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Talks & Events

The Rochester Section meets approximately twice each month, usually on Tuesdays. Our meetings include a talk by a featured speaker. Each talk is preceded by an informal dinner at a local restaurant with the invited speaker. The annual dinner meeting in May includes a banquet dinner. These meetings are open to all individuals.

Upcoming events

    • February 07, 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Laboratory for Laser Energetics - 250 East River Road, Rochester, NY, 14623

    JWST from below: An overview of the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and discussion of current status

    Raymond Ohl, NASA-GSFC

    Image credit: NASA/Desiree Stover (https://flickr.com/photos/nasawebbtelescope/33433274343/in/album-72157711864921848/)

    About the speaker:

    Raymond Ohl, PhD is an optical engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).  He serves as the Branch Head for the Optics Branch at GSFC.  He worked on the James Webb Space Telescope project in various roles for about 20 years and has supported other NASA projects since the mid-1990’s.

    For more information:

    Please contact house@opticarochester.org with questions or comments.

    • February 28, 2023
    • 7:00 PM
    • Laboratory for Laser Energetics - Coliseum Room 250 East River Road, Rochester, NY, 14623

    Liquid crystals in nonlinear and quantum optics 

    Dr. Svetlana G. Lukishova, The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester 


    This review will highlight the main effects of using liquid crystals (LCs) in nonlinear optics [1-3], quantum optics, and nanophotonics [4, 5], starting from the first works on generation of harmonics and self-focusing of pulsed laser beams near the phase transition. The most important nonlinear optical properties of LCs are the giant orientational optical nonlinearity as well as thermooptical coefficients, which are more than an order of magnitude higher than the thermooptical coefficients of conventional liquids. The manifestations of giant optical nonlinearity in oriented layers of nematic LCs will be outlined. The dissolution of various dyes leads to many new unexpected non-thermal nonlinear effects with practical applications. LC glassy oligomers/polymers and polymer dispersed LC composites expand the range of applications for these materials.

    In high-power nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond laser interaction with LCs the following topics will be highlighted: (1) LC optics in high-power laser-fusion systems, high-laser-damage  threshold  of monomeric and polymeric LCs; (2) nonthermal unwinding of a cholesteric LC (CLC) helix by the field of a light wave [planar aligned CLCs act like mirrors (1-D photonic bandgap material)  that selectively reflect light in a certain spectral region]; (3) low-threshold CLC microlasers; (4) enhancement of nonlinearity in the region of a gradient of a CLC mirror reflectivity (photonic band-edge); (5) nonlinear absorption and refraction, cumulative effects in thermal self-focusing; and (6) formation of ordered spatial patterns in beams without feedback in the presence of highly absorbing dyes.

    The last part of this review will discuss the prospects for the use of LCs in nanophotonics (metamaterials, microcavities, and nanoplasmonics), in flat optics, and for shortening femtosecond laser pulses. From quantum optical applications, q-plates for creating beams with an orbital angular momentum, the generation of single (antibunched) photons with a definite polarization, modeling quantum mechanical tunneling phenomena will be considered as well as measurements in a Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer of single photons’ transit times along a band-edge of CLC mirrors’ reflectivity. The prospects of patterned LCs will also be discussed.


    • [1] S.D. Jacobs, K.L. Marshall, and A. Schmid, “Liquid crystals”, 509-577, Section 14, in Handbook of Laser Science and Technology, Supplement 2: Optical Materials, M.J. Weber, Ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton (1995).
    • [2] I.C. Khoo, Liquid Crystals, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken (2007).
    • [3] S.G. Lukishova, "Nonlinear optical response of cyanobiphenyl liquid crystals to high-power, nanosecond laser radiation", J. Nonlinear Opt. Phys. & Mater. 9, 365–411 (2000).
    • [4] S.G. Lukishova and L.J. Bissell, “Nanophotonic advances for room-temperature single-photon sources”, 103-178, in Quantum Photonics: Pioneering Advances and Emerging Applications, R.W. Boyd, S.G. Lukishova, V. Zadkov, Eds, Springer Series in Optical Sciences, Vol. 217, Springer NY (2019).
    • [5]  S.G. Lukishova, A.C. Liapis, L.J. Bissell, G.M. Gehring, and R.W. Boyd, “Single-photon experiments with liquid crystals for quantum science and quantum engineering applications”, Liquid Cryst. Rev 2, No. 2, 111–129 (2014).

