May 7, 2010
Photonics/optics has been widely used throughout the history of mankind. This is expected since vision is the human’s most advanced sensory system. But this did not happen by an accident. It happened because environmental constraints forced early humans to develop and utilize the visible spectrum for their survival. In more recent history, we have used photonics for communications, warfare, and medicine. Photonics is the study of the generation, transmission, and detection of light. The term includes linear and nonlinear interaction of light and matter, the study and development of optical sources, optical modulation/switching, optical imaging, and sensing. In recent years we have seen remarkable advances in optical communications and optical sensors for both civilian and military applications. In this talk, I will present the history of photonics and its applications, recent advances, and possible future directions for photonics applications.
Jin U. Kang is a professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Johns Hopkins University. He earned a B.S. in physics from Western Washington University, and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the School of Optics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. His research is focused on developing novel fiber optic devices and systems for various applications in medical, communications and sensors. Prior to joining the JHU faculty, he was a research scientist with the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He has developed various fiber sources from single longitudinal mode tunable lasers to mode-locked femtosecond lasers. He was also the first to experimentally demonstrate the existence of several important novel effects and devices including Manakov Spatial Solitons and backward propagating second harmonic generation. He has published over 100 journal papers and 150 conference publications, and has given numerous invited talks at international conferences. He has chaired photonics conference sessions and programs for the Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO) and SPIE conferences. He was a topical editor of Optics Letters, Optical Society of America (OSA) and is a Fellow of OSA.