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Lasers & Sources

Video: John Madey on the free-electron laser

The father of the FEL talks about current research and potential applications of the technology, from genetics to defense and security.
19 October 2010, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201010.03

Advancing the Laser video seriesJohn M.J. Madey is a professor of Physics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a former director of the Free Electron Laser Centre at Duke University, and formerly a tenured professor at Stanford University.

Madey invented and developed the free-electron laser in 1971, a relativistic electron tube that made use of the open optical resonator. An important step in FEL development came in 1976 when Madey and co-workers at Stanford measured gain from an FEL configured as an amplifier at 10 micron wavelength. He holds more than 20 patents related to the FEL.

The UH Manoa physics program was recognized by a recent National Research Council survey as one of the top United States physics programs. The 2010 NRC survey, based on data initially gathered around 2005, identifies program characteristics which can be quantifiably measured such as number of publications and citations. UH Manoa's program achieved very high marks -- near the top of all U.S. institutions -- for three of the most heavily-weighted standards: the fraction of faculty with research grants, faculty productivity as measured in terms of scientific publications, and citations per publication, a measure of the wider scientific impact of a published result. The department's newly operational high-performance FEL facility occupies a large laboratory covering much of the department's ground floor.

Madey was interviewed at SPIE headquarters in June 2010.

Advancing the Laser - tribute to laser luminaries (PDF)
First free-electron laser patent