Neff Lecture  

The 2008 Neff public lecture was given by Dr. Philip Bucksbaum of Stanford University March 31 on ‘Ultrafast Quantum Control’.  Dr. Bucksbaum is director of the Ultrafast Science Center at Stanford University.

The atomic bond rearrangement involved in chemistry can take less than a picosecond, and the electrons that make these bonds move in a few femtoseconds.  Lasers can more than keep up with this: the shortest laser pulses are high harmonics at about one-tenth of a femtosecond. This means that ultrafast laser pulses can be strobe lights to freeze motion of atoms in molecules, and electrons in atoms. We take this notion one step further, illuminating molecules with intense and carefully shaped ultrafast laser pulses, which cannot only image, but also control basic quantum processes in atoms and molecules.

This lectureship is funded by an endowment established with a bequest from Dr. Neff.  The James R. Neff Lectureship “shall perpetuate and honor Everett and Florine Neff, parents of James R. Neff, and Janice K. Neff Standish (sister).  It is further intended to represent Dr. Neff’s gratitude for the opportunities and education that he received at Kansas State University and to verbally acknowledge Florine and Everett Neff as benefactors of the institution of higher learning.”