CREOL Spring Colloquium Series: Prof. Jeff Moses - Tackling longstanding challenges in ultrafast nonlinear optics via foreign but familiar physics

Thursday, April 14, 2022 noon to 1 p.m.

Abstract: Today and over many decades, optical nonlinearities have expanded the optics and photonics toolset for applications as diverse as high intensity laser science, information processing, and the imaging and spectroscopy of living systems. Key to many applications is use of the nonlinear polarizability of materials to couple photons between optical fields, giving rise to amplification and frequency conversion methods that expand the reach of lasers and other photon sources, both classical and non-classical. Other applications use light 'self-effects' to guide, switch, and modulate. However, optical nonlinearities are often small, and even when large enough, the spatiotemporal and spectral inhomogeneities in nonlinear optical systems can severely hamper the efficiency and bandwidth of power flow between waves.

Our group has been seeking ways to 'trick' nonlinear systems into modes of evolution that can avoid the normal limiting behaviors or to make use of unconventional nonlinear interactions. I’ll discuss a few of these that possess familiar physics that are somewhat foreign to optical light pulses, such as rapid adiabatic passage in optical frequency conversion, oscillation damping in parametric (i.e., lossless) wave mixing, and nonlinear optical interactions involving coherent phonon coupling. And I will present some technologies that they can enable, including efficient parametric amplifiers, dispersion-free octave-spanning frequency up- and down-converters, and strong cross-phase modulation.


About the speaker: Jeff Moses joined the faculty at Cornell University in 2014, where he leads the Ultrafast Phenomena and Technologies Group in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics. He received his B.S. from Yale and Ph.D. from Cornell, with both degrees in applied physics, and spent several years at the Optics & Quantum Electronics Group in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT as a postdoctoral associate and research scientist, with funded programs in ultrafast nonlinear optics and optical physics. He has received the NSF CAREER award and was an AFOSR Young Investigator, and currently runs programs funded by the NSF, DOE, and ONR.

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