Algis Petras Piskarskas
ALGIS PETRAS PISKARSKAS
(19 December 1942 – 11 June 2022)
Algis Petras Piskarskas, one of the most famous Lithuanian scientists, a physicist and the founder of laser science in Lithuania, and a member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, passed away in his 80th year. With his pioneering research in the fields of laser physics, nonlinear optics, ultrafast laser spectroscopy, laser micro-technology, and extreme laser light research, he laid the foundations for Lithuanian laser science.
While studying in Moscow, he was one of the first to observe the phenomena of parametric amplification and oscillation of light. Upon his return to Lithuania, he investigated parametric phenomena induced by ultra-short laser pulses in crystals, generation of light filaments, vortices, and X-pulses, processes of ultrafast photosynthesis and of physical photodynamic therapy of tumours, 3D laser microfabrication with femtosecond lasers for the engineering and photonics of bio-tissues. Together with his students, he developed a parametric generator and amplifier for multi-colour ultra-short laser pulses, a spectrometer for ultrafast processes, and the OPCPA technology for parametric amplification of extreme intensity laser pulses, which is extensively used in the laser industry and in scientific research.
Professor did research and taught in the USA (Fulbright Programme), Germany, and Italy. He gave invited talks at the universities of Berkeley, Stanford, Oxford, Florida, Munich, Groningen, Leiden, Southampton, Tokyo, London, Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories in the USA, and in numerous international conferences.
A.P. Piskarskas from 1999 to 2003 was the vice-president of the Lithuanian Physical Society and chaired its Research Commission. Professor Piskarskas was a member of the board of the European Physical Society (1995) and the president of the Lithuanian Laser Association (from 2005). He served on the editorial boards of the international research journals and chaired the international advisory committee of the Lithuanian Journal of Physics. He presided over the Alexander von Humboldt Club (from 1994).
A.P. Piskarskas’s scientific and organisational activities were recognised with numerous awards. He was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Science Prize in 1992. In 2001, he received the European Physical Society Quantum Electronics Prize for pioneering research and development of ultra-short pulsed light sources based on optical parametric generation and oscillation.
Lithuania has lost an eminent scientist who elevated the country’s physical sciences to widely respected heights.