Colloquium: Kevin J. Webb

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    "Seeing Through Clutter and Moving Things with Light"


    I present three topics in which motion is a consequence of the application of light or is exploited in an imaging method.

    • I describe a method to measure nanometer distances through heavy scatter using fluorescent (Förster) resonance energy transfer. This could allow in vivo measurements of protein folding and brain function. The approach is being used to measured the targeting and release of anti-cancer drugs.
    • I propose a means to image moving objects through heavy scatter based on speckle correlations that remarkably provides access to the field, with the ramifications this implies.
    • I review the concept of radiation pressure and the influence of material properties. By means of nanostructure field control, I suggest opportunities for moving small objects, or larger objects locally, using optical tweezers.
    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Kevin J. Webb is a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, where he has been on the faculty since 1990. He grew up in Australia, where he received a B.Eng. and M.Eng from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He earned an M.S. from the University of California, and, in 1984, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Before joining Purdue, Webb was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park. He has been a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). He is a fellow of IEEE and the Optical Society (OSA), and he received the George Corcoran Memorial Award for teaching from the University of Maryland.

    His work has theoretical, computational and experimental facets. Research underway in his group encompasses biophotonics, including imaging and statistical optics; and nanophotonics, including metamaterials, the control of light with irregular structures, subwavelength imaging and other aspects. Much of his work stems from electromagnetics, and he has worked on semiconductor and quantum devices and device noise characterization.

    Webb founded the Purdue Karate Club in 1990, and he remains the chief instructor. He has run the Chicago, New York and Marine marathons, cycled the Swedish Vaetternrundan seven times, and, motivated by an old friend from graduate school, climbed Mount Rainier a couple of years ago. He lives in West Lafayette, Ind., with his wife, Kaisa, who is a postdoctoral scientist in biochemistry, and their three children, Anna, Frida, and Anton.