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Speaker: Dr. Eileen Otte (Stanford University)


Hosts: Arun Bansil and Matteo Rinaldi


When: Monday, February 12th, 2024 @ 11AM


Title: Structuring light to reveal the invisible


Abstract: 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 acturally carries. Twodimensional

flat images, such as a photo, only reveal the intensity and visible color of

light coming from an optical scene. However, light contains a wealth of information on

the 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 (quantum) application.

Moreover, we will gain insights into the nanoscale features of structured light and its

leading role for next-generation imaging and sensing techniques.

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