Second Schawlow-Townes Symposium
Second Schawlow-Townes Symposium

October 25, 2013



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.

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

For its second iteration, uOttawa partnered up with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and featured a mix of private, public and academic speakers. In this iteration, the morning talks were given the prestigious NRC venue of 100 Sussex Drive, while the afternoon talks here hosted on the uOttawa campus.

Speakers included:

  • Philip Russell, Division Director at the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light
  • Maurice O’Sullivan, Senior director R&D, Ciena Corporation
  • Bahaa E. A. Saleh, Dean of CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida
  • Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering, Harvard University


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