The Josef Hlávka Prize is awarded to talented students at bachelor, master and postgraduate levels up to the age of 33, who have proved their exceptional capabilities and creative thinking in their branch of science. The names of the winners of this year's Josef Hlávka Prize were announced at Hlávka's manor house in Lužany near Přeštice on November 16, 2013.
The prize went to Lukáš Ondič, a PhD student at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University in Prague and at the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. During his postgraduate study at the Department of Thin Films and Nanostructures of the Institute of Physics, Lukáš Ondič has been interested in silicon nanostructures, photonic structures and optical gain. In particular, he has been studying both experimentally and theoretically the optical properties of photonic crystals fabricated from nanodiamond films and quartz glasses, with the aim to enhance the efficiency of light extraction and/or trapping in these structures.
The Josef Hlávka Prize 2013 was also awarded to Ondřej Novák, PhD, researcher at the Division of High Power Systems of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who was awarded for his PhD thesis entitled "Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification in Non-linear Crystals Chirped by Pulses of an Iodine Photodissociation Laser". Within the framework of his PhD study at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague and at the Department of Laser Interactions of the Institute of Physics he carried out demanding experiments involving the amplification of femtosecond laser pulses using the state-of-the-art method applying a unique iodine laser. The results of his experiments are in very good agreement with the created theoretical model herewith they have laid foundations for the potential generation of petawatt pulses using lasers of this type, including, among others, the PALS laser system. At present Ondřej Novák takes advantage of his experience in laser technology and optical parametric phenomena while participating in the project called HiLASE, where he develops new optical parametric systems altering the wavelength of lasers with high average power.