Archive for the ‘Lasers’ category

RIT Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research

August 9, 2017

Rochester Institute of Technology researcher leading a three-year study on precision quantum sensing funded by a $550,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, officials announced Wednesday.

Research underway at RIT advances a new kind of sensing technology that captures data with better precision than currently possible and promises cheaper, smaller and lighter sensor designs.Mishkat Bhattacharya, a theoretical physicist at RIT, is investigating new precision quantum sensing solutions for the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research.

The three-year study is supported by $550,000 grant and is a continuation of a previous award. Bhattacharya will test interactions between light and matter at the nanoscale and analyze measurements of weak electromagnetic fields and gravitational forces.Specialized microscopes measure theoretical predictions that describe matter at the nanoscale in which a nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter and a human hair measures between 80,000-100,000 nanometers, according to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space

It’s no trick of the eye; it’s an optical trap.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space. A finely focused laser beam forms an “optical tweezer” and creates a tiny, isolated laboratory for the study of delicate quantum states. RIT scientist Mishkat Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions on such experimental platforms used by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. (Image: J. Adam Fenster and Prof. A. N. Vamivakas, University of Rochester)Bhattacharya works in the emerging field of levitated optomechanics, an area of physics that investigates nanoparticles by trapping them in a laser beam.

Laser trapping–a method known as “optical tweezers”–tests the limits of quantum effects in isolation and eliminates physical disturbances from the surrounding environmentUsing the techniques of laser trapping, Bhattacharya takes quantum mechanics to the next level by probing quantum effects in the nanoparticles, which contain billions of atoms. He investigates where quantum mechanics (which governs the microscopic) butts up against classical physics (which explains the macroscopic) and explores light-matter interaction in macroscopic quantum physics.

“Levitated optomechanical systems provide a clean platform for studying quantum optics, information science, and precision measurement and sensing,” said Bhattacharya, an associate professor in RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Future Photon Initiative.To explore different nanosystems for the Office of Naval Research, Bhattacharya isolates a nanodiamond in a pocket of light. Suspension in laser light turns the particle into a floating probe. Bhattacharya is interested in the signatures carried in the light and the information it reveals about the electromagnetic fields and the gravitational forces surrounding the nanoparticle.He collaborates with postdoctoral associate Pardeep Kumar and RIT undergraduate physics major Wyatt Wetzel. This summer, a visiting undergraduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter Mizes, joined his Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Theory Group. Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions in a lab run by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas, an experimental physicist at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics.His first study for the Office of Naval Research determined the smallest force that could be detected with a diamond crystal that levitated without spinning. The new project investigates the outcomes of three nanosystems, each using nanoparticles optically trapped under different conditions:

  • A particle containing an impurity which acts as a spin sensitive to magnetic fields or as an excess charge sensitive to electric fields;
  • A particle moving like a pendulum in three dimensions;
  • A particle larger than the wavelength of light entrapping it.

Quantum mechanics is a door to a world on the nanoscale and is governed by a different set of physical laws.”Unique rules apply in quantum physics,” Bhattacharya said. “It is not the day-to-day physical universe familiar to our experience.”Optomechanics explores interactions between light and tiny particles of matter within the nano-realm. Sensing technology advanced at these submicroscopic scale promises finer measurements of physical properties that describe the world, such as electric and magnetic fields, temperature, force, velocity, acceleration, gravitation.According to Bhattacharya, quantum sensors might someday detect gravitational waves, find dark matter, perfect quantum computing and create precise accelerometers–the technology that rights display screens held at any angle.

Read more: Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research A


“”Quantum sensing” describes the use of a quantum system, quantum properties or quantum phenomena to perform a measurement of a physical quantity. Historical examples of quantum sensors include magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices and atomic vapors, or atomic clocks. More recently, quantum sensing has become a distinct and rapidly growing branch of research within the area of quantum science and technology, with the most common platforms being spin qubits, trapped ions and flux qubits. The field is expected to provide new opportunities – especially with regard to high sensitivity and precision – in applied physics and other areas of science”

LaserMax (Rochester, NY), acquired by Crosman (Rochester, NY), joins larger corporate structure

July 28, 2017

Crosman acquired laser sight company LaserMax a couple weeks after the airgun and optics manufacturer was acquired by a Connecticut capital investment company.

The chain of events kicked off July 5 when Compass Diversified Holdings completed the purchase of Crosman for $152 million using both cash and credit, according to public filings of the transaction. Then, Crosman acquired LaserMax on July 20 for an unspecified sum using Compass’s revolving credit line.

Compass chief executive officer, Alan Offenberg, explained “this premium laser sight brand” would allow Crosman to reach a wider customer base in the outdoor recreation market.

“The addition of LaserMax’s Commercial business supports Crosman’s strategic initiative of expanding into attractive adjacent markets and realizing cross-selling opportunities with current big box retail and international customers,” Offenberg said in a statement.

