Plenary Event
LASE Plenary and Hot Topics
29 January 2024 • 3:45 PM - 5:40 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 207/215 (Level 2 South) 
3:45 PM - 3:50 PM: Welcome and Opening Remarks
LASE 2024 Symposium Chairs: Stefan Kaierle, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (Germany) and John Ballato, Clemson Univ. (United States)

3:50 PM - 3:55 PM: Announcement of the SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award in High-Speed Optics
Jennifer Barton, SPIE President, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

3:55 PM - 4:00 PM: Announcement of the 3D Printing, Fabrication, and Manufacturing Best Paper Awards
Henry Helvajian, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM:
Plenary: ARPA-E programs on fusion energy: status and perspectives
Ahmed Diallo, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (United States)

The Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has the mission to advance high-impact technologies that have the potential to transform the energy industry. Fusion energy sits in the highest risk part of the ARPA-E portfolio. Accelerating the development of enabling technologies for Inertial fusion energy (IFE) is a key focus of ARPA-E. ARPA-E intends to surgically target technologies, which will significantly reduce the time to market and engineering risk of any first of a kind commercial fusion power plant. I will provide a summary of existing ARPA-E IFE related programs and the vision for future programs.

Dr. Ahmed Diallo, Program Director at ARPA-E, focuses on commercial fusion energy advancement. His 13-year stint at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) yielded innovations in high-energy-density plasmas and magnetic fusion research, earning him prestigious recognitions. Diallo also directed the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy–a DoE public-private partnership program. His academic background includes a physics Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM:
Hot Topic: Topological confinement: a new mechanism for light transport in optical fibers
Siddharth Ramachandran, Boston Univ. (United States)

Since the elucidation of total internal reflection by Colladon, Babinet and Tyndall over 150 years ago, bound states of light have been the primary means to transport light, whether on a chip or in optical fibers. We show that light carrying sufficiently high orbital angular momentum can create a centrifugal barrier for itself, thereby enabling guidance even in a regime where a mode is normally considered “cutoff.” We will discuss how this discovery, which has parallels with why binary stars don’t collapse into each other due to gravity, has applications in diverse areas, including classical and quantum communications and computing with high dimensionality, power scaling of fiber lasers by mitigating nonlinearities and nonlinear optics with greater degrees of freedom.

Siddharth Ramachandran started his scientific career at Bell Labs, and after a decade in industrial research labs, returned to academia, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Boston University. For his contributions to the understanding and development of lightwave devices comprising spatial, vectorial and topological complexity, he has been named a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at OFS (2003), a fellow of Optica (2010), IEEE (2019), SPIE (2019) and APS (2022), an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (2013-2015, and a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow (2019). He serves the optics and photonics community in several capacities, including, currently, as a deputy editor for Optica.

4:45 PM - 5:15 PM:
Plenary: Optical quantum computers with quantum teleportation
Akira Furusawa, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan) and RIKEN (Japan)

We are now working on building a real machine of optical quantum computers based on quantum teleportation technology. The main ingredients are 10THz-bandwidth waveguide optical parametric amplifiers, 100GHz-bandwidth 5G/6G technologies and Wavelength Division Multiplexing(WDM), and nonlinear feedforward. By using these ingredients, we will build 100GHz-clock 100-multicore super quantum computers.

Akira Furusawa received MS degree in applied physics and Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from The University of Tokyo, Japan, in 1986 and 1991, respectively. He is currently Professor of Applied Physics, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo and the Deputy Director of RIKEN Center for Quantum Computing.

5:15 PM - 5:30 PM:
Hot Topic: Programmable metasurfaces at visible frequencies
Laura Na Liu, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany) and Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (Germany)

Light projection displays play an increasingly important role in our modern life. Core projection systems including liquid crystal displays and digital micromirror devices can impose spatial light modulation and actively shape light waves. Recently, the advent of metasurfaces has revolutionized the design concepts in display technologies, enabling a new family of optical elements with exceptional degrees of freedom. In this talk, we will present examples of electrically-controlled metasurfaces for dynamic holographic displays. We will also outline the possibility to achieve programmability and addressability of optical metasurface devices at the single pixel level.

Prof. Laura Na Liu received her Ph. D in Physics at University of Stuttgart, Germany. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and as a Texas Instruments visiting professor at Rice University. In 2020, she became the Director of the 2. Physics Institute, University of Stuttgart.

5:30 PM - 5:40 PM: Q&A for all speakers