Colorado State University Professor Jorge Rocca Honored with Schawlow Prize from the American Physical Society

Note to Reporters: Photos of Jorge Rocca are available with the news release at

The American Physical Society on Monday honored Jorge Rocca, a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University and an international leader in the development of compact X-ray lasers, with the 2011 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science.

The award is one of the highest honors for a physicist.

Rocca has been honored for “pioneering developments in compact soft X-ray lasers and applications of these lasers in high-resolution imaging, plasma diagnostics, interferometry and material studies.” He received the award from the American Physical Society at the annual meeting of the Optical Society of America in San Jose, Calif., on Monday.

“This prize is an outstanding and well-deserved tribute to Dr. Rocca and his pioneering laser research,” said Colorado State University President Tony Frank. “This is also a great honor for Colorado State University – and all of us at CSU are enormously proud of Jorge and the exceptional research team he has established, which continues to transform our understanding of how lasers can advance science, medicine and our world for the benefit of humankind.”

Rocca joined Colorado State in 1983 and holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics.

Rocca is the director of the internationally renowned, multi-institutional National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology. Rocca and his team have found ways to dramatically improve the quality of ultra-short wavelength light produced by small-sized lasers – a groundbreaking discovery particularly valuable for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Rocca is a University Distinguished Professor at CSU – a title held by only a dozen faculty members at any one time across campus. He also is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He was a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer’s Distinguished Lecturer Award

Rocca earned his bachelor’s in physics from the University of Rosario in Argentina and his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Colorado State.

The Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science is sponsored by the Division of Laser Science. It recognizes outstanding contributions to basic research which uses lasers to advance knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light.

The NSF Extreme Ultraviolet Engineering Research Center, a partnership between Colorado State in Fort Collins, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of California-Berkeley, combines the expertise of researchers who are among the world leaders in developing compact extreme ultraviolet coherent light sources, optics and optical systems for nanoscience, nanotechnology and other applications.