Francesca Calegari elected 2020 Fellow of the Optical Society

DESY group leader honoured for her major contributions to attosecond science

DESY Lead Scientist Francesca Calegari

DESY Lead Scientist Francesca Calegari. (Credit: DESY, Gesine Born)

DESY Lead Scientist and Professor at Universität Hamburg Francesca Calegari has been elected a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA). She is recognized “for her major contributions to attosecond science,” as the society announced. With 21 000 members in more than 100 countries, the Optical Society is the leading scientific society in the field of optics and photonics.

Francesca Calegari, who leads the attosecond science group at DESY, develops advanced laser sources providing extremely short light transients with durations of attoseconds. One attosecond is a quintillionth of a second (1 as = 10-18 s) or a millionth of a millionth of a millionths of a second. Calegaris work had a major impact in the field, as she pioneered the possibility to image and control the electron dynamics in complex molecules for a future “attochemistry”, an idea that has been pursued by scientists ever since the development of the first attosecond sources. This important achievement has been internationally recognised to Calegari with numerous awards.

“I am honoured to receive this recognition from the leading society in the optical sciences. Attosecond science is an extremely exciting topic, pushing the frontiers of our current knowledge and ability to control matter. Last year’s Nobel prizes have shown the importance of ultrafast laser science, and here in Hamburg we can now provide a combination of unique light sources to significantly advance in the field.” said Calegari. “I would also like to use this opportunity to thank all the colleagues who supported my work during these years.”

The OSA, originally founded in 1916 as the Optical Society of America, works to promote the generation, application and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. The purposes of the society are scientific, technical and educational. OSA members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics can be elected to the class of Fellow. The number of Fellows is limited by the society's bylaws to be no more than 10 per cent of the total OSA membership and the number elected each year is limited to approximately 0.5 per cent of the current membership total, making each year’s honorees a highly selective group. “Being named an OSA Fellow is a singular honor and indicates a history of achievement in optics and photonics, and a reputation for service to OSA and our field,” said OSA President Ursula Gibson. “Congratulations to the 2020 Fellows Class, and our thanks to the OSA Fellow Members Committee, nominators and references for their continued support of this program.”


Further Information: Announcement of the OSA 2020 Fellows Class