Distinguished Lecture

Quantum Nonlinear Optics: Nonlinear Optics Meets the Quantum World

Dr. Robert W. Boyd

University of Ottawa and University of Rochester

Thursday, February 25th, 2016



This presentation first reviews the conceptual foundations of nonlinear optics (NLO) and then describes how it has become a crucial tool for quantum technologies. We show how NLO enables the generation of quantum states of light, including squeezed and entangled states. We then illustrate these conceptual issues by means of specific examples, including secure communications with multiple bits per photon, new developments in “slow-light”, and the observation of “Möbius” structures in the polarization of light.


Robert W. Boyd was born in Buffalo, New York. He received the B.S. degree in physics from MIT and the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley.  His Ph.D. thesis was supervised by Charles Townes and involves the use of nonlinear optical techniques in infrared detection for astronomy. Professor Boyd joined the faculty of the University of Rochester in 1977, and in 2001 became the M Parker Givens Professor of Optics and Professor of Physics.  In 2010 he became Professor of Physics and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics at the University of Ottawa. His research interests include studies of “slow” and “fast” light propagation, quantum imaging techniques, nonlinear optical interactions, studies of the nonlinear optical properties of materials, and the development of photonic devices including photonic biosensors.  Professor Boyd has written two books, co-edited two anthologies, published over 400 research papers (≈29,000 citations, Google h-index 71), and been awarded nine patents.  He is the 2009 recipient of the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the 2010 recipient of a Humboldt Research Prize, and the 2016 recipient of the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science. Prof. Boyd is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), Optical Society of America (OSA), and SPIE.  He is a past chair of the Division of Laser Science of APS and has been a member of the Board of Directors of OSA. He has also served the Chair of the Joint Council on Quantum Electronics (it is joint among APS, OSA and IEEE/LEOS).  Prof. Boyd has served as a member of the Board of Editors of Physical Review Letters and of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine.

For more information:

IEEE Photonics Society Student Chapter Chair: Juan He

IEEE Photonics Society Student Chapter Advisor: Prof. S.T. Wu