Roger Falcone, University of California, Berkeley physics professor and veteran ALS user, succeeded Janos Kirz as ALS Division Director on September 1, 2006. Falcone received his undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University in 1974. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1976 and 1979 respectively. Following a three-year fellowship with the Applied Physics Department at Stanford, he joined the faculty of the Physics Department at the University of California (UC), Berkeley in 1983, and became a full professor in 1991. He served as department chair from 1995-2000.
On the Berkeley campus, Falcone was founding co-director of California Teach, UC Berkeley's outreach for K-12 education aimed at producing 1,000 new science and math teachers each year for California classrooms, and is currently chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley's public science center and resource for K-12 education. He was founding director of a multicampus research program at UC, the Institute for Materials Dynamics under Extreme Conditions, which supports activities in high energy density science at UC campuses and laboratories.
Falcone's research group focuses on the use of ultrafast pulses of x-rays to study dynamic phenomena in condensed matter, molecular, and atomic physics. These ultrafast pulses are measured in femtoseconds, which are one millionth of a billionth of a second, and represent the timescale upon which chemical bonds are formed or broken, or materials transition from one phase to another. He helped establish Beamline 6.0.1 at the ALS, dubbed the "Ultrafast X-Ray Facility" to expand research opportunities and experimental capabilities in the field.
Falcone chaired the Science Advisory Committee of the world's first x-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC, during its formative years, and is now working towards the development of a next generation of free-electron x-ray lasers with high-repetition rate, ultrafast pulses, and high-average power. In addition, he currently serves on the Science and Technology Committee for oversight of research at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Falcone is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.