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The 2012 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics

Awarded January 5, 2012, at the 42nd Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics.

Jorge G. Rocca, Colorado State University

For seminal contributions and investigations in the field of tabletop x-ray laser physics.


Jorge J. Rocca was born in Rafaela, a small town in Argentina, to where his grandparents had immigrated from Italy, and where his father had a grocery store. He received a BS in Physics from the University of Rosario in 1978. As a freshmen he met Carmen Menoni, and they studied physics together until they graduated and latter married. Now they have two grown up children, Ana and Lucas. For his undergraduate thesis he chose research in gas lasers and for this purpose he joined a laser laboratory in Buenos Aires. During this time he also commuted by bus more than 1000 km every week-end to teach undergraduate Physics on saturdays at the University of La Pampa, a small university in the Center of Argentina. Jorge and Carmen came to the US for graduate school in 1979.

Jorge received his Ph.D. in ECE from Colorado State University in Fort Collins in 1983, and the same year he became an Assistant Professor. He is currently a University Distinguished Professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and of Physics at Colorado State University. Early in his career he received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator.

His research has been in the development and physics of compact soft x-ray lasers, the applications of coherent soft x-ray laser light, and the study of plasmas. He has published more than 200 peer review journal article on these topics.

Jorge is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and IEEE. He was an IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer for 2006-07, and received the Arthur. L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society in 2011.

Henry, Margaret, Jorge and Carmen have joined efforts to establish the Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, funded by NSF since 2003.

Bio provided by Prof. Rocca, 2012.

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