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Nature of Light VI

The 7th biennial conference on "The Nature of Light: What are photons?" will be held at San Diego in August 2015.
You are welcome to participate!

When: August 9-13, 2015
Where: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, USA
(Part of SPIE Optics + Photonics)
If you have any questions, or would like to suggest invited and/or keynote speakers, please contact Prof. Chandra Roychoudhuri at

Conference Chairs: Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, Univ. of Connecticut (United States) and Femto Macro Continuum (United States); Al F. Kracklauer, Consultant (Germany); Hans De Raedt, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)

Program Committee: Michael Ambroselli, Univ. of Connecticut (United States); David L. Andrews, Univ. of East Anglia Norwich (United Kingdom); Tepper L. Gill, Howard Univ. (United States); Karl Otto Greulich, Fritz Lipmann Institute (Germany); Habib Hamam, Univ. de Moncton (Canada); François Hénault, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France); Subhash C. Kak, Oklahoma State Univ. (United States); Ole Keller, Aalborg Univ. (Denmark); Andrei Yu. Khrennikov, Linnaeus Univ. (Sweden); Akhlesh Lakhtakia, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States); Carl F. Maes, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States); Andrew Meulenberg Science for Humanity Trust, Inc., (United States); Kristel F. Michielsen, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany); John M. Myers, Harvard Univ. (United States); Narasimha S. Prasad, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States); John Ralston, Univ. of Kansas, (United States); Chary Rangacharyulu, Univ. of Saskatchewan (Canada); William T. Rhodes, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States); Wolfgang P. Schleich, Univ. Ulm (Germany); Marlan O. Scully, Texas A&M Univ. (United States) and Princeton Univ. (United States); Gavriil Shchedrin, Texas A&M and Princeton University; Weilong She, Sun Yat-Sen Univ. (China); Riccardo C. Storti, Delta Group Engineering, P/L (Australia); Arnt Inge Vistnes, Univ. of Oslo (Norway); Herbert Winful, University of Michigan (United States). Ewan Malcolm Wright, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona (United States). [Open to new volunteers.]

For many centuries, optical science and engineering (OSE) has been playing critical enabling roles in facilitating the advancement of all other science, engineering and related industries. So, it is of great significance that UNESCO has declared 2015 as the Year of Light. We are fortunate that our 6th biennial conference coincides with the year-long celebration of the Year of Light. So, let us pull our creative minds together to make this 6th biennial conference especially informative for both specialists and for general audience.

Our special conference series started on the opportune year of 2005 when the whole world was celebrating the centennial celebration of the “Einstein’s Miracle Year”! The depth and breadth of the conference sub-topics along with the number of participants have been steadily growing since 2005. This would be evident to all new participants from the abstracts for the 5th biennial conference of 2013 available from the SPIE website.

The platform for this special conference series has been set to explore the deeper nature of light (electromagnetic waves, from Radio waves to Gamma rays and go beyond wave-particle duality (WPD). The debate of WPD started over three hundred years ago by Newton and Huygens when it was understood as lack of our knowledge about the fundamental nature of light. However, during the 20th century, we have formalized WPD as our new knowledge. For many generations, it is now used as “the right of passage” for all new students before they accept Quantum Mechanics (QM) as the “complete theory” of the micro universe, a la Copenhagen Interpretation. Very broad and successful applicability of QM to model measurable data is definitely not in question. But, is WPD really needed to strengthen QM; or, does it mystify QM to the point that new students stop critically enquiring the foundational postulates behind QM. QM has not been formulated to provide detailed pictures of the invisible interaction processes behind light-matter interactions. But, it does accurately model measurable data through quantum transitions. Should we then suppress our enquiring minds from attempting to make better theories to visualize these invisible interaction processes?

So, we are inviting all serious out-of-box thinkers to present papers from all possible causal and rational angles to explore deeper insights regarding light-matter interaction processes; along with exploration of the origin of light and matter (particles) since both kinds of energies are inter-convertible to the other states. We are underscoring interaction processes because, albeit being invisible, they represent a closer connection with the ontological reality of nature compared to measurable data alone. Besides, successful engineering innovations are essentially emulation of nature allowed processes in different permutations and combinations. Our theories still do not explain what photons and electrons are at the fundamental level; even though smart engineers have successfully ushered in the Knowledge Age by figuring out how to generate, manipulate, propagate and detect electrons and photons! We believe that by steadily exploring and refining the light-matter interaction process maps; we will facilitate the acceleration of innovation in our field of OSE. Being a broad enabling technology, optical industry has been maintaining its sustained growth irrespective of economic cycles. Our optical engineers are making steady strides in the newly emerged fields of nano photonics and plasmonic photonics using essentially Maxwell’s wave equation with QM properties of materials. Optical engineers have never been provided with mathematical tools better than Maxwell’s wave equation, to propagate “indivisible Photon”, a century old concept. Better interaction process maps behind light-matter interactions would empower our engineers to become even more efficient innovators.

Our objective is to facilitate the evolution of next higher level QM theories “riding on the shoulder” of current successes. Let us recognize that the Knowledge Age has been ushered in due to our capability of integrating multi-million transistors into a centimeter square VLSI chip. Innovation of the VLSI chip was conceived by Carver Mead when he succeeded in visualizing the QM phenomenon of electron tunneling in solid state materials.

Below we provide a few thought provoking questions to encourage a very broad participation by scientists and engineers who want to venture their enquiring minds beyond the current working theories.

