Hi! My name is Leon Radziemski and I am a physicist living in Tucson, AZ, USA where I have a small Research & Development company. We are working on medical devices that use ultrasound to transport energy across human skin wirelessly to run implanted devices like pacemakers. We are also working on improving the results of knee replacement operations. I currently do not have an assigned role on ChemCam, however I am one of the originators of the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique for use in the field.
Around the ages of 10 - 13 years old, I was primarily interested in math and building things, like erector sets. I still build things, but it is usually apparatus around the lab! My interest in Mars was sparked by the possibility of life, and reading some science fiction stories about the exploration and settling of Mars. Before ChemCam, around 1977 at Los Alamos, Tom Loree, David Cremers and myself, essentially reinvented LIBS as a field spectrochemical technique.
ChemCam is important because it expands the amount of terrain that can be sampled for evidence of water by a factor of 1000 to 10,000. Before, the instruments had to pick up soil and put it in contact with the analysis tool. Now, with a laser, one can direct the beam up to 30 feet away and around an arc to look at interesting targets, without ever transporting any soil. As long as the laser works, data can be collected and sent back here to analyze. The ChemCam discovery that would excite me the most would be the detection of evidence of microbial life, either presently, or in the past.