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ICO Newsletter

April 2002 Number 51


ICO/ICTP Award 2002 announced at Trieste Winter College, winner is Alphan Sennaroglu

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy is a center established by UNESCO with the support of the Italian government to host selected physicists from developing countries. During their stay, the guests can conduct research, have access to first-rate library and laboratory resources, and attend meetings and schools. As part of its program to support optics in less favored regions of the world, ICO has been collaborating with ICTP on organizing Winter Colleges on Optics for several years. The fifth such Winter College on Optics and Photonics was held at Trieste February 18- March 1st, 2002. The College was jointly directed Prof. Georg Korn (Max Born Institut, Berlin), by Prof. Oscar E. Martinez (Universidad de Buenos Aires), and Prof. S. de Silvestri (Politecnico de Milano). Prof. Gallieno Denardo (ICTP and University of Trieste, Italy) served as the local organizer.

About 12 lecturers and 80 participants attended the College, which included lectures in on the general topic of Ultrafast Non-Linear Optics.

The Winter Colleges on Optics have been most successful in bringing together scientists from a particularly large number of countries from all continents and in promoting collaborations. This activity constitutes one of the priority objectives of ICO: contribute to international development of research in pure and applied optics with special attention to those parts of the world where conditions are difficult. It is hoped to be able to continue this series. These events are open to scientists from all countries of the world that are members of the UN, UNESCO, IAEA, or UNIDO. The main purpose of the Abdus Salam ICTP is to help research workers from developing countries, but graduate students and post-doctoral scientists from developed countries are also welcome to attend. No registration fees are charged.

College attendees enjoy the ICO hosted party, Trieste, February 22, 2002.

At an ICO-hosted party during the Winter College, the third ICO/ICTP Prize was announced. The award is intented for scientists less than 40 years old who are active in research in optics and have significantly contributed to the promotion of research activities in Optics in their own or another developing country. The winner for 2002 is Prof. Alphan Sennaroglu of the Laser Research Laboratory, Dept of Physics, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey, be awarded the 2002 ICO/ICTP Prize. Since he joined the Physics Department of Koc University in 1994, Alphan Sennaroglu has made significant contributions to the promotion of Optics research in Turkey. In particular, he has established an experimental research laboratory to characterize new solid state laser materials and to optimize the performance of lasers utilizing these materials. This laboratory is the first of its kind in Turkey. Since 1994, Dr. Sennaroglu has carried out research involving the optimization of efficient room-temperature Cr:forsterite lasers, the modeling of thermal effects in a variety of solid-state laser and saturable absorber materials, and the development of diode-pumped neodymium lasers. This work is documented in a number of publications. More detail will be given in the next issue of the Newsletter. The award will be formally presented at the next appropriate Winter College because Prof. Sennaroglu was unable to attend the event this year.


Florence, Italy, to host 19th ICO Congress, August 2002

The nineteenth Congress of ICO will meet in Florence, Italy, August 25-31, 2002. It will consist of a scientific meeting and of the business part, known as the ICO General Meeting. The scientific meeting is expected to be the largest ICO event ever and will, as usual, cover all of optics, providing an outstanding opportunity to review progress and challenges of our discipline. Over 30 world class invited speakers will present an overview of their field, and the recipients of the recent ICO Prizes and ICO Galileo Galilei awards will present their award lectures.

Delegates from all ICO members will meet twice during ICO XVIII and review ICO activities and policies, admit new members and elect the new Bureau that will hold office for the next triennium. At every ICO General Meeting, the General Assembly elects the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Presidents for a three-year term. The chairperson of the Nominating Committee, Professor Toshimitsu Asakura, has written to the Territorial Committees and requested nominations and endorsements for all positions. Of course, representation on the ICO Bureau is open to all Members and it is hoped that a fair geographical distribution, as well as a good balance with regard to professional activity will be reached. The election procedure is detailed in the ICO Statutes and in the ICO Rules and Codes of Practice, both of which can be found under Rules and Codes, or can be obtained from the ICO Secretariat.


Photonics North

Photonics North, the next International Conference on Applications of Photonic Technology, will take place in Québec City, Canada, June 2 to 6, 2002 with ICO participation. The four previous conferences in the series have earned it a reputation of excellence among the optics and photonics community. The organizers are convinced that this one will keep up with the tradition both in terms of technical quality and in international character. Addressing the latest accomplishments, future directions and innovations in optics/photonics, presentations will address and explore advances in science and technology that will drive the increased use of photonics throughout the 21st century. Participants from universities and companies developing truly innovative technologies, systems, concepts and analyses related to the use of optics and photonics in computing are particularly encouraged to attend. Up to date information on the joint Photonics North and Canadian Association of Physicist (CAP) conference can be found at or You can reach the conference planner at phone +1(418) 522-8182 or +1(800) 618-8182 fax +1(418) 529-7548 or +1(800) 889-1126


A Synchrotron Radiation Facility in the Middle East

Jordan is the first country from the Middle East to join the elite group of twenty-three countries, of which nine in Asia, having a synchrotron light source. This became possible as Germany decided to generously give the 800 MeV BESSY-I synchrotron, to the region of Middle East. The idea of donating BESSY-I came from Herman Winick of SLAC, a member of the Machine Advisory Committee of BESSY-II, and his fellow committee Member Gustav-Adolf Voss of DESY. The Project is known as SESAME: Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East.

SESAME, the upgraded reincarnation of BESSY-I will be located at Allaan, 30 km from Amman and 30 km from the King Hussain/Allenby Bridge. It shall be the centrepiece for an International Centre open to scientists from any country worldwide. Organizers see its potential as not only a world-class research centre, but also as a politically important example of scientific collaboration in the region. SESAME is under the very valuable political umbrella of UNESCO and is expected to promote science and foster international collaboration; mirroring what CERN had done for Europe after the Second World War.

