SPIE Optics + Photonics Topics Range from the Nanoscale to the Outermost Cosmos

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More than 4,400 researchers, developers, suppliers, and other optics and photonics industry professionals will gather in San Diego next month for the largest international, multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology meeting in North America. SPIE Optics + Photonics will feature reports on the latest research in optical engineering and applications, sustainable energy, nanotechnology, organic photonics, and astronomical instrumentation, as well as numerous observances of the International Year of Light.

SPIE Optics + Photonics is returning to San Diego 9-13 August; above, the sun sets over a rooftop reception at a previous event.

SPIE Optics + Photonics is returning to San Diego 9-13 August; above, the sun sets over a rooftop reception at a previous event.

Recent developments in physics, nanoscience, and nanotechnology have made it possible to tailor materials with unusual parameters and extreme characteristics, providing fertile ground for innovation and discovery.

Celebration of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) continues at SPIE Optics + Photonics 9-13 August in San Diego, California. IYL 2015 will be observed with displays, presentations, workshops, and an exhibition including an opportunity to vote on the 32 images vying for the People’s Choice Award in the SPIE IYL Photo Contest.

More than 4,400 researchers, developers, suppliers, and other industry professionals are expected for what has become the largest international, multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology meeting in North America. Optics + Photonics features 3,300 papers on the latest research in optical engineering and applications, sustainable energy, nanotechnology, organic photonics, and astronomical instrumentation.

The program has a three-day industry exhibition showcasing optical components, detectors and sensors, test and analysis equipment and more, along with an extensive professional development program, a job fair, numerous technical and networking events, and leadership training and other activities for students.

SPIE Optics + Photonics will open with two symposium-wide plenary talks, on comet chasing and optical wave sculpting.

The Rosetta Mission, the third cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency’s comprehensive Horizon 2000 plan, made history in November when the lander module Philae soft-landed on a comet. U.S. Rosetta project manager Artur Chmielewski of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab will review the landing and tell how Philae became a comet chaser, lander, and hopper in the same mission.

SPIE 2015 Gold Medal Award recipient Nader Engheta of the University of Pennsylvania will discuss some of the technologies made possible by controlling photons and optical waves.

“Materials control waves, and they can tailor, manipulate, redirect, and scatter electromagnetic waves and photons at will,” Engheta said. “Recent developments in condensed matter physics, nanoscience, and nanotechnology have made it possible to tailor materials with unusual parameters and extreme characteristics, providing fertile ground for innovation and discovery.”

Five more plenary sessions will have experts discussing topics covered by the four symposia: NanoScience + Engineering; Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy; Organic Photonics + Electronics; and Optical Engineering + Applications.

Speakers will address breakthroughs in nano-bio-optomechanics, solar-cell technologies, organic electronics, signal processing, and wearable technologies. Among them:

  •     Keisuke Goda, University of Tokyo, on “Extreme imaging and beyond”
  •     Liejin Guo, Xi’an Jiaotong University, on “Solar hydrogen: harvesting light and heat from the Sun”
  •     George Malliaras, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, on “Interfacing with the brain using organic electronics”
  •     Takao Someya, University of Tokyo, on “Ultraflexible organic thin-film devices for wearable and implantable Electronics”
  •     Aydogan Ozcan, University of California, Los Angeles, and California NanoSystems Institute, on “Democratization of next-generation imaging, sensing, and diagnostics tools through computational photonics”
  •     Bernard Kress, Google, on “Restocking the optical designer’s toolbox for next-generation wearable displays.”

Women in the optics workplace will be one of the topics covered in a panel discussion sponsored by the SPIE Career Center. Among issues to be discussed is data from the 2015 SPIE Optics & Photonics Global Salary Report indicating that women’s salaries continue to lag substantially behind men’s in most areas.

Among a wide range of events in a program for photonics industry participants are a discussion on legal best practices for navigating ITAR and other international trade regulations, an update on an ongoing study by SPIE on the size and scope the global optics and photonics industry, a discussion of industry careers outside of academia and the process of getting hired at technology-based companies and non-academic facilities, and insights on funding options such as corporate investment programs, crowdfunding, and nontraditional venture capital.

The Women in Optics presentation will feature reports on IYL activities from around the world, from panelists Laura Tobin of University College Dublin, Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard of Université Laval, and Sona Hosseini of University of California, Davis.

Student programs include a full-day workshop for student leaders, the Optics Outreach Games, and a workshop on how to persuade others using tactics such as personal/organizational power and social influences.

Technical special events include panel discussions and featured speakers on topics such as solar energy production growth, future space-based options for UV and optical astronomy that significantly advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of the cosmos and the life within it, and recent discoveries in astronomy, microbiology, and astrobiology and their implications.

Conference proceedings will be published online in the SPIE Digital Library beginning two weeks following the event, with CD and print publication to follow.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014. http://www.spie.org

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