Imperial College London

Prof John W.G. Tisch

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Laser Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 7710john.tisch Website




Ms Judith Baylis +44 (0)20 7594 7713




205Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





John Tisch is a Professor of Laser Physics in the Physics Department and an experimental physicist working in the QOLS Group within the Blackett Laboratory Laser Consortium (BLLC). His research interests are ultrafast laser physics and high-intensity laser-matter interactions, especially the use of femtosecond laser pulses to generate coherent x-ray pulses of attosecond duration and to observe and manipulate the motion of electrons in matter on the attosecond time-scale and on the Ångstrom length-scale (1 attosecond = 1 billion-billionth of a second).

He received his BSc Honours degree (First Class) from the University of Tasmania and won the Australian Institute of Physics prize for best student in the final year. He was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a PhD (graduating in 1995) at Imperial College under the supervision of Prof Henry Hutchinson. He was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship in 1998 to support his post-doctoral research in the BLLC. In 2001 he moved to the ETH Zurich to work as Team Leader in the Ultrafast Laser Physics group of Prof Ursula Keller. He was awarded a lectureship at Imperial College in 2003 and was promoted to Reader in Laser Science in 2005 and to Professor of Laser Physics in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and serves on a number of conference and advisory boards.

He is the co-founder (with Prof Jon Marangos) and Project Manager of a large (~40 researchers and technicians) UK Attosecond Science and Technology consortium. This multi-disciplinary consortium - involving researchers from Imperial College, the universities of Oxford, Reading, Birmingham, University College London and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - was awarded a £3.5M Basic Technology Grant by the RUCK at the end of 2003 to develop Attosecond science and technology in the UK with the objective of establishing a world-class research facility at Imperial College and building an attosecond science research community in the UK.

Recent research highlights include the publication of a paper in the journal Science describing the fastest ever measurement of dynamics in a molecules (100 attosecond resolution) that received press coverage (BBC), and the publication in the journal Nature Physics of a new method for measuring with unprecedented accuracy (50 attosecond resolution) the detailed electromagnetic wave structure of femtosecond laser pulses comprising only a few optical cycles.



Johnson AS, Austin DR, Wood DA, et al., 2018, High-flux soft x-ray harmonic generation from ionization-shaped few-cycle laser pulses (vol 4, eaar3761, 2018), Science Advances, Vol:4, ISSN:2375-2548

Abdelrahman Z, Khokhlova MA, Walke DJ, et al., 2018, Chirp-control of resonant high-order harmonic generation in indium ablation plumes driven by intense few-cycle laser pulses, Optics Express, Vol:26, ISSN:1094-4087, Pages:15745-15758

Johnson AS, Austin DR, Wood DA, et al., 2018, High-flux soft x-ray harmonic generation from ionization-shaped few-cycle laser pulses, Science Advances, Vol:4, ISSN:2375-2548

Matia-Hernando P, Witting T, Walke DJ, et al., 2018, Enhanced attosecond pulse generation in the vacuum ultraviolet using a two-colour driving field for high harmonic generation, Journal of Modern Optics, Vol:65, ISSN:0950-0340, Pages:737-744

Barillot TR, Matia-Hernando P, Greening D, et al., 2017, Towards XUV pump-probe experiments in the femtosecond to sub-femtosecond regime: New measurement of the helium two-photon ionization cross-section, Chemical Physics Letters, Vol:683, ISSN:0009-2614, Pages:38-42

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