What is Optics?

Optics is all about light: how it’s generated, propagated, and detected. It is a multidisciplinary endeavor with its roots in physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, and materials science.

Optical applications can be found in every aspect of our lives, from contact lenses to fiber-optics communication. The study of optics has led scientists to produce ground breaking inventions like the laser and the holograph.

Optics allows for a wide range of modern research topics. The Institute’s current research topics include:

  • Optical and quantum information processing
  • Subwavelength optics (nano-optics)
  • Subpicosecond lasers and phenomena
  • Nonlinear optical materials
  • Gradient index optics
  • Quantum nature of absorption and emission of light
  • Light propagation in microstructures
  • Quantum imaging
  • Slow and fast light propagation
  • Theory, design, and fabrication of lasers
  • Optimization of computer based optical system design
  • Hybrid electrical-optical computing
  • Remote sensing
  • Physics of super-intense fields
  • Diffractive optics
  • Medical optics
  • Fabrication of quantum-well devices
  • Nonlinear dynamics and chaos
  • Laser-driven fusion

Learn more about research done at the Institute of Optics by visiting our research page. Or like and follow us on our unofficial Facebook page.

See also our What is the Institute of Optics? and Why Study at the Institute of Optics? pages for additional details.