    About the speaker

    Professor Svetlana G. Lukishova was born in Moscow. She received her BS/MS (with honors) and PhD degrees (1977) from the General and Applied Physics Department of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (FizTech) working at the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Her senior project on theoretical astrophysics was made at a Nobel Prize winner V.L. Ginzburg’s theory department. Her PhD thesis was supervised by P.P. Pashinin and Nobel Prize winner A.M. Prokhorov and involved spatial beam-profile and temporal pulse-shape control in laser-fusion systems. After holding research positions at the I.V. Kurchatov Nuclear Power Institute, Troitsk branch TRINITI (Moscow Region), the Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics of the RAS (Moscow), and the Liquid Crystal Institute (Kent, OH), she joined the University of Rochester in 1999. In Russia she was awarded the International Science (G. Soros) Foundation a Long-Term Grant, the Russian Government and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grants for her work on nonlinear optics of liquid crystals. In addition to her research, she supervised and taught students at FizTech and served for the Soviet/Russian Committee of the International Scientific Radio Union URSI. She served at the Optica Award committees (C.E.K. Mees Medal and Max Born Award). She also served 6 years as a Topical/Associate editor of Optics Letters on nanophotonics, liquid crystals and nonlinear optics.

    After 30-year-experience with high-power laser systems and interaction of laser radiation with matter she moved to quantum nanophotonics, that is currently her main research area in addition to liquid crystals. Awarded four NSF grants and a Wadsworth C. Sykes Faculty Engineering Award she created the Quantum Optics, Quantum Information and Nanooptics Teaching Laboratory facility and developed two undergraduate and one graduate courses on this facility. She also created and directs the University of Rochester undergraduate program on the Certificate in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. In addition to her research, she is currently teaching three undergraduate and one graduate courses.

    Professor Lukishova’s research interests include both optical material and optical radiation properties, in particular, quantum nanophotonics, liquid crystals, and nonlinear optics. She has approximately 250 publications including co-editing and chapters of two Springer books:  “Self-focusing: Past and Present. Fundamentals and Prospects” (2009) and “Quantum Photonics: Pioneering Advances and Emerging Applications” (2019).

    LLE COVID policy

    Surgical, N-95 or KN-95 Masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals in LLE facilities.  Disinfectant wipes will be available for attendee use.

