February 28, 2019: Chirped Pulse Amplification Day

WHEREAS, Gérard Albert Mourou conceived of a brilliant technique named Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) to produce the most powerful laser pulses and demonstrated this technique with his then graduate student Donna Strickland in 1985 at the University of Rochester; and,

WHEREAS, Gérard Mourou then moved to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1988, became a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and established the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS); and,

WHEREAS, advancements in the technique of Chirped Pulse Amplification progressed at the University of Michigan, finding applications ranging from femtosecond laser eye surgery and the micromachining of materials to the generation of X-rays and the acceleration of fundamental particles; and,

WHEREAS, the CPA technique and related developments in intense ultrafast lasers at CUOS led to the creation of several spin-off companies, including Picometrix, Intralase, Translume, and Clark-MXR that have made significant contributions to the State of Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, the technique of Chirped Pulse Amplification was used to build the HERCULES laser at the University of Michigan that holds the Guinness World Record for the highest focused intensity of 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter, equivalent to focusing all the sunlight that hits the earth onto a single grain of sand; and,

WHEREAS, the work of Professor Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland has been recognized by the award of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics; and,

WHEREAS, Professor Mourou is giving a public lecture today at the University of Michigan as part of a campus-wide celebration of the Nobel Prize and to educate our citizens about CPA and intense ultrafast lasers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 28, 2019, as Chirped Pulse Amplification Day in Michigan.