The prospect of judiciously utilizing both optical gain and loss has been recently suggested as a means to control the flow of light. This proposition makes use of some newly developed concepts based on non-Hermiticity and parity-time (PT) symmetry-ideas first conceived within quantum field theories. By harnessing such notions, recent works indicate that novel synthetic structures and devices with counter-intuitive properties can be realized – potentially enabling new possibilities in the field of optics and integrated photonics. Non-Hermitian degeneracies, also known as exceptional points (EPs), have also emerged as a new paradigm for engineering the response of optical systems. In this talk, we provide an overview of recent developments in this newly emerging field. The use of other type symmetries in photonics will be also discussed.
Demetri Christodoulides is a Pegasus and Cobb Family Endowed Chair Professor at CREOL-the College of Optics and Photonics of the University of Central Florida. He received his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1986 and he subsequently joined Bellcore as a post-doctoral fellow at Murray Hill. Between 1988 and 2002 he was with the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Lehigh University. His research interests include linear and nonlinear optical beam interactions, synthetic optical materials, optical solitons, and quantum electronics. He has authored and co-authored more than 325 papers. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society. In 2011 he received the R.W. Wood Prize of OSA.