The Optical Society Blog

OSA Topological Order with Photons Incubator: Facilitating Discussion of this Nascent Field

Greetings from the 12th installment of OSA Incubator meetings, the OSA Topological Order with Photons Incubator! Hosted by Steven Girvin, Yale University, United States; Mohammad Hafezi, Joint Quantum Institute, United States; Karyn Le Hur, Ecole Polytechnique, France; Jacob Taylor, National Institute of Standards & Technology, United States; the meeting will span two days, involving formal...

Added: 04 Apr 2014


How do you make a topologically interesting system with light?

Quantum superposition states are immensely delicate things - any interaction with the environment can cause them to decohere. This poses a significant problem for quantum computing, where information would need to be stored within quantum states for relatively long periods of time. A promising way to isolate a system exploits the topology of the system, known as 'topological protection'...

Added: 04 Apr 2014


What lies ahead for topological photonic systems?

The final day of the Topological Order with Photons Incubator saw several more proposals for systems that could support topological edge states. Metamaterials are a promising environment, and talks were given by Alex Kanikaev and Gennady Shvets on fabricating bianistropic metamaterials to emulate electron spins and topological insulators. Na Young Kim and Alberto Ano laid different schemes...

Added: 04 Apr 2014



Salt and Pepper (Noise): Key Ingredients for Imaging Blood Flow

We’ve all experienced that “salt-and-pepper”, or white noise when our favorite television show cuts out on us. Well it turns out that similar “speckle” patterns are also seen when projecting laser light onto biological tissue, owing to interference patterns of the monochromatic light source. Now you might say, “so what!” and that’s probably what...

Added: 25 Mar 2014


A Woman's Place is in the Lab

As a female engineer, one becomes accustomed to being a minority: in the lecture theatre, in the graduate lab and in the workplace.  We have come a long way from the days when women scientists were an anomaly, but the number of women choosing STEM courses and careers at the undergraduate and graduate level still lags behind our male counterparts.  But to grow female representation in...

Added: 24 Mar 2014


Day 1 continued: Learning to See Through Walls

Is it possible to look inside an object using only light reflected off the front?  Can you transmit more light through an attenuating medium by making it even thicker?  Could a bank verify your identity using the pattern of light scattered off your teeth? 

Added: 07 Mar 2014


Day 2: Propagating Further

After a final session of talks on new developments in 3D imaging methods and funding opportunities, our host Jerome Mertz presented a timely summary of outstanding problems and possible solutions identified during this week's Incubator meeting:

Added: 07 Mar 2014


Day 1: Seeing Order in Disorder

Greetings from Washington, DC, and the OSA Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting! Hosted by Tom Bifano and Jerome Mertz, Boston University, USA; Sylvain Gigan, Institut Langevin, France; and Allard Mosk, University of Twente, Netherlands; today’s event brings leading researchers from the fields of biological imaging and adaptive optics together with partners from industry and...

Added: 06 Mar 2014


Reducing Drug Trial Costs with Imaging Technology

95% of new cancer therapeutics fail to make it past Phase II clinical trials. This means that while it should only cost about $50 million per drug for FDA approval, incorporating the cost of failures leads to an estimated cost of $1 billion per drug (1), with a recent Forbes article suggesting that this number is considerably higher (2).So why are so many drugs failing in clinical trials?

Added: 04 Mar 2014