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ICO Newsletter

January 2005 Number 62


OPTICS in the World Year of Physics 2005

The ICO decided at its Bureau meeting in Porlamar (Venezuela) on October 8-9, 2004, to contribute to the United Nations International/World Year of Physics 2005 with a coordinated and joint action of all its Members. The main goals of this action are: to emphasize the importance of Optics as a branch of Modern Physics and to give the ICO, the place where Optics meets, visibility at world wide scale.

1.- The United Nations International/World Year of Physics 2005: At the occasion of the World Congress of Physical Societies, in Berlin December 2000, more than 40 physical societies from around the world approved the proposal to declare 2005 as the World Year of Physics. This was followed by the approval of the EPS Council (March 2001) to mobilize support in Europe for this initiative. In October 2002, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2005 as the World Year of Physics. A number of international organizations (including the ICO) have already expressed their support for WYP2005. The 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO adopted in November 2003 a resolution supporting the initiative of 2005 as the World Year of Physics. On June 10, 2004 the General Assembly of the United Nations approved by acclamation the following declaration for the United Nations International Year of Physics.

The General Assembly of United Nations,

  • Recognizing that physics provides a significant basis for the development of the understanding of nature,
  • Noting that physics and its applications are the basis of many of today's technological advances,
  • Convinced that education in physics provides men and women with the tools to build the scientific infrastructure essential for development,
  • Being aware that the year 2005 is the centenary of seminal scientific discoveries by Albert Einstein which are the basis of modern physics,
    1. Welcomes the proclamation of 2005 as the International Year of Physics by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
    2. Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to organize activities celebrating 2005 as the International Year of Physics, collaborating with physics societies and groups throughout the world, including in developing countries;
    3. Declares the year 2005 as the International Year of Physics.

The World Year of Physics 2005 is an international celebration of physics. All organizations and groups interested in promoting physics are encouraged to organize events under the WYP2005 banner. The members of the International Advisory Committee will organize events in their countries in the field of physics. The International Committee will ensure the flow of ideas and information about these activities via the website: Many of the activities of WYP2005 will be sponsored by participating organizations.

2.- The ICO contribution to the WYP2005: We will announce all ICO sponsored and endorsed conferences in 2005, in particular the ICO-20 conference "Challenging Optics in Science & Technology", August 21-26, 2005, Chang Chun, China, as events of the WYP2005. We will encourage all our Members to declare and announce optics events as a contribution of Optics to the WYP2005. In particular, this request is addressed to our Territorial Committees for their local optics events to promote Optics as an important branch of modern physics throughout the world, including the developing countries.

3.- The technical procedure for public announcement would be just to adopt the official logos of the WYP2005 and of ICO in all official advertisements and documents of the event. For this purpose the ICO has created a joint logo of ICO and WYP2005 (get it from the ICO website: In addition, the information about the event (conferences, workshops, or other public activities related to optics) should be sent to the ICO secretariat, who will announce it to the WYP2005 coordinator and establish a list of all ICO WYP2005 events on its website.

René Dändliker, President of ICO


It's ELECTION TIME! Nominations Due!!

Arthur H. Guenther, ICO Past-President

We are less than one year short from the XXth ICO Congress, with the title "Challenging Optics in Science and Technology" which will take place 21-26 August 2005 in Changchun, China. One of the most important events included will be the ICO General Assembly, during which elections will be held for officers serving a 3-year term through 2008. Nominations for ICO Bureau officers are requested now. The position of Past President for the term 2005-2008 will be assumed by our present President, R. Dandliker of Switzerland. Candidates are requested for the President, Secretary, Associate Secretary, Treasurer, and 8 elected Vice Presidents, of which two must, according to the bylaws, represent the industrial viewpoint. (There are of course several VPs appointed by large optics related societies and organizations that are associate members.)

The ICO Nominating Committee, made up of Maria J. Yzuel of Spain, Chris Velzel of the Netherlands, Toshimitsu Asakura of Japan, and myself as Chair, are now receiving nominations. They will be accepted, as well, until 24 hours before the second business meeting of the ICO General Assembly in Changchun. Meanwhile, we are anxious to identify candidates such that endorsement by ICO members can be made in a timely manner to indicate the candidate's support.

