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March 10, 2023

Manipulating photons via their momentum to create general optical transformations

Most, if not all, optical elements, such as lenses, diffraction gratings and phase plates, act on the photon’s position. This talk will describe ways to instead manipulate photons via their transverse momentum, i.e., their angle. I will show that this “nonlocal” control creates the possibility of completely general spatial optical transformations. I’ll briefly review the use and application of such universal unitary transformations to quantum information and neural networks. I will then introduce our momentum device, which, unlike past universal unitaries implemented in integrated optical systems, works in free space on an array of parallel beams. I will also discuss creating a particularly useful transformation, the transfer-function of free space. By creating nonlocal metamaterial devices, I’ll show that we can compress optical propagation into a thin plate, a device we call a “spaceplate”. If perfected, spaceplates could one day replace the space between a lens and the imaging sensor, enabling thin cameras.


Dr. Jeff Lundeen’s experimental and theoretical research uses individual particles of light, photons, to test and apply ideas from quantum physics. He is Canada Research Chair in Quantum Photonics and an Associate Professor in the Physics Dept. of the University of Ottawa. He did an undergraduate degree in physics at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. After, he did a MSc and PhD with Dr. Aephraim Steinberg at the University of in experimental quantum optics and quantum information. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, he did experimental research in the group of Prof. Ian Walmsely at the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford. He returned to Canada and became a staff scientist in optical metrology at the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. In 2013, he joined the University of Ottawa.

Host: Aephraim Steinberg
Event series  CQIQC SeminarsQO/AMO Seminars