Past events

January 17, 2023 2022-2023 Optica RS Special Event: Tour of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics
December 17, 2022 Family Night at The Institute of Optics - University of Rochester
December 06, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Tony Whitman, L3Harris Technologies
November 14, 2022 Roman Space Telescope / L3Harris Precision Optics Tour
November 08, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Tyler Howard, University of Rochester
November 01, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Vogt, Monroe Community College
October 18, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Dr. Matthew Cich, TOPTICA Photonics Inc.
October 11, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Dr. Cristina Canavesi, LighTopTech Corp.
September 13, 2022 2022-2023 Optica RS Speaker Series: Dr. Li Qian, University of Toronto
May 24, 2022 OPTICA Rochester Section Annual Dinner Meeting 2022
April 19, 2022 2021-2022 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Annual Student Talks
April 12, 2022 2021-2022 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Dr. Adam Heiniger, TOPTICA
March 22, 2022 Stephen D. Jacobs Memorial Talk - Dr. Tayyab Suratwala, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
February 22, 2022 2021-2022 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Dr. Nishikant (Nish) Sonwalkar, SunDensity
February 11, 2022 UN International Year of Glass Opening Ceremonies (live/recorded)
February 08, 2022 2021-2022 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Juniyali Nauriyal, Photonect Interconnect Solutions
January 20, 2022 NES OSA Virtual Talk - Steven Spector, Draper Laboratory
December 07, 2021 2021-2022 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Michael Williams, Boston Electronics, Optica Ambassador 2021
November 16, 2021 OSA-RS Speaker Series: André Richter, VPIphotonics
November 02, 2021 2021-2022 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Susana Marcos, University of Rochester Center for Visual Science
April 20, 2021 2020-2021 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Christopher Gerry, Lehman College, The City University of New York
March 23, 2021 OSA-RS Speaker Series Annual Student Talks: Julia D'Rozario (RIT) and Tyler Howard (UR)
January 12, 2021 2020-2021 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Ildar Begishev, UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics
December 08, 2020 Stephen D. Jacobs Memorial Talk - Dr. Iam-Choon Khoo
November 17, 2020 2020-2021 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Don Figer and Justin Gallagher, RIT
October 13, 2020 2020-2021 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Stephen D Fantone, Optikos
September 22, 2020 2020-2021 OSA Rochester Speaker Series - Chuck McFee, Trioptics
March 24, 2020 Postponed: OSA-RS Speaker Series: Stephen D Fantone, Optikos
March 10, 2020 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Mike DeMarco, QED Optics
February 25, 2020 OSA-RS Speaker Series Annual Student Talks: Nick Takaki,UR and Justin Gallagher, RIT
January 14, 2020 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Felix Kim, Ovitz
January 07, 2020 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Jeffrey Powers, Bond, Schoeneck & King
December 11, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Miguel Alonso, Institut Fresnel and University of Rochester
November 19, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Michael Campbell, UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics
November 12, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Ken Marshall, UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics
November 05, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Zak Niazi, Circle Optics
October 29, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Vicki Cobb, Author
October 01, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Len Zheleznyak, Clerio Vision
September 24, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Sujatha Ramanujan, Nextcorps Luminate
September 10, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Wayne H Knox, University of Rochester
July 30, 2019 Annual Stephen D Jacobs Memorial Talk: Kathleen Richardson, CREOL, U. Central Florida
June 11, 2019 OSA-RS Joint Event with New York Photonics - Storing Petabytes of Data on Light in Space!
April 30, 2019 OSA Rochester Annual Dinner Meeting 2019
March 26, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Annual Graduate Student Talks
March 12, 2019 OSA-RS Joint Event with New York Photonics - What's Going On in Materials Research at Alfred University?
February 12, 2019 Postponed: OSA-RS Speaker Series: Julie Bentley, University of Rochester
January 29, 2019 OSA Rochester Optics Education & Outreach Community Discussion
January 29, 2019 Joint OSA-RS and RIT OSA Speaker: Nelson Tabiryan, Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Corporation
January 15, 2019 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Mike Bechtold, OptiPro
November 27, 2018 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Will Renninger, UR Institute of Optics
November 13, 2018 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Michael Zemcov, RIT School of Physics and Astronomy
October 30, 2018 Annual Stephen D Jacobs Memorial Talk: Alexis Vogt, Monroe Community College
October 09, 2018 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Paul Conrow, East High School
September 25, 2018 OSA-RS Speaker Series: Max Kotlarchyk, Intelon Optics
April 24, 2018 OSA Annual Dinner Meeting 2018
April 10, 2018 Steve D. Jacobs memorial talk by Kenneth L. Marshall
April 03, 2018 Imaging Polarimetry of the 2017 Solar Eclipse (and Other Objects) by Dr. Dmitry Vorobiev
March 27, 2018 RIT Photonics Open House Tour
February 20, 2018 OSA Lecture by Dr. Jason Nordhaus
February 13, 2018 OSA Lecture by Dr. Nick Vamivakas
December 12, 2017 OSA Lecture by Prof. P. Scott Carney, Director - Institute of Optics on synthetic optical holography
November 07, 2017 OSA lecture by Richard O'Shaughnessy, RIT.
October 03, 2017 Integrated Photonics: Challenges and Opportunities
