of light, including students, engineers, scientists, and those in business.

John Nees
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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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