2014-2015 Colloquium Lecture Series Archive

Provided below are the 2014-2015 academic year College of Optical Sciences Colloquium lectures. The current lecture series can be found on the main Colloquium page.


  • Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Chalcogenide Glasses: Tuning Their Physical Properties for Applications in Optics"

    Chalcogenide glasses constitute the only class of amorphous materials with transparency extended far into the infrared regime, down to 25 microns. These glasses are composed of heavy elements including sulfur, selenium or tellurium, which confer them other unique properties such high optical...

  • Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Unconventional Materials and Structures for Terahertz Plasmonic Metamaterials"

    In recent years, there has been great interest in the field of plasmonics. Much of the focus has been on studying the phenomena at optical frequencies, because of the potential for a wide variety of nanophotonic device applications. Although there has been excellent progress in this area, any...

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Optical Diagnosis in the Oral Cavity"

    Optical diagnostics using light provide the opportunity for noninvasive early detection, diagnosis and monitoring of oral pathologies. We have investigated this approach for conditions including oral dysplasia and malignancy, periodontal disease, demineralization and decay, and root canal...

  • Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:30pm
    "Searching for Applications with a Fine-Toothed Frequency Comb"

    Optical frequency combs are a remarkable new type of laser that brings entirely new capabilities in precision measurements. At its simplest level, a frequency comb provides an optical spectrum that comprises a series of repeating, equally spaced spectral lines at precisely known frequencies and...

  • Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Attosecond Spectroscopy of Complex Systems"

    The advent of attosecond spectroscopy has led to exciting developments in ultrafast science. The unprecedented temporal resolution inherent in this technique has resulted in direct measurement and control of electronic processes on the natural timescale of electrons. The aim of ongoing research...

  • Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Advanced Forward Error Correction and Coded Modulation for Ultrahigh-Speed Optical Transport"

    This talk presents an overview of advanced forward error correction and coded modulation for optical communications.

    It describes the following ultrahigh-speed optical transport enabling techniques: codes on graphs (turbo-product and low-density parity-check codes), rate-adaptive CM...

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Mechanical Effects of Light on Material Media: Radiation Pressure and the Linear and Angular Momenta of Photons"

    Electromagnetic waves carry energy as well as linear and angular momenta. Interactions between light and material media typically involve the exchange of all three entities. In all such interactions, energy and momentum (both linear and angular) are conserved. Johannes Kepler seems to have been...

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Extreme-Ultraviolet Frequency Combs Based on Intracavity High-Harmonic Generation"

    Intracavity high-harmonic generation utilizing femtosecond enhancement cavities has been established as an efficient route for the generation of femtosecond frequency combs in the vacuum-ultraviolet and the extreme-ultraviolet spectral regions. Such XUV frequency combs enable precision...

  • Thursday, October 23, 2014  
    Conflict with the Optical Society (OSA) Frontiers in Optics conference.

  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Confining Light on a Chip: The Science of Optical Microresonators"

    Like a tuning fork for light, optical resonators have a characteristic set of frequencies at which it is possible to confine light waves. At these frequencies, optical energy can be efficiently stored for lengths of time characterized by the resonator Q factor, roughly the storage time in cycles...

  • Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "How Ball Optics Are Contributing to the Way We See Our World and Beyond"

    Since its inception in 1956, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been producing state-of-the-art optical instruments for NASA, a wide range of universities, commercial ventures and the Department of Defense. Our optical systems have ranged from apertures of just over a centimeter in the...

  • Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Applications of Few-Moded Optical Fibers"

    Although single-mode optical fibers are used in numerous applications, restricting a fiber design to strictly single-mode operation significantly constrains the range of available operating parameters, such as the mode effective area and dispersion. By allowing an optical fiber to support more...

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Engineering Design for Consumer Optical Products"

    Consumer product design is complex and includes factors ranging from motivation to relationships with optical design somewhere in the story. Engineers can enhance their value add to make products successful by striving to understand the product’s value proposition and its implementation...

  • Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Solar Sailing: Navigation by Radiation Pressure Torque"

    Although radiation pressure has been known since at least the 1870s, applications are few, owing to the small comparative magnitude of force. Space applications of solar pressure, which predate terrestrial laser-based ones by only a decade, are particularly useful since the forces can be made...

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015  
    The Colloquium lecture featuring Howard M. Milchberg has been canceled.

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Image-Guided Ultrafast Laser Scalpel for Precise, Selective and Minimally Invasive Surgery"

    The fundamental goal in surgery is to remove unwanted tissue while preserving healthy tissue. Preserving healthy tissue is especially important in delicate areas for retaining as much functionality as possible while speeding up recovery. Ablation with ultrashort laser pulses (pulses below 10...

  • Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "The Role of Imaging in Understanding the Brain-Parasite Interaction of Toxoplasma Gondii, a Common Human Parasite"

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan pathogen that is estimated to latently infect the brain of up to one-third of the human population. Toxoplasma’s tropism for and persistence in the brain underlies the parasite’s ability to pass between intermediate hosts and...

  • Thursday, February 12, 2015  
    Conflict with the SPIE Photonics West conference.

  • Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Quantum Limits to Reliable, Secure and Covert Optical Communication"

    The fundamental limits to optical information processing — be it the maximum rate of reliable communication, imaging resolution of an optical sensor or the computational power of an optical computer — are all governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Most current-day systems, which...

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Practical Photonic Devices Based on Quantum-Engineered Nonlinear Metamaterials"

    Intersubband transitions semiconductor heterostructures provide the possibility to quantum-engineer the largest known nonlinear optical responses in condensed matter systems. Belkin will discuss how these structures are used to make practical photonic devices with functionalities...

  • Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Optical Pulse Propagation in Multimode Fibers"

    As optical fiber communications and fiber lasers approach fundamental limits, interest in multimode fibers has grown. Optical fibers designed to support multiple transverse modes offer opportunities to study wave propagation in a setting that is intermediate between single-mode fiber and free-...

  • Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "New Frontiers in Terahertz Technology"

    Although unique potentials of terahertz waves for chemical identification, material characterization, biological sensing and medical imaging have been recognized for quite a while, the relatively poor performance, higher costs and bulky nature of current terahertz systems continue to impede...

  • Thursday, March 19, 2015  
    Conflict with the University's spring recess.

  • Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Help, There Is a Zebra in the Quantum Fluid!"

    The interactions between excitons in GaAs quantum wells yield a wide variety of nonlinear optical effects. In this talk, I will focus on the quantum fluid formed by exciton polaritons in a semiconductor microcavity. Nonlinear processes such as four-wave mixing can lead to instabilities and...

  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Fiber Lasers and Components Using Specialty Glasses"

    Fiber lasers have attracted significant attention in the last decade because of many technology breakthroughs, and they have become the major driving force for industrial applications. Jiang's group studies and develops specialty glasses and fibers for fiber laser applications while rare-...

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Fibers, Fiber Fabrication and Fiber Lasers"

    Optical fiber-based light sources are a compact, robust and efficient means of converting light from inexpensive laser diodes into bright diffraction-limited beams. Today the lasers span a range of powers, pulse energies and applications, from milliwatt picojoule amplifiers in telecommunication...

  • Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Single-, Few- and Many-body Quantum Systems"

    As originally formulated in the early 20th century, quantum mechanics became the language for describing the microscopic world of single particles. A century later, quantum phenomena have become prevalent in systems from angstrom to millimeter in size, consisting of single, few or countless many...

  • Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Focusing Optics for Solar Energy"

    This talk will explore the potential for solar energy to become the main source of electricity worldwide. Today, nearly all solar electricity is made by flat photovoltaic panels. This is a successful and rapidly growing $100 billion industry, but yet accounts for less than 1 percent of global...

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    "Photon Detectors, Their Impact on Our Lives and New Breakthroughs That Might Change the Future"

    Photon detectors are now at the heart of many modern scientific, medical, industrial and security systems. These detectors, whether single-element or imaging arrays, are often the performance bottleneck in such systems. In fact, if photon detectors could perform at their theoretical limit of...