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Special Seminar: Structuring Light to Reveal the Invisible



3:30pm - 4:30pm ET


Meeting ID: 995 9695 0090
Passcode: 153207

From quantum physics to cosmology, researchers aim to see things which are typically invisible—be it the entanglement of two particles or infrared signatures from space. In these and various other fields, we are confronted by a common challenge: What we can see with our own eyes or observe using standard optical imaging systems is limited to a small fraction of the information that the detected light actually carries. Two-dimensional (2D), flat images, such as a photo, only reveal the intensity and visible color of the light coming to us from an optical scene. However, light contains a wealth of information on the three-dimensional (3D) position, angle of incidence, spectral content, amplitude, phase, polarization, optical angular momenta, and coherence, amongst others. In fact, if light interacts with media, nature will give us structured light that is spatially varying in the named properties in a fashion that depends on the interaction.

In this talk, I will present how we can use these kinds of structured light fields to extract information from an optical scene and, vice versa, how structured light can serve as an excitation or probing tool to gain access to usually invisible information. In this context, we will explore "optical vortices" in phase and polarization, their generation, and application. Moreover, we will gain insights into the nanoscale features of structured light and its leading role for next-generation imaging techniques.

Hosted by Professor Laura Ray.

About the Speaker(s)

Eileen Otte
Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford

Eileen Otte

Eileen Otte is a postdoctoral researcher at the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM) at Stanford University. Her research spans various areas of photonics and related fields including: structured light; topological, singular, and quantum optics; light-matter interactions, biophotonics, and optical trapping; nanophotonics and metamaterials; and advanced imaging with diverse applications. After completing her MSc degree, she specialized in structured singular light in her PhD studies. She performed her research at the University of Muenster (WWU), Germany, as well as the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She received the Research Award of the Industrial Club Duesseldorf, is a junior class member of the NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts, and was listed among the Emerging Leaders and Emerging Talents of IOP's Journal of Optics.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at