April 25, 2017 Annual Dinner Meeting 2017
April 04, 2017 Silicon nanophotonic networks for quantum optical information processing
March 28, 2017 Steve D Jacobs Memorial Talk
March 07, 2017 Entrepreneurship in Optics and Photonics: A Panel Discussion
February 21, 2017 Ultrafast Lasers for Photonics/Optics Fabrication and Optical Differentiation Wavefront Sensing for Freeform Metrology and Wavfront Control of Laser Systems
January 17, 2017 Everything you want to know about freeform optics, but were afraid to ask.
December 06, 2016 The strange world of polarized light
November 15, 2016 Integrated Photonics
October 04, 2016 Omega EP
May 03, 2016 Annual Dinner Meeting 2016
April 19, 2016 Chemically strengthened glasses: principles and applications
April 05, 2016 The origin of the quantum entanglement experiments and space-to-space interferometric communications.
March 15, 2016 Computer Vision with a Billion Eyes
February 23, 2016 MCC Open House
January 26, 2016 How to measure a bone’s chemical composition and mechanical strength using nothing but light: transcutaneous Raman spectroscopy of mouse legs
December 15, 2015 Astronomical Telescope Optics
December 01, 2015 Advanced Mirror Technologies for Space-based Applications
November 17, 2015 Vision Science
October 27, 2015 History of LLE
October 06, 2015 Light-Matter Interactions in Engineered Optical Media
September 29, 2015 The Future of Optics in Rochester
April 28, 2015 Annual Dinner Meeting
March 31, 2015 3D Printing of Optics
March 17, 2015 Lasers in Display, Why They Matter, and Other Bedtime Stories.....
March 03, 2015 Overview of Photovoltaic Research at Natcore
February 17, 2015 Rediscovering Daguerroeotype
January 27, 2015 Étendue and what you can Étendue with it
January 13, 2015 Quasioptic Millimeter Wave Probing and Diagnostics of Materials
December 16, 2014 Successful Implementation of Precision Optical Systems
December 02, 2014 Streak Cameras - Where do we go from here?
November 11, 2014 Laser dissection of vegeatation.. there is more to a tree than meets the eye
October 28, 2014 A History of Optics at Bausch + Lomb - Past, Present & Future
October 14, 2014 Sydor Optics Open House
September 30, 2014 A Novel Anamorphic Adapter for Mobile Filmmaking
September 16, 2014 Freefrom and Conformal Optics Manufacturing and Metrology
May 06, 2014 Annual Dinner Meeting
April 22, 2014 Monitoring and Analyzing Gaze Behavior in Mobile Observers
April 08, 2014 Cooled CCD Cameras for Scientific Imaging
March 25, 2014 Biological and Bio-inspired Photonic Materials
March 11, 2014 Technical Marketing for High-Tech Products and Innovations
February 25, 2014 NIR Optical Diagnostic Techniques for Isolating Yield and Reliability Faults in Nanoscale ICs - Capabilities and Challenges
February 11, 2014 Multispectral Photoacoustic Imaging for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: An Ex-vivo Study
January 28, 2014 Corning's Metrology Technologies
January 14, 2014 Beam shaping for coherent laser applications
December 17, 2013 Digital Micromirror Development
December 14, 2013 Family Night at The Institute of Optics 2013
December 10, 2013 Seeing cells in the living eye: Pushing the limits of high-resolution retinal imaging
December 03, 2013 RPO Rochester Precision Optics Open House event
November 19, 2013 Development of Infrared Focal Planes for Low Background Space Astronomical Cameras
November 12, 2013 TISCH: Terahertz Imaging & Spectroscopy for Cultural Heritage
October 29, 2013 Optics at ASML, Sub-Wavelength Litho For The Next Generation Electronics
October 16, 2013 Special event talks at SPIE Optifab featuring two guest speakers
October 01, 2013 TISCH: Terahertz Imaging & Spectroscopy for Cultural Heritage
September 17, 2013 3D Printing Technologies by Dr. Denis Cormier from RIT
September 05, 2013 RRPC 2013 Annual Meeting and Golf Tournament
May 07, 2013 Annual Dinner Meeting
April 23, 2013 The Kodak Research Laboratories at 100, 1912-2012
April 09, 2013 Use of Optics to Study Electrically Silent Functions of the Brain - Novel Insight into Why We Sleep
March 26, 2013 Metrology Developments at QED
March 26, 2013 CEIS University Technology Showcase
March 21, 2013 THz Photonics: Bridging the "Gap" and Beyond
March 13, 2013 Single photon slow light: Quantum optics at a snail's pace
March 12, 2013 Lens Design for Low Sensitivity to Thermally Induced Stress Birefringence
February 26, 2013 What's up at Semrock? Complex Thin-Film Coatings for Spectral Transmission and Dispersion Control, and Who is IDEX/Semrock?
February 12, 2013 The Design and Integration of a Custom Broadband 15x Zoom Lens for NIR Fluorescence-Guide Surgery
January 29, 2013 Terahertz - Last Frontier of the EM Landscape
January 15, 2013 Quantum Information, Computation, and Teleportation
December 15, 2012 Family Night at The Institute of Optics
December 11, 2012 The Legacy of Rex Bishop Wilsey, an Early OSA-RS President
November 27, 2012 Computational Illumination for Scene Recovery and Material Classification
November 13, 2012 Latest Developments in MRF Technologies
October 30, 2012 Special Event Sponsored by Optimax: Kodak Contribution to Cold War Surveillance
October 16, 2012 OIDA: Update and Outlook for the Optics Market
October 02, 2012 A Look at How Optics Saved the World, Really!!... the Corona Program
September 18, 2012 Multiphoton Endoscopy for Clinical Diagnostics
April 17, 2012 Annual Dinner Meeting
April 03, 2012 Plant Tour - Optimax
March 19, 2012 Jupiter's Moon Io: A World of Many Volcanoes
March 13, 2012 Solar Sailing via Radiation Pressure and Optical Lift
March 06, 2012 Freeform Optics on the Frontier
February 21, 2012 Interferometeric Radius Measurements
February 07, 2012 Laser Speckle Control for Nuclear Fusion Research
January 24, 2012 Precision Instrumentation at the University of Rochester
January 10, 2012 Modeling the Image Chain
December 10, 2011 Family Night at The Institute of Optics
November 22, 2011 Next-Generation Photovoltaics
November 08, 2011 The Importance of 'Middle Skill' Training in Supporting the Optics Workforce
October 25, 2011 Plant Tour: Sydor Optics
October 11, 2011 Talk
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