Source: LaserMax, acquired by Crosman, joins larger corporate structure

First laboratory generation of astrophysical shock waves created

July 21, 2017

Rochester, NY.  Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

The first laboratory generation of an astrophysical shock wave has been reported by scientists. To produce the wave, scientists used a laser to create a high-energy plasma — a form of matter composed of atoms and charged atomic particles — that expanded into a pre-existing magnetized plasma. The interaction created, within a few billionths of a second, a magnetized shock wave that expanded at a rate of more than 1 million miles per hour, congruent with shocks beyond the solar system.

Physicist Derek Schaeffer is pictured. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications



Source: First laboratory generation of astrophysical shock waves created — ScienceDaily

Rochester – Jena Relationship Strengthens with Visit by Thüringen Prime Minister and Delegation

May 16, 2017

Bodo Ramelow, Prime Minister of Thuringia, Germany, and a delegation of scientists and dignitaries visited Rochester on May 14 and 15. The purpose of the visit was to advance the scientific, academic research and business relationship between Rochester and Jena, two “sister cities of light.”

The ‘sister cities’ of Jena and Rochester (USA) have a lot in common: in Jena, as in Rochester, an optics industry has developed since the 19th century together with a strong supplier network. While in Jena the collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe significantly furthered optics research, soon after in Rochester, local industrialists George Eastman (Eastman Kodak) and Edward Bausch (Bausch & Lomb) founded an optics institute at the university. In fact, Eastman visited Jena at least once in 1911, and must have recognized the city as the center of Europe’s optics industry. Since then there have been many changes. Today, both regions are enormously strong locations for the optics and photonics industry and research.

For more articles about the relationship development search here.

Andreas Tünnerman, Director, Fraunhofer IOF and Bodo Ramelow, Prime Minister of Thuringia

On Monday morning, May 15th, together with the German delegation; Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) president, Kate Bennett and vice president, Dan Menelly, and RMSC board and staff, Prime Minister Ramelow and Andreas Tünnermann, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Mechanics  donated a laser hologram to the RMSC’s permanent optics exhibit. The hologram displays the skylines of Rochester and Jena, side by side, beneath the words “We Love Photonics.”

The Fraunhofer Institute is recognized as the leading public/privately-funded organization for applied research in Europe (and the West) with an annual budget exceeding $2 billion Euro.

The color-tunable laser projected image celebrates “light-based” relationship of the two cities

The New York Photonics cluster began developing a relationship with Fraunhofer IOF in 2014, while lobbying for the National Photonics Initiative and a national institute for photonics manufacturing. The following year a team led by New York State was awarded $110 million from the Department of Defense as part of the >$620 million AIM Photonics effort for developing America’s manufacturing capacity in integrated photonics.

On Sunday night Prime Minister Ramelow hosted a dinner and reception in Rochester with faculty from University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Tom Battley, Executive Director of New York Photonics.


The delegation and attendees at the RMSC presentation ceremony, bathed in light.

Carl, the Zeiss Star Projector in the Strasenurgh Planetarium, Rochester Museum & Science Center



New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.

On the Road To Ubiquity – US National Science Foundation

June 22, 2015 – National Science Foundation (NSF) Discoveries – On the road to ubiquity – US National Science Foundation (NSF).

As a tool, the laser has stretched the imaginations of countless scientists and engineers, making possible everything from stunning images of celestial bodies to high-speed communications. Once described as a “solution looking for a problem,” the laser powered and pulsed its way into nearly every aspect of modern life.

One area in particular, data transmission, gained momentum as the 1980s progressed. NSF’s Lightwave Technology Program in its engineering directorate was critical not only because the research it funded fueled the Internet, mobile devices and other high-bandwidth communications applications, but also because many of the laser advances in this field drove progress in other disciplines.An important example of this crossover is optical coherence tomography (OCT). Used in the late 1980s in telecommunications to find faults in miniature optical waveguides and optical fibers, this imaging technique was adapted by biomedical researchers in the early 1990s to noninvasively image microscopic structures in the eye. The imaging modality is now commonly used in ophthalmology to image the retina. NSF continues to fund OCT research.As laser technology matured through the 1990s, applications became more abundant. Lasers made their way to the factory floor (to cut, weld and drill) and the ocean floor (to boost signals in transatlantic communications). The continued miniaturization of lasers and the advent of optical fibers radically altered medical diagnostics as well as surgery.

Laser World of Photonics, Munich

June 21, 2015

“Laser Munich” begins tomorrow. The largest photonics conference in Europe. NYPhotonics is here!

Adam Dunn and Jürgen Kantner in front of a statue of Joseph von Fraunhofer, the famed Bavarian and one of the fathers of modern optics.

Addressing Critical Trade Compliance Issues

June 9, 2015

On Thursday, June 4th, OSA, SPIE and New York Photonics hosted a webinar with the Department of Commerce about proposed changes to the U.S. Munitions List.  These changes have the potential to greatly hamper the export of optics and photonics products from the U.S.

26 New York Photonics members participated in the Webinar.  The presentation is >>here<<