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ISP Cochin – Pioneer of Photonics in India

Photonics.com
Mar 2010
Mar. 18, 2010 — How are you, and my sincere apologies folks, I was indisposed for nearly a week, hence, the delay in these posts. As they say, better late than never.

Here, I'd like to touch upon a captivating discussion I had with C.P. Girijavallabhan, Professor Emeritus, International School of Photonics (ISP), Cochin, and its founder director, who painted a great picture of how the ISP actually came into being.

He said: "We began by starting off a small laser group in the mid 1980s. In 1992, we started the M.Tech. course in optoelectronics and lasers (OE & LT). In 1995, we desired to open an International School of Photonics. Subsequently, the school was opened on 28 February, 1995." Hence, the annual Photonics show coincides with the Founders Day of this institute.

In fact, every year, on Feb. 27-28, the International School of Photonics holds the Annual Photonics Workshop, which I was able to attend this year.

Prof. Girijavallabhan continued: "In 2003, the University Grants Commission (UGC), granted us as the Center for Excellence in Lasers and Optoelectronics (CELOS). The first integrated five-year M.Sc. course was started in CELOS in 2003." With great pride, Prof. Girijavallabhan added, "This is the first such course in photonics in India, with a nice blend of electronics, optical technologies, basic science and mathematics."

Under the research program, the ISP acquired the femtosecond laser system in 2007. Several experiments have since been conducted in nonlinear optics as well as a lot of new research work in photothermal investigations. According to Prof. Girijavallabhan, such research work is still going on at the ISP. He added, "We are also the pioneers in photoacoustic research, photothermal deflection measurement and thermal lensing phenomena."

The ISP has now migrated into fiber optics technology. Fiber drawing machines – to draw polymer fibers – have been fabricated here. Likewise, the institute has also developed fiber lasers. Several fiber optic sensors have been designed and fabricated at the ISP, as well.

Prof. Girijavallabhan concluded with great pride, “Our first batch of M.Sc. Photonics students have ended up to be among the best researchers in the world.”

Indeed, the International School of Photonics has a memorable history with remarkable achievements to boot. No wonder that the best photonics talent in the country comes out from this institute!

My next post will be on the radiant history of optics in the Indian state of Kerala.

Pradeep


GLOSSARY
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
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