OSA Topological Order with Photons Incubator: Facilitating Discussion of this Nascent Field

By Sean Kelley

A nascent photonics field, topological order in light is a very broad topic, reflected in the diverse research focus backgrounds of the participants. The organizers hope that this meeting will facilitate discussions on recent progress, and also to determine future research directions: exciting progress in the fabrication and quality of topological photonic systems means many potential applications are now accessible. A large application focus is minimizing integrated optical components (delay lines, waveguides, resonators, etc.) for on-chip applications, building photonic systems analogous to traditional electronics. In addition to using photons for classical information processing, the hope is that more exotic applications can be realized, using topological photonics for quantum information processing and eventually for quantum computation.

The most familiar example of topological properties is in quantum Hall systems. Much recent focus in in developing robustly topological photonic systems has been in realizing the quantum Hall effect for photons. In electronics, the quantum Hall effect for electrons relies on magnetic field interaction - unfortunately photons are inherently chargeless, and other ways to achieve symmetry-breaking in these systems are being explored, as well as how to characterize and probe topological states. Stay tuned for more on this later!

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Posted: 4 April 2014 by Sean Kelley | with 0 comments

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