Parallel Processing and talks
I had said earlier that I would cherry pick the talks to attend and thought that had solved everything for me. But no, because a closer look revealed that in every session I had to attend 3 talks simultaneously! A bit of an ask.
The solution then came in the form of the recorded talks/sessions that will be available on the OSA website: http://www.osa.org/video_library/AdvancedPhotonicsCongress.aspx
Which means I can focus on one session at a time and view the other talks at my convenience. Parallel processing dilemma solved.
Today was Theory, Modelling and Numerical Simulations. I was particularly pleased to see modelling being given more than one session as increasingly modelling is used in almost every branch of photonics. Even scientists whose primary focus is experimental work, rely on simulation for design/improvement of components or to understand phenomena. It brings down costs and shrinks the time cycle involved. However, rarely do we see entire sessions in conferences devoted to these topics.
My own work is primarily on numerical simulation methods, techniques and applications. It is an exciting field and one that is incredibly wide-ranging in the applications it has. I apply Finite Element Analysis for modelling PCF (determine their dispersion, birefringence, non-linear properties), THz waveguides (optical modes of Quantum Cascade Lasers), Photonic Crystals ( design these for slow light applications) and even for designing AR coating for solar cells.
Maxwell's equations are incredible, in that they are scale invariant and till now, solution of these equations for almost any frequency range/device length scale, gives the correct solution in the classical regime. They are a powerful tool for any optical scientist and one that I thoroughly enjoy using in conjunction with my love for patterns.
More on that later...