- Plenary Session Covers Femtoscience, Electron Optics and the Future of the DWDM Revolution
BALTIMORE, May 9 - After the Awards Ceremony the audience members shifted their attention to the Plenary Session speakers in order to get a summary of three new and potentially groundbreaking ideas in the photonics industry.
Ahmed Zewail, from the California Institute of Technology, began the session with his presentation on femtoscience at the new millennium. Zewail started by saying that today is an exciting time in science before giving a brief outline of the phenomena of an ever-shorter time scale. Zewail showed a time line that began with a sun dial and led up to recent breakthroughs in laser technology that have made it possible to capture the femtosecond.
Jozef Straus, of JDS Uniphase, followed Zewail's talk with an overview of the rapid advances and future prospects of manufacturable optical components that enable high-capacity DWDM fiber optic systems. With the help of a high-tech slide show, Straus likened the path of the fiber optic industry to that of a kyaker maneuvering his way through turbulent rapids in the hopes of ending up on a more tranquil lake.
Donald Eigler, from the IBM Almaden Research Center, ended the session with his presentation of electron optics on the surface of a solid. He talked about how the wave properties of electrons will play an increasingly important role in determining device behavior.
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