A letter requesting nominations has already been sent to the territorial committees with election procedures, and an additional letter will be forwarded to remind the territories of their responsibilities. We hope to have a healthy and varied list of candidates in place by April 15, 2005, at which time all members will receive information as to the nominated candidates such that they may identify those they wish to support for any specific office.

This activity is one of the most significant and important occasions as responsibilities of ICO members their vote, in large measure, will determine the character of the ICO going forward in these very exciting times for optics and photonics. I might remind all that this will be a very special election in the United Nations World Year of Physics 2005.

Arthur H. Guenther, ICO Past-President. Chair of the Nomination Committee


ICO PRIZE 2004 goes to Ashok V. Krishnamoorthy: the profile of an architect of optical interconnections

The ICO Prize is given to an individual who has made noteworthy contributions to optics before reaching the age of forty years. The ICO Committee for ICO Prize has selected Dr. Ashok V. Krishnamoorthy as the recipient of the 2004 prize. This proposal was unanimously approved by the ICO Bureau held in Porlamar (Venezuela) last October 2004. The award citation reads: "For his outstanding contributions in the areas of optical integrated circuit technology, free-space optical interconnects, optical neural networks, and parallel computer architectures, in both theoretical and experimental results".

Ashok Krishnamoorthy, an engineer and researcher at Sun Microsystems, recipient of ICO Prize 2004

Ashok V. Krishnamoorthy was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He went to school in Tokyo, Japan; New Delhi, India; and Lagos, Nigeria, before coming to the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) in USA to pursue higher studies in 1982. He obtained the BS in Engineering (with honors) from CALTECH in 1986. The MS in Electrical Engineering/Optics from University of Southern California in 1988 and the PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in 1993. His thesis advisor was Professor Sadik Esener.

During his PhD studies, Ashok Krishnamoorthy already demonstrated impressive theoretical and experimental research abilities in the areas related to optical waveguides, integrated optics and applications to optical communications. As a post-doctoral research at UCSD, he participated in the development of optically transparent, polarization-based switches.

In 1994, he joined ATT Bell Laboratories, where he made noteworthy contributions in the area of opto-electronic integrated circuits. Specifically, he helped to develop a method where arrays of optical devices, such as detectors, modulators, and vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are attached to CMOS chips.

In 1999, he joined Lucent New Ventures Organization as a Program Manager, where he and his team successfully demonstrated working prototypes of opto-electronic-VLSI technology. This led to the establishment of Aralight Inc., a Lucent spin-off, which he joined as President and CTO in 2000. The first product developed in this company was a dense parallel-optics module. After successfully launching the product and completing several customer trials, he sold the company to Xanoptix in late 2003. In October 2003, he joined SUN Microsystems' Physical Sciences Center to lead work on optical interconnection technologies for high-performance computing systems. He also played the key role in several industry milestones including: the first CMOS-based opto-electronic modulator foundry service, the first demonstrated parallel optics transmitter/receiver product with over 100Gbit/s throughput, and the first 300meter opto-electronic backplane interconnect demonstration free of clock and data-recovery (CDR) circuits.

Ashok Krishnamoorthy has authored and co-authored more than 150 scientific articles, holds 30 US patents, and has given invited presentations on his research at major international conferences. He was named Outstanding Young Engineer in 1999 by the Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honor Society and was chosen a Distinguished Lecturer by LEOS in 2002 and 2003 for his work on integration of optical devices with VLSI electronics. In 2003 he was given the title of Distinguished Engineer by Sun Microsystems. He will be invited to deliver the ICO Prize 2004 Lecture in one of ICO major events in which the award ceremony is traditionally taking place as well.

The Chair of the ICO Prize Committee is Asher Friesem. The Committee is now receiving nominations for the forthcoming ICO Prize 2005. Instructions can be found in ICO Prizes and Awards


5th Ibero-American Meeting on Optics, and 8th Latin-American Meeting on Optics, Lasers and Their Applications- RIAO/OPTILAS 2004, Porlamar, Venezuela, 3-8 October 2004: the great success of optics in Latin-America

The RIAO/OPTILAS 2004 took place with great success the first week of October 2004 on the beautiful Island of Margarita (Venezuela). The meeting ran as an ICO Regional Meeting with the support and co-sponsorship of the International Society for Optical Engineering SPIE, the Optical Society of America OSA, the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics ICTP, the Latin-American Center for Physics CLAF and other important international organizations and local institutions.

