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ICO Newsletter

July 2006 Number 68


Winter College looks at light in nature

This year's successful ICTP Winter College ran from 30 January to 10 February.

Eugene Arthurs, SPIE Executive Director, presenting the Educator Award diploma to Prof. Gallieno Denardo

Sir Peter Knight delivering the opening lecture "Classical and Quantum Imaging" at ICTP Winter College 2006

Among the many activities that the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) organizes every year, there is an important activity related to optics and photonics, the Winter College dedicated to relevant subjects with an interest for the training of young researchers from all over the word, and, in particular, addressed to researchers from less favored regions. This year the Winter College was dedicated to quantum and classical aspects of information optics, and appeared to be quite successful -to both the Organizers and the participants. The ICTP hosted the college and received 174 applications from the five continents. Among these applications, the order of a 40.5% received support for local hospitality or in the case of young researchers from developing regions a higher rate for granting the attendance to the college was accorded. The participants from 46 countries came to listen to 15 selected lecturers and besides, to present their own research activities in the so-called LAMP (Laser, Atomic and Molecular Physics) program seminars. The same are regularly organized every year and give the opportunity to the many participants from all over the world to expose their current lines of research, motivations and projects. This year, and for the first time was also organized a poster session that was having quite an interactive atmosphere.

The College was supported by the co-sponsoring Organizations: ICO (International Commission for Optics); OSA (Optical Society of America); SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) and OWLS (International Society on Optics Within Life Sciences). Its directors, Professors M. L. Calvo (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain), P. Knight (Imperial College, United Kingdom), P. Tombesi (University of Camerino, Italy) and local organizer Gallieno Denardo (ICTP), selected outstanding international lecturers. The latter covered the wide range of this fundamental field in Optics. The meeting was dedicated to reviewing the fundamental principles of light signals nature, treated under a quantum scope as photons interaction and related devices that allows observation and detection of photons under various physical states. Moreover, it was presented as well, the counterpart of the classical electromagnetic framework for light interaction. The aim of the college was to open to post-graduate students to one of the most sounded research challenges that are nowadays in the field of optics and photonics.

In particular, the following lecturers were delivering specific talks: T. Alieva (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain), M. Bastiaans (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands), V. Buzek (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia), M.L. Calvo (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain), P. Cheben (National Research Council of Canada), J. I. Cirac (Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany), A. Friberg (Royal Institute of Optics, Sweden), J.C. Gutierrez-Vega (Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico), P. Knight (Imperial College, United Kingdom), P. Kumar (Northwestern University, USA), F. De Martini (University La Sapienza, Italy), M. Padgett (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom), J. Rarity (Bristol University, United Kingdom), P. Tombesi (University of Camerino, Italy), L. Yaroslavsky (Tel-Aviv University, Israel).

The mentioned lectures covered a broad scope of the above subjects on classical and quantum imaging, classical and quantum coherence, light's orbital angular momentum, optical beams, holographic and photonic devices, quantum repeaters and communication channels. Also, the directors and lecturers observed that the contributions by the participants during the LAMP seminars and poster session lived up to the high international standard for which ICTP Colleges are known with remarkable subjects. It was especially enhanced that the interest and enthusiasm for advanced research in emerging areas like optical computing, classical coherence, quantum information and quantum computing are not restricted to the industrialized countries, but its presence is visible as well in the so-called "developing countries". These activities contribute positively to reduce the scientific training gap among nations and assure future available infrastructures for forthcoming generations of young researchers and future local technology. In particular, the following participants were delivering seminars on their current research activities: M. Aqueel Ahmad (Imperial College, United Kingdom), N. Arshed (Quaid-I-Azam University, Pakistan), I. Ashraf Zaid (Quaid-I-Azam University, Pakistan), J. E. Barkai (Bar Ilan University, Israel), S. V. Boriskina (V. Karazin National University, Ukraine), S. L. Daffer (Imperial College, United Kingdom), A.S. Desyatnikov (Australian National University, Australia), L. Hernández-Pozos (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico), C. López-Mariscal (Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico), A.R. Moradi (Institute for Advanced Studies, Islamic Republic of Iran), A. Nahal (Institute for Advanced Studies, Islamic Republic of Iran), M. Nadasan ("Politechnica" University of Bucharest, Romania), A. Serafíni (University College of London, United Kingdom), A.H. Toor (Quaid-I-Azam University, Pakistan) , C. P. Valdés (Universidad del Valle, Colombia), S.P. Walborn (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), D. N. Yanyshev (M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia).

This year, a first previous week of training in the School of Mathematics was offered for the first time to a selected number of participants, under the support of SPIE and the Italian Society for Optics and Photonics.

Besides, the academic and social interaction between the participants and lecturers is considered to be an extremely important aspect of the ICTP Colleges. The three directors were especially grateful for the support and assistance of the local organizer, Prof. Gallieno Denardo and the secretary Mrs. Valerie Shaw.

