Presentations

    Surface femtochemistry: Elucidating reaction pathways, at Ultrafast Surface Dynamics Workshop (Ascona, Switzerland), Wednesday, March 5, 1997:

    We studied the desorption of O2 and production of CO2 induced by intense femtosecond laser pulses incident on a Pt(111) surface prepared with coadsorbed CO and O2 at 90 K. The reaction pathway with femtosecond laser pulses is very different from that with nanosecond or contineous wave irradiation [1,2]. Our experiments address both the excitation mechanism as well as the chemical pathway leading to O2 desorption and CO2...

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    Laser induced microexplosions in transparent materials, at CLEO/QELS '97 (Baltimore, MD), Friday, May 23, 1997
    We recently discovered that 200-nm diameter structures can be created inside transparent materials by ultrafast-laser driven microexplosions. Applications include high-density 3-D data storage, fabrication of 3-D optical elements, and novel materials processing. We present the results of optical and structural examinations and discuss the physical processes involved.
    Understanding or Memorization: Are we Teaching the Right Thing?, at Fall workshop on educational outreach at Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, University of California at Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA), Thursday, October 22, 1998:
    Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. Students get frustrated because they are unable to grasp simple concepts. Instructors get... Read more about Understanding or Memorization: Are we Teaching the Right Thing?
    Laser-induced microexplosions: ultrafast physics with clinical applications, at 20th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (Hong Kong), Thursday, October 29, 1998:
    We used water and human skin tissue to compare the surgical potential of 100-fs and 200-ps laser pulses. For investigation of threshold behavior of 100-fs and 200-ps pulses, we use water as a model for tissue. In addition to having a lower threshold, we find that energy deposition is much more consistent with 100-fs pulses. We also compared 100-fs and 200-ps laser pulse effects on the surface and in the bulk of human skin tissue. On the surface, pulses with 100-fs and 200-ps duration leave similar size ablation regions. In the bulk both 100-fs and 200-ps pulses produce cavities, however, 100-... Read more about Laser-induced microexplosions: ultrafast physics with clinical applications
    Teaching and Research: Inseparable responsibilities of the modern physicist, at APS Centennial Meeting 1999 (Atlanta, GA), Tuesday, March 23, 1999:
    Mention the word ""physics"" to the average high-school student and you are not likely to see many happy faces. Public opinion of science in general--and physics in particular--is not high. More importantly, misunderstandings about the goals and procedures of physics are rampant. In part, these problems arise because physics education has focused nearly exclusively on generating a steady supply of future physicists. The need to educate non-majors, let alone the public at large, has generally not been perceived as an important mission of physics departments. Now that the need for physics is no... Read more about Teaching and Research: Inseparable responsibilities of the modern physicist
    Engaging students in the classroom, at Faculty Workshop on The Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Wednesday, May 12, 1999:
    Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what most instructors focus on in large lecture classes. Eric Mazur will demonstrate how technology in large classes can help engage the students, turning them from passive receivers of information to active participants in the learning process.
    Introductory Science Lectures: A Missed Opportunity, at Seminar on Covering Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, Columbia University (New York, NY), Saturday, September 25, 1999:
    There is no doubt that since the beginning of this century the United States ranks first in generating outstanding scientists. It is therefore ironic that as a whole, the population of the United States scores low in Science and Mathematics. One only need turn to the media to see that our society does not value science and science education as it did just a few decades ago. In spite of all the advances in science and the many contributions of related technological developments to society, science illiteracy is rampant. The average person has little faith in scientists and there are more... Read more about Introductory Science Lectures: A Missed Opportunity
    Laser-induced microexplosions: creating stellar conditions on an optical bench, at Joint SPIE and Department of Electrical and Electrical Engineering Seminar, The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, Hong Kong), Saturday, October 23, 1999:
    Using femtosecond laser pulses we study the effects of intense laser radiation on transparent materials. By tightly focusing these laser pulses below the surface of transparent materials, we initiate highly nonlinear absorption processes which produce a dense, highly-excited plasma inside the sample. The high density, tightly-confined plasma leads to a micron-sized explosion within the material, with temperatures and pressures approaching stellar conditions. We have recently shown that it is possible to create internal submicron-sized structures by optically initiating microexplosions inside... Read more about Laser-induced microexplosions: creating stellar conditions on an optical bench

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