Optics and photonics encompass the science and technology of light, enabling technologies such as lasers, cameras, displays, optical fibers and solar cells. The field plays an important role in many emerging technologies including 5G, quantum computing, autonomous machines, and renewable energy. Research in this area is highly interdisciplinary: Electrical engineers collaborate with materials scientists, physicists and mechanical engineers. Research topics include optical and optoelectronic devices (laser, photodetectors, modulators), imaging systems for biomedical applications, machine vision, and fundamental optical sciences at the nanoscale.
PhD student Rabeeya Hamid sets up an optics experiment that converts infrared images into the visible – a new approach to night vision that does not require external power or electronics. Many research groups in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering set up table top optics experiments like this one as they pursue new technologies in the fields of imaging, sensing, communication, computation, manufacturing, and energy.