Series Title: Photonics and Nanophotonics
Title: Topological Photonics
Mikael Rechtsman, Penn State
Abstract: In the quantum Hall effect, electrons propagate unhindered by defects and disorder. As a result, the Hall conductance can be measured to a part in ten billion, a measurement so precise that the kilogram has now been redefined in terms of it. The goal of the field of topological photonics is to take advantage of this robustness to disorder for light propagating in structured optical devices, rather than for electrons in solid-state materials. In my talk, I will show how topological photonic states can be used to overcome key shortcomings in nanophotonic slow-light photonic crystals, and I will present my group's experiments in the nonlinear domain on the observation of robust topological solitons in laser-written waveguide arrays.
Mikael C. Rechtsman is the Downsbrough Early Career Associate Professor at Penn State. His research group focuses on the interaction between light and structured matter in the quantum and nonlinear domains - he is perhaps best known for the first demonstration of the topological protection of light. He is the recipient of the Sloan and Packard fellowships, the ICO Prize, and the ONR and Kaufman Young Investigator awards. He has been named a 2021 "Highly Cited Researcher" by Clarivate Analytics.
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