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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

8th Meeting and Annual General Meeting of the 184th Session (2004-2005)

Lasers, Light and Life

Professor Wilson Sibbett CBE, FRS, FRSE
Chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee &
Wardlaw Professor of Physics, University of St Andrews

In the Salisbury Suite
Our Dynamic Earth
Holyrood Road
On Wednesday 12th October 2005, at 7:30 pm


"Lasers have become quite commonplace in many aspects of our daily living. Whether at home or in our cars we benefit from CD players that relay on tiny chip lasers and our check-out procedures in the supermarket are made a lot faster by the laser scanning of the barcodes. I shall describe some of the more distinctive characteristics of the light produced by lasers and I shall explain how and why there are advantages in making some lasers produce very short pulses of light. Within a brief survey of applications, I will indicate where modern lasers can contribute to advances in internet communications, medical imaging and the photo-biology of disease processes. This is therefore intended as a wide-ranging talk where a background in science will not be necessary and where some of the implications of lasers in everyday life can perhaps be better appreciated."

Professor Sibbett is recognised as a pioneer and world authority in ultrafast lasers, nonlinear optics and optoelectronics/photonics and he has published over 300 scientific journal papers in these areas. His work has wide-ranging applications in the field of ultrafast science and technology, including optical communications and photobiology. He is presently the Co-Technical Director of the St Andrews Photonics Innovation Centre which promotes the linkage of academic research to applications in industry, Director of an EPSRC-funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration) on ultrahigh speed data-communications and Co-Director of a SHEFC-funded Strategic Research Development Grant on the application of photonics to biology and medicine. He received the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics in 1997 and the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society for "Research into Ultrashort-pulse Laser Science and Technology" in 2000. In 2002 he was awarded the Quantum Electronics Prize by the European Physical Society in recognition of the 'excellence and enduring impact' of his major research contributions.

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Dr Stuart Monro, will be in the Chair

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held, starting at 7pm. It is expected that this will take no longer than 30 minutes.

Would Fellows please note that this meeting is on a Wednesday and will be held at Our Dynamic Earth. These changes from our usual arrangements have been necessary because of a prior booking of our customary meeting place in the University.

Members of the Public are welcome to attend after the completion of the formal business of the AGM.

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary

The Royal Scottish Society of Arts is Registered Scottish Charity SC015549

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