SESAME is the second relocated synchrotron; the first being the Siam Photon Source, a gift of Japan to Thailand, that marked the birth of the era of the relocated synchrotrons. In this group is also the in Dubna, Russia a gift of the Netherlands.

This is the summary of the article. Download a PDF of the full article. For further information and related articles, see the SESAME Website:

Sameen Ahmed KHAN, Centro de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro Internacional de Ciencias, AC Apartado Postal 48-3, Cuernavaca 62251, Morelos, MEXICO,


News, history and organization of ICO Members: the Australian Optical Society

Australia maintains its membership of the ICO through the Australian Academy of Science, with the role of the Territorial Committee delegated to the Australian Optical Society (AOS). The AOS is a non-profit organization created in 1983 for the advancement of optics in Australia. It aims to: provide a forum for persons involved in optics; strengthen the teaching of optics in Australia; promote research in and other activities in optics in all its diversity; and foster closer collaboration in optics both nationally and internationally.

The AOS represents professionals working in, or interested in, optics in the widest sense. The membership spans commercial, academic and teaching areas, and covers visible optics, laser optics, IR & UV optics, X-ray optics, spectroscopy and atom optics, neutron optics, quantum optics, medical optics, imaging, and applications, to name a few broad categories of interest. The serving officers of the society are volunteers.

Every two years the society holds a conference (sometimes co-located with related meetings) which attracts between two and four hundred people. In the intervening years the AOS contributes to optics-related conferences such as the Australian Conference on Optics Lasers and Spectroscopy (ACOLS).

Each member of the AOS contributes, through their subscription, to FASTS (a science lobby group in Australia's capital, Canberra, which has had success in encouraging Federal members to view a longer term future for the economic welfare of the country.) In addition, members have a voice, via the activities of the AOS Council, in the development of optics in Australia.

The AOS has three awards. The highest of these is the AOS Medal, issued for an outstanding contribution to the field of optics in Australia. The medal is issued at the discretion of the council, but arises on average every few years. The AOS Postgraduate Student Prize is issued annually to a student member. It takes the form of a grant to assist the winner to attend an overseas conference in optics or a related field. The AOS technical optics award recognises those who have made a significant achievement in technical optics, not necessarily in a manner manifested by an extensive academic record or a traditional academic reputation. It is a cash prize and an invitation to present the work at the AOS conference.

The quarterly journal of the society, AOS News, contains scientific articles and reviews contributed by members, as well as news from the region concerning optics and science policy, commercial developments, advertisements from local suppliers, and meetings calendars.

The AOS has a web page, which provides current information about the society, news, and membership contacts.

Duncan Butler, Acting Secretary


Forthcoming events with ICO participation

8-11 April 2002
Optics in Computing 2002
Taipei, Taiwan
Prof. Chung J. Kuo, Graduate Institute of Communication Engineering,
National Chung Cheng University, Chaiyi, Taiwan 62107
fax. +886 5 272 2702

26-29 May 2002
Photonics Prague 2002
Prof. Pavel Tomanek, Brno Univ. of Techn., Dept. of Physics, Technicka 8, CZ-616 00 Brno, Czech Republic, fax. +420 5 4114 3133

2-6 June 2002
Photonics North
Québec City, Canada
Prof. Roger A. Lessard, Dept. of Physics, Laval University, Québec City, QC G1K 7P4, Canada, fax. +1 418 656 2040,

8-12 July 2002
Int'l Laser Radar Conference (ILRC21)
Québec City, Canada
Dr. Luc R. Bissonnette, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (DREV), 2459 Pie-XI Blvd. North, Val-Belair, QC G3J 1X5, Canada
fax. +1 418 844 4511,

22-28 August 2002
Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation
Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA
Co-Chairs: Roger Angel, Steward Observatory, James Breckinridge, National Science Foundation, SPIE, fax. +1 360 647 1445,

25-31 August 2002
ICO-19, Triennial Congress of the International Commission for Optics
"Optics for the Quality of Life"
Florence, Italy
Dr. Giancarlo C. Righini,
IROE "N. Carrara" - CNR, Via Panciatichi 64, I-50127 Firenze, Italy
fax. +39 055 412878,

1-5 September 2002
OWLS VII, "Environmental and Bio-Photonics for the New Millenium"
(ICO-19 Satellite) Luzern, Switzerland
Prof. Theo Tschudi, Inst. of Applied Physics,
Darmstadt Univ. Techn., Hochschulstr. 6, D-64289 Darmstadt, Germany
fax. +49 6151 164123

30 October - 1 November 2002
Third Int'l Conference on Optics-Photonics Design & Fabrication (ODF2002)
Tokyo, Japan
Dr. Kohtaro Hayashi, Optical System Operations, Minolta Co., 6-300, Imakuma, Osakasayama, Osaka 589-0021, Japan
fax. +81 723 67 3540,


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members:

President: A. H. Guenther;

Past-President: T. Asakura; Treasurer: G. T. Sincerbox;

Secretary: P. Chavel, Institut d'Optique, B.P. 147, 91403 Orsay cedex, France, fax +33 1 69 35 87 00, e-mail

Associate Secretary, in charge of Meetings: A. T. Friberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Physics - Optics, SE-100 44 Stockholm, fax: +46 8 789 6672,

Vice-Presidents, elected: M. L. Calvo, R. Dändliker, A. A. Friesem, J. Ojeda-Castañeda, U. Kim (+), G. C. Righini, C. Sheppard, L. Wang

Vice-Presidents, appointed: H. H. Arsenault (SPIE), D. A. B. Miller (IEEE/LEOS), B. E. A. Saleh (OSA), T. Tschudi (EOS)