We’re thrilled that the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three innovative scientists – Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou, and Donna Strickland, the first woman to win the prize in 55 years.
The trio shared the prize for “groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics,” which included basic and applied research on femtosecond laser
Arthur Ashkin’s Optical Tweezers
Arthur Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. This new tool allowed Ashkin to use the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects. He succeeded in getting laser light to push small particles towards the center of the beam and to hold them there. Optical tweezers had been invented.
A major breakthrough came in 1987 when Ashkin used the tweezers to capture living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began studying biological systems and optical tweezers are now widely used to investigate the machinery of life.
Breaking the barrier with ultra-fast laser pulses
Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their revolutionary article was published in 1985 and was the foundation of Strickland’s doctoral thesis.
Their novel approach created ultrashort, high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First, they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power, then amplified them, and finally compressed them. If a pulse is compressed in time and becomes shorter, then more light is packed together in the same tiny space – the intensity of the pulse increases dramatically.
Strickland and Mourou’s newly invented technique, called chirped pulse amplification, CPA, soon became standard for subsequent high-intensity lasers. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams. Chemists already use CPA to study molecular systems on the femtosecond timescale.
Star Trek’s tractor beam becomes a reality
Arthur Ashkin had a dream: imagine if beams of light could be put to work and made to move objects. In Star Trek, the cult series that started in 1964, a tractor beam can be used to retrieve objects, even asteroids in space, without touching them. Of course, this sounds like pure science fiction. We can feel that sunbeams carry energy – we get hot in the sun – although the pressure from the beam is too small for us to feel even a tiny prod. But could its force be enough to push extremely tiny particles and atoms?
The innumerable areas of application for these discoveries have not yet been completely explored. However, even now these celebrated inventions allow us to rummage around in the microworld in the best spirit of Alfred Nobel – for the greatest benefit to humankind.
Download a scientific brief on the laser physics prize.
Sources: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018. NobelPrize.org
Illustrations © Johan Janestad, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences”
At last year’s ASCRS, we had quite a rush on our Femtosecond Laser Wet Labs. For 2018, we’re getting a jump on scheduling. Wet Lab Sessions are available 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on April 14, 15 and 16.
We’re encouraging people to book early this year to avoid the last-minute rush, and to have the opportunity to schedule two sessions at convenient times.
We’ve added an extra laser to enable three femtosecond wet labs simultaneously for a grand total of 156 slots.
Learn procedures for cataract and corneal surgery
Practice making a Flap, Pockets and Rings for inlays; and Corneal Therapeutics with the Femtosecond, such as keratoplasties (DALK, DASEK)
The Cataract track offers training for Capsulotomy, Lens Fragmentation, Corneal and Arcuate Incisions.
Related Check out our full line-up of ASCRS speakers throughout the meeting.
So, avoid the rush and put yourself on our femtosecond wet lab schedule now. You’ll enjoy the ease of the laser’s articulating arm, the slick system software, and the unit’s compact size.
Book now, and you’ll have the opportunity to sign-up for a Corneal and Cataract Session.
Femtosecond Wet Labs are for our current customers, too.
Of course! Stop by and say hello, or refine your knowledge of the docking handpiece, or software settings.
Ziemer Pops a Wheelie for Femto Efficiency
“We just wheel it up to the bed; I don’t have to take patients to a laser room and then move to the OR. No one has to cut surgical volume to add this Ziemer Femtosecond Laser. And I think this technology will extend the longevity of our surgical careers as well.” Bret L. Fisher, M.D., is the medical director of the Eye Center of North Florida in Panama City
Mellow out with a Femto
Join your ophthalmologist colleagues thirsty for knowledge about our Femtosecond Laser with OCT. Your friends from Ziemer will answer all your questions, while you sip a Mai Tai in Cancun or a hot chocolate in Aspen.
Hot and Spicy in Cancun
Caribbean Eye February 2 to February 6
The Freezer Section in Aspen
The American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery®
(AECOS) Winter Symposium February 25 to February 28
Just weeks ago, Ziemer introduced the Z8 Femtosecond laser with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in wet labs at this year’s American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in New Orleans.
“The Z8 with OCT offers new corneal therapeutic solutions, DALK with OCT-guided tunnels for the big bubble technique, and a liquid patient interface for penetrating keratoplasties,” said David Bragg, President of Ziemer USA. “Our commitment is to the advancement of femtosecond technology with innovations that anticipate a physician’s needs and creating solutions that add value and efficiency to a practice.”
The Ziemer Femtosecond features overlapping micro-pulses that create precise incisions without “tissue bridges.” The low energy pulses protect tissue and shorten recovery time.
Ziemer USA’s new Central Region Sales Director comes to his territory naturally. Justin was born and raised in Delano, Minnesota. Justin will represent Ziemer’s Femto LDV lasers, and the Galilei Topographer throughout the Midwest. Justin’s experience launching fast-growing ophthalmology brands will keep our factory in Port, Switzerland, busy.
“I am looking forward to my next experience with a great company and a strong Ziemer team,” says Justin.
Justin hails from Minnesota, so it’s practically mandatory that he loves outdoor activities. Along with his wife, Allison, and their two children – Adelynn, 8, and Bowen, 5, they make camping, hunting, fishing a family affair. Justin was graduated from St. John’s University, Minn. with a B.A. in Biology.
Need help field dressing a deer, or figuring out the economics of a Z8 laser, call Justin at 612-554-1788.
The Media Section of ZiemerUSA.com is already full of videos, brochures and clinical studies. Videos span the range of anterior segment femtosecond laser procedures and testimonials from top ophthalmic surgeons. You can also download product information and clinical studies that explore the science and medicine behind femtosecond technology. Download away. They’re free!