Winter College on Optics

Optical frequency combs take center stage, 15-26 February.

01 January 2016

The 2016 Winter College on Optics at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, will be held 15-26 February and focus on optical frequency combs.

ICTP logoThe emphasis for this year’s event responds to the need to provide physicists with a comprehensive overview on the properties of frequency combs, their synthesis, and their main applications, specifically molecular spectroscopy and trace gas sensing.

Frequency combs have revolutionized the field of optical-frequency metrology and paved the way to a new generation of atomic clocks based on ultra-narrow optical transitions. Their fine, discrete, stable, reproducible, and controllable spectral structure, readily referable to the primary microwave standard, also make combs ideal tools for high-resolution molecular spectroscopy and sensing of multiple trace gases.

Instruction will include multispecies gas sensing to high-precision interrogation of atomic and molecular targets. The main topics will be:

  • Optical frequency combs: the history of a Nobel prize
  • Introduction to stable phase sources, optical clocks, and coherent frequency transfer
  • Optical frequency combs across the spectrum
  • Molecular spectroscopy and trace gas sensing
  • Linking old and new: High-precision, comb-assisted spectroscopy
  • Interaction of the femtosecond pulse train with an atomic or molecular sample - direct frequency comb spectroscopy
  • Frequency combs for broadband spectroscopy and trace gas detection
  • Testing the limits (tests of fundamental physics, attosecond timing, etc.)

Among the lecturers are directors for the 2016 Winter College: Kristan Corwin of Kansas State University (USA), Marco Marangoni from Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and Piotr Maslowski of Nicolaus Copernicus University (Poland).

SPIE is a longtime cosponsor of the Winter College on Optics. Other cosponsors are the International Commission for Optics (ICO); the Optical Society (OSA), the European Optical Society (EOS), Società Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica (SIOF), and the International Society on Optics Within Life Sciences (OWLS).

An ICTP Preparatory School will be organized the week before the College (8-12 February 2016) for a limited number of selected participants. The Preparatory School will provide background tutorials and exercises designed to help the participants in following the College lectures.

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