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Gérard Mourou is a French pioneer in the field of electrical engineering and lasers. He invented a technique called chirped pulse amplification, or CPA, which was later used to create ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (terawatt) laser pulses. In 1994, it was discovered by Mourou and his team at University of Michigan that the balance between the self-focusing refraction (see Kerr effect) and self-attenuating diffraction by ionization and rarefaction of a laser beam of terawatt intensities in the atmosphere creates "filaments" which act as waveguides for the beam thus preventing divergence.

He is currently the director of the Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquee in France.

Links

* Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquee webpage

* Bio Page at University of Michigan

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