• Technical Conference:  16 – 20 September 2018
  • Science & Industry Showcase:  18 – 19 September 2018

Amplifying Great Ideas into Amazing Scientific Achievements

Written by Dominic Siriani

Well, we’ve now reached the end of a great week at the FiO/LS conference. It’s been a great week, and this final day was no exception to that. Unfortunately, I had an early flight out and so only could attend a half-day of the talks. However, not surprisingly, the ones I did get to see where very good.
 
In the “Fundamentals and Applications of Photonic Crystals II” session, there were three excellent invited talks. All of these covered very different topics and applications of photonic crystals. One discussed quantum dot coupling to 2D and 3D photonic crystal cavities and showed some remarkable results of three-dimensional “woodpile” photonic crystals assembled by a manual pick-and-place stacking. Another re-examined the Purcell factor for leaky photonic crystal systems and phonon-assisted cavity-dot coupling, which can lead to phonon mediated population inversion. Finally, the last invited talk covered some great work on enhancing nonlinearities by taking advantage of slow light in photonic crystals. Using their methods, the researchers were able to realize four-wave mixing and other nonlinearities with very low pump powers.
 
Being back home now gives me the opportunity to sit back and reflect on how great this conference-going experience was (there was so much going on during the week that I hardly had time for such reflection!). I got to reconnect with many friends and colleagues, was able to become acquainted with new peers in the community, and learned about as much as my brain could handle. There are a few thoughts I was able to take away. Probably the foremost one is that there is an incredible diversity of research going on in the field of optics and photonics, spanning theory and experiment and practice, and covering a broad range of topics like quantum optics, nanofabrication, photonic integration, metrology and measurement, manufacturing, laser science in various active media, and the list just seems to go on endlessly. It’s can be almost overwhelming if you try to keep track of it all, but it also is likely indicative of the vitality of the field.
 
I’m also struck by the rapid progress being made in all of these areas. In just the seemingly few years I’ve been attending these types of conferences, I’ve seen a remarkable change in the advancement of many topics, including high-speed communications, plasmonics, and micro- and nano-resonators, just to name a few. It seems that this is a natural consequence of having such a large community that competes and collaborates, so that everyone is able to feed off each others’ ideas and make rapid leaps and jumps in understanding and capabilities. Without the forum like FiO/LS and other conferences, this type of feedback just doesn’t seem like it would be possible. The optics community is an active medium, and FiO/LS forms the cavity in which stimulated emission (or discussion, perhaps) amplifies great ideas into amazing scientific achievements.
 
Disclaimer: Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Posted: 10/19/2012 11:06:57 AM by Dominic Siriani | with 0 comments

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