Current and emerging micro- and nano-fabrication enable very sophisticated and complex optical circuits and nanophotonic elements. Already, we understand that such nanophotonics can make very compact components. Recent work in meshes of silicon photonic interferometers shows such complex and programmable circuits can go well beyond previous optical functions. Potential applications include communications, allowing large numbers of overlapping and changing channels; information processing, such as arbitrary low-power quantum and classical matrix operations and neural network circuits; and sensing, including automatic coupling, filtering and real-time adaptation. These circuits can implement any linear transform and can also be self-configured and self-stabilized, even without any calculations.
Such work exposes new concepts in optical architectures, topologies, and algorithms, opening a new class of optics. This kind of optics is so different that we need new ways of thinking, well beyond lenses, mirrors, rays, and even beams. Fortunately, there is a surprisingly simple new “modal” approach that is universal and quite fundamental, which matches very well to these new circuits and to novel nanophotonics. It exposes new physical laws and limits, while connecting to the emerging complex architectures exposed by these ideas. This new approach in optics and nanophotonics therefore opens a wide range of quite radical possibilities in structures and circuits we can actually make.
Subject Matter: Intermediate - Assumes basic knowledge of the topic
What You Will Learn:
• A new way of understanding and constructing arbitrary optics based on interferometric circuits
• A new “modal” approach that is universal and quite fundamental for designing complex optical circuits and nanophotonic elements.
• The wide range of quite radical possibilities that such a "modal" approach opens in structures and circuits we can make.
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