Plenary Session III
08:30 Plenary talk : Using metamaterials for optical switching
Nikolay I. Zheludev
University of Southampton (United Kingdom) We report on recent results on ultra-compact electro-optical and magneto-optical switching devices of sub-micron thickness for controlling light-with-light that exploit artificial nano-opto-mechanical plasmonic and dielectric metamaterials. We also report recent experiments demonstrating that coherently controlled redistribution of energy at plasmonic metamaterials can underpin various forms of optical switching and show that devices based on coherent control can operate down to single photon level and with a multi-THz modulation bandwidth.
09:10 Plenary talk : The singularities of light: intensity, phase, polarization
University of Bristol (United Kingdom) Light has singularities at different levels. Coarsest is geometrical optics, whose singularities are ray caustics, classified by catastrophe theory. Wave optics decorates these singularities with characteristic interference patterns. Wave optics introduces phase, with its own singularities: optical vortices. These dark singularities are lines in space, or points in the plane. In vector light are polarization singularities: lines of purely circular or linear polarization. These singularities illustrate asymptotically emergent phenomena, and form a hierarchy, predicting new quantum phenomena.