In addition, the Trieste System Advisory Group (TSOSA) for the advancing of optics in developing countries was celebrating its annual meeting (1 February 2006) and discussing the many relevant issues and activities to be initiated for the current year 2006. The same day took place the ICO/ICSU celebration (see ICO NL, January 2006 issue). The program of the Winter College, held in Trieste (Italy), at the ICTP is extended every year by the ICO/ICTP Prize ceremony. For the year 2006 the ICO/ICTP Award was given to Dr. Moya-Cessa (Mexico) a scientist and young researcher who has been pursuing his carrier in a developing country as defined by UN (see ICO NL, January 2006 issue) The subsequent reception sponsored by the ICO provided a further chance for the mostly young participants, and for more senior lecturers to socialize and to congratulate to the ICO for its recent admission as an International Society in ICSU. The reception was also attended by the current ICTP Director, Prof. K. R. Sreenivasan. For more information, see:


Adolph Lohmann celebrates his 80th year

A symposium was held in April celebrating the former ICO president's 80th birthday.

Professor Adoplh Lohmann and Professor Gerd Haüsler Chair of the meeting

The participants to the 80th anniversary celebration of Adolph Lohmann, on the gate of the hotel were the second day celebration took place, in the so called Frankonian Swiss, Southern Bavarian most typical location.

Adoplh Lohmann delivering the closing lecture of his 80th anniversary celebration

Professor Sinzinger presenting the new edition of Adolph Lohmann Notes Book to the author, in recognition of his 80th anniversary.

Adolph Lohmann, professor of physics at the Institute of Optics, Information and Photonics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), former holder Chair of Applied Optics and former ICO President (term 1978 - 1981) has celebrated his 80th birthday. To this unique occasion his colleagues of the University of Erlangen organized a two days international birthday symposium under the lemma: "50 Years of Information Optics". The celebration was held 7-8 April, the first day at the University of Erlangen and the second day, in the charming region of the Frankonian Swiss, located in Southern Bavaria near the Erlangen area.

There was a moving celebration in which all the attendees, coming from all over the world, could enjoy the talks, anecdotes, and moreover the scientific insights of their respective work always inspired by the constant influence and support of Prof. Adolph Lohmann. Gerd Haüsler addressed the welcome and introduction. He expressed his thanks to all the attendees, and in particular to the Chancellor of the University of Erlangen for all the facilities accorded. He mentioned the great motivation from all the former students and friends to be together to honour the fruitful years of academic and research activities of Prof. Lohmann. Gerd Haüsler presented the speakers of the sessions: Gotthard Jasper, former Chancellor of the University of Erlangen, Joseph Goodman from Stanford University, Asher Friesem from the Weizmann Institute of Tel-Aviv, Jürgen Jahns, from the Open University of Hagen. G. Jasper resumed all the important work done for the last 30 years to build-up a highly reputed international and prestigious group in optics. To a brief resume, Adolph Lohmann studied physics in Hamburg and came later to Erlangen.

Immediately, as an Associate Professor he initiated an important work on foundations and apodization techniques for his diploma. He then spent various years at the San Diego University and introduced quite new and interdisciplinary work and became a leader of the optics group in Erlangen. Among his many international recognition he is recipient of the OSA Max Born Award, and member of the Academy of Sciences of Germany. It has been always remarkable the highly devoted activities of Prof. Lohmann toward his students. G. Haüsler resumed the starting of the optics group in Erlangen with initially a small laboratory in 1973. In only 10 years the number of researchers multiplied by a factor of 10. One of the amazing lemmas of Prof. Lohmann was "teaching how to invent - is it possible?" and this question arisen as a persistent motivation. In 1980, Adolph Lomann started the work on computer holography although with some scepticism from a part of the scientific community. However, today this turns out to be one of the most appealing technologies with large applications in metrology, bio-optics and producing many industrial patents.

Joseph Goodman presented his talk on "New applications of speckles- or how Adolph Lohmann influenced my career". He mentioned all the work done on computer generated holograms, speckle masking, super resolution (1964), theta modulation (1965) giving a tour on the most important results based on earlier publication of A. Lohmann: single side-band holograms (1956), detour-phase holograms (1966), triple correlation, bispectra (1983) for improving telescopes resolution and resolving double-stars images. He developed pioneering work on Wigner distribution, fractional Fourier transform, with adding never published results. Prof. Lohmann is a devoted teacher, Joseph Goodman was quoting some of his comments: "I believe teaching optics is easy because it corresponds to a visual process". Adolph Lohmann is always a reference of kindness, encouragement and internationally.

Asher Friesem dedicated his talk to "Lohmann in holy land", while remembering all the very fruitful visits that Adolph Lohmann was dedicating to various centres in Israel, delivering many lectures, seminars and visits to laboratories, and then creating unique occasions not only for the scientific level accorded but also for friendship, an important part of our lives that sometimes is missing or misconsidered in the world of science.

