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Optics, Photonics Research to be Discussed

Photonics.com
Mar 2007
BALTIMORE, Md., March 30, 2007 -- One of the industry's leading events on laser science, CLEO/QELS (Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference), will present more than 1500 talks on cutting-edge optics and photonics research when it takes place May 6-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

More than 5000 researchers, educators, engineers, business representatives and students from around the world will gather to discuss the present and future of laser technology as it applies to biomedicine, defense, optical communications and more through an educational forum, plenary sessions, special symposia, short courses, tutorials and workshops. In addition to the peer-reviewed scientific programming during the May 6-11 technical conference, the event also includes an applications-focused exhibition featuring 350 companies from May 8-10.

In addition to bringing together the science and applications sides of the optics and photonics industry, the six-day event also includes the Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST) Conference, which presents the latest breakthroughs in the lasers, electro-optics and photonics industry, making it a must-attend event for researchers and scientists, professors and other educators, system developers, design engineers, industry executives, sales and marketing professionals, test and measurement engineers, venture capitalists and students.

Each of the three conferences making up CLEO/QELS will have its own plenary speaker. Speaking at the CLEO Conference will be Nobel laureate Alan Heeger of the University of California at Santa Barbara, William D. Phillips of NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Sir John Pendry of Blackett Lab, Imperial College London.

Heeger, professor of physics and materials at UCSB and holder of the university's Presidential Chair, is known for his pioneering research in, and the co-founding of, the field of semiconducting and metallic polymers. The winner of the Noble Prize in Chemistry in 2000, the Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Condensed Matter Physics, and the Balzan Prize for the Science of New Materials, Heeger will talk on "plastic" electronics and optoelectronics, specifically progess on field-induced insulator-to-metal transition in polymer FETs and plastic solar cells fabricated from semiconducting polymers. Heeger is chairman of Diode Solutions Inc., a new Santa Barbara startup focusing on printing "plastic electronics."

Phillips, who leads the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group in the Atomic Physics Div. of NIST's Physics Laboratory, will speak on "Spinning Atoms with Light," specifically how laser beams can transfer orbital angular momentum to Bose-Einstein condensates, adding mechanical rotation to linear momentum and spin angular momentum to the toolkit for manipulating atoms with light.

In 1997, Phillips shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. His NIST group is part of the Joint Quantum Institute, a cooperative research venture of NIST and the University of Maryland that began in 2006. It has developed many of the techniques for cooling, trapping and manipulating atoms that are in general use in the cold-atomic-gas community.

Addressing the topic of metamaterials and negative refraction will be Pendry, a condensed matter theorist who has worked at Imperial College London's Blackett Laboratory since 1981. Pendry has worked extensively on electronic and structural properties of surfaces developing the theory of low energy diffraction and of electronic surface states. He is also interested in transport in disordered systems, where he produced a complete theory of the statistics of transport in one-dimensional systems. He developed some of the first computer codes capable of handling photonic materials, leading to his present research on metamaterials, in which the normal response to electromagnetic fields is reversed, resulting in negative values for the refractive index.

Plenary session speaker for the PhAST conference will be John Ambroseo, president and CEO of Coherent Inc., whose talk is entitled "The Photonics Industry: Enabling Technology or Mature Market?" Ambroseo, past president of LEOMA (Laser Electro-Optics Manufacturers Association) will share his insight into how the photonics industry can evolve -- beyond the superficial dazzle of technology and the repetition of techniques -- into a growth industry.

CLEO/QELS is sponsored by the American Physical Society's (APS) Laser Science Div., the Institute of Electronic Engineers/Laser and Electro-Optics Society (IEEE/LEOS) and the Optical Society of America (OSA).

For more information, visit: www.cleoconference.org


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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