Cid B. de Araujo, Galileo Galilei Award 2003 and René Dändliker, ICO President (photograph taken by L. Marcano)

The meeting gathered 329 participants coming mainly from Ibero-American countries. However, more than 60 participants came from countries of the rest of the world showing the growing international character of this regional meeting. The conference demonstrated the maturity and increasing visibility of the optical research being conducted in the Ibero-American region.

515 short abstracts were accepted for presentation: 192 oral presentations including 16 invited talks and 315 poster presentations. The presentations were distributed into 15 sessions including three poster sessions: Industrial and Biomedical Applications (23 oral and 45 poster presentations), Quantum Optics and Lasers (23 oral and 35 posters), Nonlinear Optics (12 oral and 24 posters), Optical Materials (12 oral and 15 posters), Interferometry and Metrology (21 oral and 34 posters), Optical Devices (15 oral and 22 posters), Optoelectronic Devices (27 oral and 15 posters), Spectroscopy (4 oral and 33 posters), Physical Optics (14 oral and 29 posters), Atmospheric Optics (1 oral and 8 posters), Color, Vision and Radiometry (7 oral and 15 posters), Image Processing (12 oral and 20 posters), Diffractive Optics (7 oral and 12 posters), Educations on Optics (5 oral and 3 posters) and Thin Films (4 oral and 12 posters). There were 12 cancellations and 23 no-shows. Attendees in terms of country of origin were: Argentina 41, Brazil 28, Canada 3, Colombia 37, Cuba 3, Chile 6, France 10, Germany 2, Israel 1, Italy 3, Japan 1, Korea 1, Mexico 66, Poland 1, Peru 5, Russia 1, Spain 28, Sweden 1, Switzerland 1, Trinidad Tobago 1, Turkey 1, USA 11 and Venezuela 77.

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Prize in Physics 1997, delivering the plenary conference on "Manipulating atoms with light" (photograph taken by L. Marcano)

Remarkable was the invited talk "Manipulating Light with Atoms" given by Dr. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, 1997 Nobel Prize on Physics. The 2003 ICO Galileo Galilei Award ceremony took place during the program of the RIAO/OPTILAS 2004 on Tuesday October 5. This time the Galileo Galilei Prize was awarded to Dr. Cid B. de Araujo, from University of Pernambuco, Brazil, who delighted the audience with his invited talk about "Optical Nonlinearities of Nanostructured Materials". Other invited speakers were: Dr. G. Stegeman, from the School on Optics (USA), Dr. E. Van Stryland, Director of the School of Optics (USA) and Vice-President of the OSA (USA), Dr. N. Melikechi from the Applied Optics Center of Delaware (USA), Dr. P. Meystre from the University of Arizona (USA), Dr. C. Flytzanis from l'Ècôle Normale (France), Dr. A. Lappa from the Chelyabinsk University (Russia), Dr. P. Andrés from the Valencia University (Spain), Dr. S. Braslavsky from the Max Planck Institute (Germany), Dr. J. M. Nunzi and X. Nguyen Phu from the Angers University (France), Dr. M. Kujawinska from the Warsaw University and SPIE Vice-president (Poland), Dr. A. Waguè from the Dakkar Institute of Atomic Physics (Senegal) and Dr. Morandotti from the INRS-EMT (Canada). The SPIE President Dr. J. Bilbro, the SPIE Executive Director Dr. E. Arthurs and other important SPIE directors participated in the activities of the RIAO/OPTILAS 2004.

Participants RIAO/OPTILAS 2004, Island of Margarita (Venezuela) (photograph taken by L. Marcano)

A Forum on the possibilities of international cooperation for Ibero-America was also organized with the presence of distinguished directors from SPIE, OSA and ICO. The 3rd School on Optics and Photonics was also included into the program with participation of 100 students from all over Ibero-America. Eight talks of 45 minutes each were presented during the School.

During the General Assembly a recognition Plate was awarded to Dr. G. Denardo from the ICTP for his continuing support of scientific activities in developing countries. The Plate was received by Dr. A. Consortini in representation of the Italian scientific community.

The RIAO/OPTILAS 2004 was also honored to host the ICO Board of Directors meeting, which took place on October 9 and 10.

