Leoš Láska Award

 Leos Laska

Laser-matter interaction pioneer:
Leoš Láska 1938–2013

  The PPLA Price, named the “ Leos Laska Award”, donated by University of Messina, Italy, is intended recognize and encourage young (born on or after 1 January 1981) talented researcher working in the field of laser-matter interaction and technology.
The Organizing Committee of Plasma Physics by Laser and Applications awarded a prize in memory of Dr. Leoš Láska on 4.10.2013  for the best poster or speech given by a young researcher. As an author or co-author Dr. Láska 238 published works, which have been cited more than 2,400 times the h-index of 28 (WOS, October 2013). The selection of the recipient is made by the PPLA 2017 International Scientific Committee. The award will be announced at the PPLA Conference as well as on the official PPLA website.

Curriculum Vitae 

   Leoš Láska finished a grammar school in 1955. Having no corresponding personal profile (not coming from a communist family) he was forced to work as a senior technician in the electronics department of the Institute of Physics of ČSAV, and only two years later received the necessary recommendations for a higher education.

   Since 1957 he was attending the top-university in the Czech Republic: Charles University. He specialized in high frequency and vacuum physics, and finished his studies in 1962 with honors. After two years of military service he joined in 1964 again the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences, this time in a position of scientist-experimentalist, where he kept working for almost the next 50 years until his death in 2013. Leoš Láska worked in the department of discharges in gases, and later, after arrival of the laser programme, in the department of laser interactions.

   In 1969 the Physics Scientific Board of the Academy awarded him the academic degree PhD. The first stage of his scientific activities, from 1964 to 1983, he devoted his attention to the research of ionization waves (moving striations) and other instabilities of the positive column of glow discharge, numerical modeling of low-temperature plasma of molecular gases and also plasma chemistry.

   From 1983 to 1990, Dr. Láska led a working group with the task of designing and building a novel power amplifier of the photodissociation iodine laser system PERUN. From 1990 to 2002 Leoš with his group equipped the laser laboratory PERUN with an ion diagnostics and carried out an outstanding research dedicated to emission of ions from the plasma produced by the laser.

   Since 1999 he collaborated with INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Catania, Italy, to help to build a laboratory laser ion source. Leoš was able to transfer his long-term experience to the development of laser ion source at CERN, in which the Czech workers actively participated, to the scientific laboratories and universities of southern Italy. One of the results of this fruitful collaboration was a hybrid source ECLISSE (ECR ion source coupled to LIS), which consisted in an injection of laser plasma into an ECR source. This type of source was successfully tested in Catania; currently it is in operation at Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, where its long-term and reliable operation is tied to a modern picosecond laser with a diode pumping and a high repetition rate of 400 Hz.

    In 2000, he initiated this type of research at the PALS laboratory in Prague. At the same time, Dr. Láska coordinated a related research at local universities with a dynamic participation of PhD students coming from the Czech Republic as well as abroad. For them he was always served as an example of integrity, foresight and personal courage. Today, these students have become senior researchers themselves, and in their own research they follow the example set by Dr. Láska: hard and dedicated work, honesty with the colleagues and a mutual friendly support, since science is not only a competition, but also a collaboration. Their work is hard, but, they realize that a good team is what makes a good research. Just as at the times of Dr. Láska, who was at the same time a leader, a tutor, a friend and an open-minded person able to encourage and help everybody to shape their interests and ideas.

    In May 2013 was published his latest work, in the journal Applied Surface Science 272 (2013) 94- 98.