Fourth Schawlow-Townes Symposium

October 8, 2015



The University of Ottawa established the Schawlow-Townes Symposium on Photonics in 2012, in honour of Charles H. Townes and the late Arthur L. Schawlow, who pioneered laser technology in the 1950s. The Nobel Prize-winning physicists pushed back the frontiers of photonics—the science of light—with their invention. Today, the laser is used in countless products and applications, from the computer hard drive to laser eye surgery.

This annual symposium aims to bring to light the research and discoveries of photonics experts from Ottawa, from across Canada and from around the world. It is an important step toward realizing the University’s goal of building the largest photonics centre in Canada, which includes assembling a team of world-class researchers in the new Advanced Research Complex, a multi-million-dollar cutting-edge facility.

The National Research Council’s Quantum Photonic Sensing and Security (QPSS) program, with headquarters in Ottawa, actively collaborates with the University of Ottawa, the University of Waterloo, government depart­ments and industry across Canada to translate photonic science excellence into high­impact applications. Areas of application focus include cyber­security, natural resources sensing and security sensing.

Bridging the gap between theory, research and applied science, the Schawlow-Townes Symposium explores the science of light from all angles. It’s a gathering of the brightest minds in the field who, like the symposium’s namesakes, continually strive to push the boundaries of photonics.

This years edition included a Photonics Employers’ Showcase with talks aimed at students in the field of photonics.

Speakers included:
  • Serge Haroche, 2012 Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics and professor emeritus at the Collège de France
  • Nader Engheta, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
  • Ferenc Krausz, Division Director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching
  • Mordechai Segev, Robert J. Shillman Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Technion in Israe
  • Ruth Rayman, National Research Council of Canada
  • arry Tarof, Jabil Optics
  • Kevin Farley, Ciena