Physics & Astrophysics welcomes Jim Kafka for "Fifty-Five Years of Lasers," April 16

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News Article

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Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Jim Kafka, senior director of Advanced R & D, Spectra-Physics will give a public talk on "Fifty-Five Years of Lasers" from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in 101 Abbott Hall. All are welcome to attend.

About the Laser

The first laser was demonstrated 55 years ago and Spectra-Physics, the first commercial laser company, has been producing products since the beginning. Kafka will review the uses for these lasers from measuring the distance to the moon and scanning bar codes in the supermarket to laser light shows and 3D printing. He will then describe the role of today's laser systems in vision correction and manufacturing of cell phones.

Jim Kafka received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1977 and 1983, respectively. For the last 31 years, he has been developing new products and is currently the senior director of Advanced R & D for Spectra-Physics, a division of Newport Corporation. In addition to authoring numerous journal articles, conference presentations and seminars, he co-authored a book chapter on Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics and holds more than 40 patents. Jim was the principal designer on three products, the Tsunami, the Opal and the Millennia X, which have won technology achievement awards. He has served the optics community as the Ultrafast Phenomena topical editor for JOSA B, the co-chair for the CLEO and Advanced Solid-State Photonics conferences and as a Director on the Board of Directors for the OSA.

Kafka is visiting UND from April 16-17 as a Distinguished Traveling Lecturer for the Division of Laser Science of the American Physical Society.