All Things Photonics – Season 4: Lineup and Schedule

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The upcoming lineup and schedule for season 4 of the All Things Photonics podcast.


Updated 12/06/2021.

Episode 1 – October 19, 2021

Light-Activated Molecular Machines – with Ivan Aprahamian

What is a molecular machine? What can it do and how does it work? Ivan Aprahamian, author of the 2020 ACS Central Science paper “The Future of Molecular Machines” answers those questions and harder ones about the technology that brings together biology, chemistry, and photonics. Aprahamian will shed light on recent advances to smart drug delivery and nanomedicine, and the role light has to play. Additional systems and applications powered by the delivery of autonomous motion are introduced – in advanced materials, spectroscopy, and more.

UR Professor of Quantum Optics & Quantum Physics Nick Vamivakas offers a frontline look at the burgeoning need for, and opportunities for, a quantum-specific optics workforce. How do we educate its future members, what are they posed to do, and how do we make sure we inculcate members with the skills they’ll need to tale quantum out of the lab and into the field?

Themes:  Biophotonics; Pharma; Drug Delivery; Molecular Machines; Light Activation; Medicine; Quantum Optics; Workforce Development 

Episode 2 November 2, 2021

Robot-Guided Surgery: More than a Vision – with Moshe Safran and Russell Taylor

Robot-assisted surgery has come a long way from the introduction of arthrobot, acrobot, and the da Vinci Surgical System. With increased knowledge of complex optical procedures, such as OCT and different optical microscopies, what can’t a robot do in the operating room? Is there ever a definitively right time (or definitively wrong time) to bring one into surgery? Just where do robots fit into (bio)medical procedure?

Moshe Safran, CEO of RSIP Vision US, speaks with us on the intersection of optics, AI, and medical-guided robotics. What is horizonal in the field? How do engineers construct their devices to get what they need out of robots? How do humans and robots work together to maximize effectiveness?

Johns Hopkins’ Russell Taylor takes us on a guided history of AI solutions for the medical market and the evolution of computer-integrated interventional medicine. What do robots need to be successful microsurgeons? To what types of procedures are robots best suited? Are human surgeons being phased out?

Themes: Medical Robotics; Robot-Assisted Surgery; Robotics; Machine Vision; Computer Vision; Image Processing; Motion Control; Business

Episode 3 November 16, 2021

The Optics of Art with Charles Falco

Charles Falco, half-namesake of the “Hockney-Falco thesis,” discusses his work in applying optical theory to works of art. Falco discusses the origin of his work with Hockney, what he’s learned from the work, and why it matters (through an optics and photonics lens).

A panel of Alejandro Manjavacas from the University of New Mexico’s Theoretical Nanophotonics Group, Silvia Centeno from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Andrea Schlather now of L’Oréal USA, talk about their purely experimental work being done with daguerreotypes – yet another “art form” with a deep optical (plasmonic) connection.

Themes:  Optics; Art; Materials; Photography; Cameras; Lenses: Holography: Diffraction; Light Properties; Light-Matter Interactions; Nanophotonics; Daguerreotypes; plasmonics 

Episode 4 – November 30, 2021

The Lidar Boom with Jason Eichenholz

Luminar, Velodyne Lidar, Cepton, AEye, Quanergy, Innoviz, Aeva… These lidar companies have each turned to SPACs to go public in their respective quests to capture a slice of the pie. With photonics industry veteran and Luminar co-founder and CTO Jason Eichenholz, we discuss how a company can/has ascended to the top of the lidar food chain, and the course lidar firms are charting for the rollout of lidar and autonomous vehicles. Other talking points include taking an already-refined technology and making it safer, software design, an evolving supply chain, the future of the technology, and the evolution of overcoming its fundamental challenges.

Themes: Lidar; AVs; Sensing; Automation; Embedded Systems

Episode 5 December 14, 2021

Sensors for Defense 

As directed energy (laser) threats have evolved, sensor technology has adapted to meet those threats. The game of cat and mouse is discussed with Kevin Cox, Quantum Scientist, CCDC Army Research Lab/ DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory and from the University of Maryland’s Quantum Technology Center. Topics of conversation span quantum sensing, fiber optic sensing, biological warfighting, space-based threats, and laser weapons.

We revisit the role of “nuts and bolts” optics with internationally acclaimed optical holographic artist Pearl John from University of Southampton. Dr. John talks about finding the right application for the science and charting a previously uncharted course.

Themes: Sensors and Detectors; Quantum Sensing; Defense; Aerospace; Directed Energy; Laser Weaponry; Optoelectronic Sensing; Chemical Threats; Fiber Optic Sensing; Holography; Optics; Instrumentation

Episode 6 December 28, 2021

All Things Quantum Cascade Lasers – with Jerome Faist 

The durability and versatility of QCLs have given the instruments roles of prominence in industrial, medical, and research-based applications. Faist, credited with the invention of the device, talks first about the impetus behind the QCL, and does his best to answer key questions. Can QCLs be used to achieve private free-space communications? Are QCLs poised to emerge as THE laser for defense and military applications? And what about the QCL’s role in drug delivery and advanced sensing? 

Miriam Vitiello, lead physicist, National Enterprise for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NEST), CNR Nanoscience Institute and Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy, answers questions about applications for QCL lasing at THz frequencies and interferometric applications involving QCLs, and recent advances in graphene photonics.

Themes: Quantum Cascade Lasers; Quantum Communications; Telecom; Spectroscopy; Sensors and Detectors; Lasers; Directed Energy; Military; Defense; Smart Medicine; Nano; Pharma; Semiconductor Lasers; Graphene

Published: September 2021

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