The science and technology of light are essential to a multitude of applications that have transformed our society, and there is much promise that optics and photonics will remain at the forefront of the world's innovations well into this century. Moreover, the general excitement in and impact of optics and photonics is growing dramatically. This presentation will highlight: (a) past breakthroughs, present advances and potential future growth in the science and technology of light, (b) the convergence of the International Year of Light, the Nobel Prizes based on light and the various U.S. government initiatives in photonics, and (c) the critical nature of metrology to harnessing the exquisite capabilities of high-frequency, coherent light for different industries. This talk is part of an afternoon NIST program celebrating World Metrology Day.
Alan Willner, Professor and Associate Director, Photonics Center at University of Southern California