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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Arnaud Brignon, 33

Hardware

Thales

Lasers are found in everyday products, from compact-disc players to bar code readers. But in a laser beam strong and focused enough to shoot down an enemy aircraft or chisel pin-sized mechanical parts out of metal blocks, the hyperexcited photons have to be controlled so they don’t scatter. Improvements on solid- state lasers have been stymied by the tendency of a beam to distort as the crystal at the heart of a laser heats up. Arnaud Brignon, who was born eight years after the laser was invented in 1960,has solved this problem by developing a self-correcting mirror made from nonlinear crystals that cancels the distortions. His division of multinational aerospace giant Thales, in Orsay, France, is identifying markets for commercial versions of the laser, which Brignon says could be ready in three years. While working on a next-generation laser, Brignon finds time to hunt for dinosaur remains in the fields of France. He recently discovered a tooth from a 100-million-year-old armored ankylosaur that was previously undocumented in his country.

2002 TR35 Winners

Andrew Barrows

Transportation

Elisabeth M. Belding-Royer

Telecommunications

Vincent Berger

Telecommunications

Eric Bonabeau

Software

Daniel Branagan

Materials

Arnaud Brignon

Hardware

Howie Choset

Hardware

Michelle Effros

Telecommunications

Alexander Fay

Transportation

Claire Gmachl

Telecommunications

Michael Hansen

Hardware

Tom Hyongsok Soh

Telecommunications

Matt Keyser

Energy

Kara Kockelman

Transportation

Paul Krajewski

Transportation

Der-Horng Lee

Transportation

Ihor Lys

Hardware

Larry Mianzo

Transportation

Chahab Nastar

Software

Bill Nguyen

Telecommunications

Rajesh Reddy

Telecommunications

Vincent Rijmen

Software

Jonathan Rosenberg

Telecommunications

Steven Shaw

Energy

Anna Stefanopoulou

Transportation

Lisa Su

Hardware

Vahid Tarokh

Telecommunications

Steve Tuecke

Software

Les Welch

Transportation

Sean Willems

Software

Neil Young

Entertainment

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