Speaker: Professor Howard Wiseman 
Affiliation: Griffith University

Abstract

The laser is central to much modern science and technology. But what fundamental features distinguish laser light from thermal (e.g. light-bulb) light? Here I suggest four: directionality, monochromaticity, brightness, and stable intensity. The first three principles suffice to show, quantitatively, that a laser must be constructed very differently from a light bulb. This quantitative comparison has led to a new research direction in my group: how does the number of coherent excitations inside the laser limit the coherence of its beam? In answering this, we have overturned the orthodoxy of six decades by reimagining how a laser could work.

About Physics colloquium

The Physics Colloquium series hosts a range of speakers from Australia and abroad. The series explores a variety of topics and everyone is welcome to come along. The seminars are open so there is no need to register your attendance.

Previous recorded Physics Colloquia.

Venue

Parnell Building (07)
Room 222