A Lecturer Down Under

A Lecturer Down Under

By San Francisco State University OSA Student Chapter

On Thursday March 17th 2016, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Yuri Kivshar, from the Nonlinear Physics Center at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, through the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. Dr. Kivshar works for the physics and astronomy department at San Francisco State University in San Francisco California. 

We invited students from chemistry, engineering, and fellow physics and astronomy students who are not current members of OSA, as well as all of the OSA members at SFSU. About 14 graduate and undergraduate students were able to attend, with the addition of 2 professors. We were able to provide snacks and refreshments for attendees, with ample seating, and a high quality projector furnished by the school, so everyone could clearly see Dr. Kivshar’s presentation. After a brief introduction by the OSA treasurer Trevor Kelly and an introduction by Dr. Zhigang Chen expounding on Dr. Kivshar’s many accomplishments, including his standing as Head, Distinguished Professor and Australian Federation Fellow (level E3) of the Nonlinear Physics Centre, APS Fellow and OSA Fellow, the talk was under way.

The title of Dr. Kivshar’s talk was “Recent advances in the physics of localized and topological photonic states.” Dr. Kivshar started his talk with a quick reminder as to where in Australia he was located and a few interesting facts on the country. He then moved on to review several examples of the existence and generation of localized states in optics, nano-photonics, and metamaterials. Also included was discussion on weakly coupled optical waveguides, arrays of nonlinear nanoparticles, and graphene flakes. Dr. Kivshar discussed some recent studies he has been working on regarding topologically protected photonic systems, including an interplay of nonlinearity-induced localization and edge states in zigzag nanoparticle arrays and bi-anosotropic meta-crystals with nontrivial topology.

The presentation lasted an hour and was generally informal and students were encouraged to ask short questions during the presentation. After Dr. Kivshar was finished the students were given more time for questions, and the inquiries went on a full 45 minutes after the talk, only to be cut short by the time constraint of the reserved room. After the talk the OSA officers took Dr. Kivshar and Dr. Chen to an Italian restaurant in the Portola district of San Francisco. Details of Dr. Kivshar’s life in Australia and plans of collaborating on future projects were discussed, and the meal was enjoyed by all.

Dr. Kivshar’s visit was a great way to get the students together to learn more about non-linear physics, and to foster deeper connections amongst each other from different educational disciplines. All the members of the OSA SFSU chapter are extremely thankful and appreciative for the Traveling Lecturer Program and to have had the opportunity to witness a talk from such a luminary in the field of photonics and optics. We can happily say that the members of OSA will walk away from this experience with pride at being an OSA member and appreciation for the programs provided by OSA to make talks like this possible. 

Posted: 26 April 2016 by San Francisco State University OSA Student Chapter | with 0 comments