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Rick Trebino

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Awards & Distinctions

Rick Trebino received his BA from Harvard in 1977 and his PhD from Stanford in 1983. After spending twelve years at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, USA, he accepted a Chair in Ultrafast Optical Physics at Georgia Tech, where he currently studies ultrafast optics, specifically pulse measurement, and optics education. He has received numerous prizes for his research including Optica's Esther Hoffman Beller Medal and is a Fellow of Optica, APS, AAAS, and SPIE. 

Inspired by the interesting fact that science’s greatest discoveries have resulted directly from more powerful light-measurement techniques, Rick Trebino’s award-winning research involves developing techniques for measuring light with ever shorter and more complex ultrafast temporal and microscopic spatial variations. He is best known for frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG), the first technique—and still the gold standard—for measuring arbitrary ultrashort pulses in time. His more recent inventions measure the complete spatiotemporal pulse electric field.

Frustrated by “chalk-and-talk” style lectures when he was student, Trebino utilizes the many capabilities of Power Point to create lecture materials with detailed drawings, pictures, animations, and movies to make even unintuitive and complex ideas clear. His colorful and informative lectures have been shared with professors, teachers, and students all over the world, and translated into several languages including Spanish, French, and Chinese.

In 2024, Trebino received Optica's R. W. Wood Prize, "For his invention and development of techniques for the ever more complete and rigorous measurement of ultrashort light pulses, which have enabled a wide range of new applications across many fields."


Document Created: 26 Jul 2023
Last Updated: 8 Mar 2024

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