Jürgen Jahns referred on his presentation: "Optics in space and time with Adolph Lohmann" to the work done in Erlangen under his leadership, including the performance of annual reports for more than 30 years, referring topics as: speckle, optical feedback, incoherent and coherent self-imaging, optical computing and photonic crystals to a brief description. Referencing the work done in collaboration with Joseph Goodman on fan-in, fan-out optical interconnections, fractional temporal Talbot effect, grating spectroscopy with new designs for temporal signal delay, compression and decompression. Jürgen Jahns mentioned the new recent publication of Adolph Lohmann's Notes Book, as a present from all his colleagues with the financial support of the University of Erlangen.

The presentations were accompanied by some musical pauses, showing the amazing sounds created by Bavarian orchestras giving a point of colourfulness and luthiers investigation.

The next day the meeting continued in the unique atmosphere of a Bavarian village. The whole day was dedicated to short presentations from many of the Adolph Lohmann friends and colleagues coming from all over the world: France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA, including both scientific and miscellaneous aspects of their experiences as Adolph Lohmann collaborators. He himself, was thanking all the attendees, and was delivering a closing presentation with the amazing and suggestive title: "Will optics remain schizophrenics forever?". Still after 60 years of carrier he was proposing the same question that has been constantly present on: What is light? With this proposal he showed that his interests are beyond pure mathematics or physics transcending to philosophical questions in a promenade from Ptolomeus to Bohr, not forgetting Copernicus and Kirchoff. As an unforgettable end he suggested that after all light is mainly Wigner stuff, it can behave as a fluid, although we do not need to know Wigner but, it is aesthetically pleasant.

With this modest but motivated present article, ICO would like to participate and to join this unique anniversary celebration.

Mit unserem ganz herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

María L. Calvo, ICO Secretary General

Argentinean Territorial Committee gets a new president

Prof. Hector Rabal is elected as the new president for the 2006-2008 period.

The Argentinean Territorial Committee has elected recently a new President for the period 2006-2008: Prof. Héctor Rabal, a researcher at the Centro de Investigaciones Ópticas (CONICET-CIC) and professor of the University of La Plata.

At this time ICO is deeply thanking Prof. Jorge O. Tocho, from the Centro de Investigaciones Ópticas (CONICET-CIC) for the work done during his period as President of the Territorial Committee. We welcome warmly Prof. H. Rabal and wish him a fruitful period within the ICO representation.

ICO Secretariat is encouraging all Territorial Committees to send their news and activities in order to inform all the ICO optics community throughout the ICO Newsletter, our common publication and as a window of their current initiatives.


9th OWLS Conference to focus on trends in biophotonics

The OWLS9 conference will be held in Taiwan on 26-29 November.


The International Conference on Optics Within Life Sciences (OWLS) is one of the major principal forums for scientists, engineers and research students to exchange topical research and development information and to stimulate discussion on novel applications and concepts. Following previous OWLS meetings, the 9th International Conference on OWLS (OWLS9), NYMU Biophotonics 2006, will be an interdisciplinary meeting devoted to biophotonics and nano-biophotonics, covering all applications of optics and lasers in the life-sciences, including biology, medicine, environmental sciences, and clinical applications. The scientific program will consist of invited and contributed talks, as well as posters. There will also be a trade exhibition. The meeting will start with 2 pre-conference tutorial lectures, one by Prof. P. N. Prasad (SUNY, Buffalo) to give an overview of biophotonics and nano-biophotonics, and the 2nd one by Prof. James Fujimoto (MIT) on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), in the afternoon on 11/06, Saturday, followed by a pre-conference reception dinner.

OWLS9 has received a financial support from the International Commission for Optics (ICO), an official sponsor of the OWLS9. This grant will be used to assist scientists from developing countries to attend the OWLS9. Up to 5 scientists will be supported under this grant. Awardees will receive a travel support of US$400. In addition, the organizing committee of the OWLS9 will provide the awardees with a further support by waiving the registration fee and covering the lodging cost in Taipei during the conference duration for up to 5 nights.

Further information of OWLS9 (submission, Registration, accommodation and travel support) is available at the following web site:

Professor Arthur Chiou; e-mail:


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members (2005-2008):

President: A T Friberg;

Past-President: R. Dändliker; Treasurer: A Sawchuk;

Secretary: M.L. Calvo, Departamento de Optica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E 28040 Madrid, Spain, phone +34 91 394 4684, fax +34 91 394 4683, e-mail

Associate Secretary: G von Bally

Vice-Presidents, elected: S N Bagayev, A M Guzmán, G F Jin, B Y Kim, M Kujawinska, H Lefèvre, J Love, I Yamaguchi

Vice-Presidents, appointed: J. Braat, M. Gu, I.C. Khoo, G. Sincerbox, H.P. Stahl, A. Wagué

Senior Adviser (ad personam): P. Chavel.

IUPAP Council Representative: Y. Petroff