David Snoke, University of Pittsburgh
Much of our intuition about light comes from our experience that light has very weak interaction with other light—a beam of light easily passes through another beam of light, so that the Star Wars scenes of “light sabers” bouncing off each other are just imaginary. But in solids, the properties of light can be changed dramatically, especially in solids that we design for new effects. Some examples include light that flows like a liquid around corners, light that turns around and goes back the way it came without hitting anything, and light that bounces off other light. I will discuss this fascinating field of “nonlinear” optics, and along the way introduce general concepts such as wave-particle duality and coherence.
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1