Photonics/Optics

  1. As a new member, I find a topic on Optics/Photonics conspicuous by its absence. Since I have spent most of my career in this field and was elected to Fellow status in 1993 I consider this a serious omission. The last time I checked they were still part of the Physics curriculum.

    How can you motivate young students to pursue this career field if it is ignored?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Njorl

    Njorl 875
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    I work in photonics too. I also was surprised that there seem to be no interest in it on this board. I don't mind, I have no shortage of opportunities to discuss it with colleagues at work.

    Njorl
     
  4. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,746
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    In forums such as this, a lot of areas of physics do not get adequate representation, so this isn't confined to just your area. Unfortunately, for many who are not working in the field of physics, the prevalent impression of what physics is tends to be confined to high energy/particle physics, nuclear, and astrophysics. Often, the "workhorse" area of physics involving materials/condensed matter, optics, etc. are often overlooked, or unrealized as being a significant part of physics.

    However, there isn't an intentional omission. This is an open forum and one way for you to make sure your field does not get left out is to either directly mention what it is, or to bring it in when it is relevant. As a condensed matter physicist, I try to interject results from this area all the time when it is appropriate or overlooked. This is especially true when people are arguing about the validity of Special Relativity or QM. Most think that these two areas of physics are proven only by some esoteric, exotic experiments, whereas in reality, some of the most convincing evidience for them are in the very material they are using in their modern electronics. So when someone question on whether the photon model for light is valid, I point to the photoemission spectroscopy experiment done of a gazillion of materials and how results from such experiment allowed us to design such reliable solid state transistors.

    Only you can be the most effective "ambasador" of your field of study and sell it to people who are ignorant of it.

    I for one, am not ignorant of it, since for the past 6 months, I've been reading up on the use of materials with photonic band gap as a possible dielectric for accelerating structures.[1] It is good to know of someone who is an expert in this area in this forum, so you can expect that I may pick on your brain sometime soon. :)

    Zz.

    [1] B.M. Cowan, PR-ST v.6, p.101301 (2003).
     
  5. Njorl

    Njorl 875
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    Neat. I just started working with the idea of using photonic band-gap materials for things we had been using III-V semiconductors to do. For now, we're just trying to get good, precise, repeatable fabrication.

    Njorl
     
  6. I seem to recall that the definition of a high energy physicist was one who spent two years waiting to get 15 min on an accelerator and spent three years reducing the data.
     
  7. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,746
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    That sounds about right, but only for the experimentalists! :)

    Actually, what you should have said was "... 15 mins on a collider...". Accelerator physicists try very hard to make sure people realize that they are not high energy physicists. One works on accelerators in many areas, be it in medical physics, to electron storage rings at synchrotron centers, linear accelerators for FEL, and of course, particle colliders.

    Zz.
     
  8. I also have found it frustrating that there are know forums dedicated to photonics/optics and have had to place my questions in places like "General physics"! On one occasion is was quite rudely told off by some official member of physics forum for misplacing a question I had on photonics which arose as a consequence of there not being a suitable forum for such a topic. I see no good reason why the photonics/optics forum doesn't exist.
     
  9. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,746
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    Please read all the other threads in this forum about new forums on such-and-such. The responses to such questions have been given multiple times already.

    Furthermore, you're resurrecting a thread that has its last activity in 2004! That has to be a record for necroposting, if not a close one to it.

    Zz.
     
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