  1. Is running time really a measurable physical parameter of any objects in this observable universe?

What deeper enquiries will be triggered when we learn to distinguish between a secondary parameter, the running time, derived from a primary and directly measurable parameter, frequencies? Let us recognize that laser-based frequency-counting atomic clocks provide us with the most accurate clocks we have ever built. But, what is a running time? What are frequencies? The running timeis a ubiquitous parameter in most physical theories. Is this parametera directly measurable physical property of any entity in this observable universe? Nothing in this universe keeps track of actual running time. Most entities in this universe consist of measurable various characteristic frequencies. We conveniently invert the frequency to derive a time interval. By counting larger and larger number of oscillations, we create larger and larger time intervals; which give us the semblance of running time. We use frequency of a pendulum, frequency of earth’s axial spin; frequency of light, frequency-comb of a mode locked lasers, etc., to construct various “clocks”. These physical frequencies can be manipulated by appropriately altering the physical environment around these oscillators. However, that does not give us access to altering the running time of the universe.

Is it then appropriate to assign the running timeas a physical parameter of the universe; or assume the universe is physically evolving in the inseparable space-time four-dimensional space?

  1. What is a Photon?

What new tools and technologies optical scientists and engineers can invent if they can figure out what the real structure of a photon is? Einstein introduced the concept of "indivisible quanta" for light to explain the observed quantumness in photoelectric data 20 years before the advent of quantum mechanics. He was not aware that all electrons in all materials are bound into discrete quantum mechanical energy levels or bands. Today, semi-classical models successfully explain a wide range of interactions between EM wave and quantized atoms.

Could we develop a better model for photon, a la Planck, that atoms and molecules functions as quantized cups during emission and absorption of EM energy; but the released cups of energies rapidly evolve into diffractively spreading and non-interacting classical wave packets? The entire field of classical optical science and engineering is still vibrant and advancing at a steady space by propagating classical wave packets using Huygens-Fresnel diffraction integral. QM has not provided us with any tool to propagate EM waves better than HF integral and classical wave equation of Maxwell.

  1. Is Non-Interaction of Waves (NIW-Property) real?

What new tools and technologies optical scientists and engineers can invent if they focus on the issue as to whether waves directly interact with each other to re-organize their wave energies in the linear domain? We can record superposition effects due to multiple light beams only when we insert some quantum compatible material detector, which are capable of simultaneously responding to all the beams superposed on them and then release proportionate number of photo electrons after absorbing energy from all the stimulating beams. Physics has never formally declared any force of interaction between waves in the linear domain, because there are none. Yet, we are taught, by both classical and quantum physics that the summed complex wave amplitudes represent re-organization of actual wave energies, implying mutual interaction. Had EM waves interacted with each other, could we have de-multiplexed all the dense WDM fiber optic signals essentially unperturbed even after co-propagating tens of kilometers through a single mode fiber? Could we have gathered consistently re-producible data on cosmological redshifts for light from very distant stars; which haven crossing through innumerable other star lights?

...If the NIW-property is valid, we need to re-visit all optical phenomena that are based upon direct summation (superposition) of waves like Spectrometry; Coherence; Group Velocity; Mode Locking; etc., etc.

  1. Does Wave-Particle Duality (WPD) represent our final knowledge about nature?

What new tools and technologies optical scientists and engineers can invent if their innovative minds are relieved from the constraints of wave-particle duality? Once we appreciate that the discrete "clicks" in the photo electric counting is due to the inherent quantumness in the binding energies of electrons, we can figure out that "wave-particle duality" only represents our conceptual limitations behind light-matter interaction processes. Once we accept that waves do not interact; we can drop this unnecessary hypothesis. Superposition effect becomes manifest as dictated by the properties QM detectors. Thus, we can create different measurable effects using different detectors for the same set of superposed beams. In OSE, we always propagate classical waves; not “indivisible photons”.

  1. Are photons really entangled?

If the NIW-property is valid, then photon wave packets cannot remain entangled as they do not experience any causal interaction force between themselves, whether physically superposed or spatially separated in the absence of some interaction mediating detector. What new technologies and tools scientist and engineers can invent based on the realization that detectors generate the correlation data, locally, when simultaneously stimulated by multiple EM wave packets. Is it possible to develop "quantum logic gates" using photons as non-interacting wave packets?

  1. Is the space really empty or is it a complex tension field (CTF)?

Once emitted by atoms or molecules, the photon wave packets move perpetually with a velocityacross the entire galaxy without any energetic support from the emitters, while keeping its frequency basically unchanged. Since it is not expending any energy during this high velocity propagation, it is more logically consistent to assume that space is a complex tension field (not a novel substance, like old ether) holding electric tension potentialand magnetic resistance potential. Then a cupful of energyreleased due to a quantum dipolar transition triggers the evolution of a wave packet of frequency; which constitutes a linear restorative undulation of the CTF characterized byand. Since, EM waves of very high frequency and electron-positron pairs can be inter-converted under appropriate interaction environment; it makes logical sense to assume that stable particles could be some form of localized resonant oscillations triggered by appropriate non-linear force. Then the CTF should also hold intrinsic properties that are found in the fine structure constant.

What new tools and technologies scientists and engineers can invent if they can figure out how to physically manipulate space properties through all these constants? We do know how to manipulate ε and μ when light travels through some material medium. Can we figure out how to manipulate all these various tension properties of CTF and access the tension energy to invent novel propulsion systems for deep-space travel without the need to carry massive amount explosive fuels?

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