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Photonics in India Shines Brightly at APW 2010

Photonics.com
Mar 2010
Mar. 2, 2010 — Friends, as promised, I was able to visit Cochin — said to be the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea' — to attend the Annual Photonics' Workshop 2010 (APW 2010), which was held on Feb. 27-28.

Organized by the International School of Photonics (ISP) and Center for Excellence in Laser and Optoelectronic Sciences (CELOS), at the very well known and highly acclaimed Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), this visit presented my first opportunity to interact with the elite of India's photonics community and students.

It was a rewarding experience to meet up with Prof. C. P. Girijavallabhan, Professor Emeritus, ISP, and its founder director, Prof. P. Radhakrishnan, President, ISP, CUSAT and Prof. V. P. N. Nampoori, General Secretary, ISP, CUSAT. Of course, it was very good to renew ties with Dr. Reji Philip, Associate Professor, Optics Group, Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore, and vice-president, ISP. In fact, I have had a very interesting discussion with Prof. C.P. Girijavallabhan, which will appear in a subsequent blog post.

Coming back to APW 2010, the workshop was on the subject of quantum optics. Quantum optics has been a key area for intense research activities over the last few decades. The field has generated many interesting and experimental results involving quantum entanglement, quantum teleportation and quantum computing. Hence, the ISP and CELOS thought it appropriate to have quantum optics as the theme of the APW 2010.

The main objective of the workshop was to impart information to interested folks who plan to work in this area -- such as young researchers and teachers in the various colleges, universities and other research institutions. There were some excellent presentations by India's leading stalwarts in photonics, such as:

* Prof. M. Sabir, Department of Physics, CUSAT, on quantum computing with photons
* Dr. Reji Philip on intense-field nonlinear optics
* Prof. S. P. Tewari (Univ. of Hyderabad), on lasers & applications
* Dr. Anil Shaji (IISER, Trivandrum) on quantum cryptography using quantum and classical optics

There was another very interesting session, where participants at APW 2010 presented posters. How often does one get to see demonstrations of experiments like quantum eraser, thermal lens-based logic gates, and so on and so forth? This presented an opportunity for sore eyes! Needless to say, there is lot of exciting, young talent in the country, especially in the areas of photonics, lasers and optoelectronics.
 










GLOSSARY
quantum optics
The area of optics in which quantum theory is used to describe light in discrete units or ‘quanta’ of energy known as photons. First observed by Albert Einstein’s photoelectric effect, this particle description of light is the foundation for describing the transfer of energy (i.e. absorption and emission) in light matter interaction.
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