Proceedings: Extended proceedings (from 4 to 7 pages), were published by the International Society for Optical Engineering SPIE on a CD ROM version (volume 5622, 2004, A. Marcano O. and J. L. Paz, editors, 1,567 pages containing 276 communications). Grants: 145 students were offered support to assist to the RIAO/OPTILAS 2004 on ICO, OSA, ICTP, Argentina Optical Territorial Committee and CLAF grants. 123 of them profited of these grants.

Finally, I would like to thank for the ICO support, the excellent Venezuelan Optical Committee (CVO) organization as well as the support of the other organizations and all participants of the RIAO/OPTILAS 2004.

Arístides Marcano, RIAO/OPTILAS 2004 Chairman.


Forthcoming events with ICO participation

7-18 February 2005
ICTP/ICO Winter College on Optics and Photonics in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology
Miramare - Trieste, Italy
Prof. G. Denardo, ICTP, I-34014 Trieste, Italy
fax. +39 040 2240 443,

14-18 February 2005
8th Int'l Symposium on Laser Metrology (LM-2005)
Merida, Yukatan, Mexico
Conference Chair: Dr. Ramon Rodriguez-Vera,
Contact: Prof. Oracio Barbosa Garcia, Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, AC,
Loma del Bosque 115, Col. Lomas del Campestre, C.P. 37150, Leon, Gto., Mexico
fax. +52 01 477 7 17 5000

2-6 May 2005
9th Int'l Conference on Squeezed States and Uncertainly Relations (ICSSUR'05)
Besancon, France
Chair Dr. Michel Planat, Institut FEMTO-ST, Dept. LPMO, 32 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 25044 Besancon, France
fax. +33 3 81 85 39 98,

8-13 May 2005
10th Congress of the Int'l Colour Association (AIC Colour 05)
Granada, Spain
Prof. Javier Romero, Dept. de Óptica, Fac. de Ciencias, Univ. de
Granada, Spain, Fax. +34 958 248533

6-8 June 2005
Information Photonics 2005
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Chair George Barbastathis, MIT, Boston, USA
Co-chair Sadik Esener, University of California, San Diego, USA
Contact Naomi Chavez, OSA, Washington, DC,

21-26 August 2005
ICO-20, Triennial Congress of the International Commission for Optics
"Challenging Optics in Science and Technology"

Changchun, China
Dr. Jianlin Cao, President, Changchun Institute of Optics,
Fine Mechanics and Physics, 140 Renmin Street, Chanchung 130022, P.R. China, fax. +86 431 5682346

6-9 September 2005
7th Int'l Conference on Correlation Optics
Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Prof. Oleg V. Angelsky, Correlation Optics Dept., Chernivtsi National University, 2 Kotsyubinsky Str., Chernivtsi 58012, Ukraine
fax. +380 3722 44730,

24-26 October 2005
9th Int'l Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP)
Marseille, France
Chair Prof. François Flory, Ecole Généraliste d'Ingénieurs de Marseille,
Contact Dr. Serge Ungar, POPsud, Co/EGIM, Domaine de St Jerome, F-13397 Marseille, France, Fax. +33 491 288813


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members (2002-2005):

President: R. Dändliker;

Past-President: A. H. Guenther; Treasurer: G. T. Sincerbox;

Secretary: M.L. Calvo, Departamento de Optica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E 28040 Madrid, Spain, phone +34 91 394 4684, fax +34 91 394 4683, e-mail

Associate Secretary, in charge of Meetings: A.T. Friberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Microelectronics and Information Technology, Optics Section, Electrum 229 (Isafjordsgatan 22) SE-164 40 Kista, Sweden, phone +46 8 790 4191, fax +46 8 789 6672 e-mail

Vice-Presidents, elected: A.A. Friesem, N. Gaggioli, G.F. Jin, B.Y. Kim, M. Kujawinska, G.C Righini, L.L. Wang, I. Yamaguchi

Vice-Presidents, appointed: H.H. Arsenault (SPIE), A.A. Sawchuck (OSA), T. Tschudi (EOS), G. Von Bally (OWLS), A. Wagué (LAM Network), A.M. Weiner (IEEE/LEOS)

Senior Adviser (ad personam): P. Chavel.

IUPAP Council Representative: Y. Petroff