Synthesizing waves of light

Synthesizing waves of light

Dr Eleftherios Goulielmakis is head of the research group Attoelectronics at the Institute of Quantum Optics Max Plank, based at Munich in Germany. In 2012, he was awarded the Gustav Hertz Award by the German Physical Society, an award honouring and encouraging young physicists in recognition of recent scientific achievements.

Eleftherios Goulielmakis received the award for his outstanding contributions in the field of attosecond physics, in particular for his work on the attosecond control of light fields and their use for tracing the motion of electrons inside matter, which paves the way towards controlling matter on a nanoscopic scale with unprecedented precision.

Born in Heraklion on the island of Crete, Eleftherios received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree from the Physics Department of the University of Crete. He continued his academic studies in Austria and Germany and in 2005, he received his PhD from the University of Munich. He then worked as a researcher in the Division of Attosecond Physics of the Institute of Quantum Optics Max Plank, where he later started his own research group Attoelectronics.

One of his most remarkable scientific achievements is the generation of the shortest isolated burst of electromagnetic radiation lasting less than 100 attoseconds in 2008 and the use of such bursts to trace and observe the motion of electrons in atoms in 2010.

During the last years, Dr. Goulielmakis and his team focus on developing the world’s first light field synthesizer, an experimental apparatus that synthesizes the field waveform of a light pulse, just like the musical instrument synthesizes music.