Explaining the Anti-Laser to       Nonscientists  Lunch meeting, June 16, 2011
Hey, Philip, you’re aphysicist! Maybe you  can explain this…      Here we go                           again…
I read on the Internet   about a laser that can cancel the effect   of another laser!      Destructive                    ...
Where doesthe energy   go?             That’s simple —              it just turns up                 elsewhere.
Destructive interference …constructive  interference  occurs here.                  As we all know, when                 d...
No, that’s not what I  meant at all! It wassomething else entirely.                           Well, where                 ...
Uh… I don’t know.You know, on the    Internet.                    Damn, there goes my                    last shred of sci...
So what did they mean?PRL 105, 053901 (2010) – theoretical articlePhysics 3, 61 (2010) – accompanying viewpointNature 467,...
Time-reversed lasingImage: Nature 467, 37
Phase must be just rightImage: Prof. Douglas Stone’s webpage,http://www.eng.yale.edu/stonegroup/cpa/cpa.html
Experiment uses Si waferNo cavity mirrors needed;the wafer acts as a Fabry-      Perot etalon.
Why only now?“Early laser studies (13, 14) had briefly noted the possibility of the time-reversed process oflasing, but de...
“Early laser studies”Hamel, Woerdman (1989). “Nonorthogonality of  the longitudinal eigenmodes of a laser.” PRA  40, 2785....
The popular media took it and ran    Public service announcement from Prof. A. D.                           Stone     The ...
Explaining The Anti Laser To Nonscientists
Explaining The Anti Laser To Nonscientists
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Explaining The Anti Laser To Nonscientists

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Lunch talk I gave about a new device that made more waves in the popular press than it did in science

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Explaining The Anti Laser To Nonscientists

  1. 1. Explaining the Anti-Laser to Nonscientists Lunch meeting, June 16, 2011
  2. 2. Hey, Philip, you’re aphysicist! Maybe you can explain this… Here we go again…
  3. 3. I read on the Internet about a laser that can cancel the effect of another laser! Destructive interference?
  4. 4. Where doesthe energy go? That’s simple — it just turns up elsewhere.
  5. 5. Destructive interference …constructive interference occurs here. As we all know, when destructive interference occurs here…
  6. 6. No, that’s not what I meant at all! It wassomething else entirely. Well, where did you read it?
  7. 7. Uh… I don’t know.You know, on the Internet. Damn, there goes my last shred of scientist credibility…
  8. 8. So what did they mean?PRL 105, 053901 (2010) – theoretical articlePhysics 3, 61 (2010) – accompanying viewpointNature 467, 37 (2010) – News and ViewsScience 331, 6019 (2011) – practical realization
  9. 9. Time-reversed lasingImage: Nature 467, 37
  10. 10. Phase must be just rightImage: Prof. Douglas Stone’s webpage,http://www.eng.yale.edu/stonegroup/cpa/cpa.html
  11. 11. Experiment uses Si waferNo cavity mirrors needed;the wafer acts as a Fabry- Perot etalon.
  12. 12. Why only now?“Early laser studies (13, 14) had briefly noted the possibility of the time-reversed process oflasing, but detailed theory and investigation of practical realizations began with (11) [their own theory paper].”
  13. 13. “Early laser studies”Hamel, Woerdman (1989). “Nonorthogonality of the longitudinal eigenmodes of a laser.” PRA 40, 2785.Discussing “vector” right and left-travelling longitudinal eigenmodes of a one-dimensional laser, in reaction to a paper by Siegman on the nonorthogonality of transverse modes.
  14. 14. The popular media took it and ran Public service announcement from Prof. A. D. Stone The Fox News article about our work initially quoted me saying that “...the creation of the anti- laser... has been one of the defining technological innovations of the past century.”I am not, in fact, an off-scale egotist. What I actually said was that the laser was a defining invention of the past century, not the anti-laser. (The article has now been fixed.)

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