Prof. A. Selvarajan Memorial Lecture by Prof. Bishnu P Pal in Faculty Hall @ 4 pm

Location: Faculty Hall

Applied Photonics Initiative

Indian Institute of Science

International Day of Light 2018

Professor A. Selvarajan Memorial Lecture

Topic:  Progress and Challenges in Fiber Optics and Optical Communication

Speaker: Bishnu P Pal*, School of Engineering and Applies Sciences, Bennett University, Greater Noida *(Formerly with IIT Delhi)

Date/Time: 16 May 2018 4pm-5pm

Venue: Faculty Hall, IISc


Recognizing the importance of light and light-based technologies in the lives of the citizens of the world and the future development of the global society on many levels, UNO General Assembly at its 71st plenary meeting decided to proclaim 2015 as the International Year of Light (IYL) and Light-based Technologies. Due to its huge global success, UNESCO subsequently declared May 16th as the International Day of Light (IDL) as a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.  May 16th happens to be anniversary of the first successful operation of a Ruby laser demonstrated by Physicist and Engineer Theodore Maiman and colleagues at the Hughes Research Labs Malibu USA in the year 1960 thereby “presenting exhilarating challenges and tremendous possibilities to those in the field of optics” (Tom Baer, the past President of OSA The Optical Society during the kick off of the LaserFest in 2010 at the Smithsonian Museum Washington). In this talk initially I will try to highlight how light-based technologies today influence our society, Internet, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and life in general and then try to describe progress and challenges in fiber optics and optical communication. In that context I would try to trace the evolution of specialty optical fibers, its progress to date and challenges that exist for further research and describe some of our own research on these topics including our very recent research related to Mid-IR and THz photonics.


Bishnu Pal has been professor of physics at IIT Delhi since 1990, where he served as HoD of Physics (2008-11) and HoC of the Computer Services Centre (2002-05). After retirement in June 2014 he worked for 3 years as HoD Physics at the newly established Mahindra École Centrale (in collaboration with École Centrale Paris) in Hyderabad and since July 2017 he is a Professor at Bennett University in Greater Noida UP. His areas of research since mid-1970s spanned design, analyses and realization of specialty optical fibers for optical communication, mid-IR and THz photonics, all-fiber optical components and sensors, silicon photonics and transverse localization of light in disordered optical waveguide lattice. He has carried out sponsored (both national and international) research and consultancy extensively in these areas. His UKIERI sponsored major project on microstructured fibers is considered a show case project of the UKIERI initiative. Indo-French Science Council had awarded “Excellent” grade to his IFCPAR sponsored project on dispersion compensating fibers and amplifiers. More recently his ONRG (USA)-sponsored collaborative project with Naval Research Laboratory Washington on Microstructured fibers for wavelength translation and supercontinuum lasers has yielded several new results for exploitation in the mid-IR region. He has delivered plenary, keynote and invited talks at over 55 international conferences in India and abroad. He has published extensively in international journals (over 125) and contributed papers to international conferences (over 90), and has one each US and Indian patents on broadband DWDM transmission link design. He has also edited 4 books published by Academic Press, Wiley and New Age (reprinted 6 times), Viva books and InTech and authored/co-authored chapters in these books.

His e-book Frontiers in Guided Wave Optics and Optoelectronics has been to date downloaded over 212,000 times and his own chapter in it over 12,000 times. Prof Pal is a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, senior member of IEEE, and is Honorary Foreign member of the 258 year-old Royal Norwegian Academy of Science (DKNVS, Norway). He has been a recipient of awards like Esther Hoffman Beller medal of OSA for the centennial year (2016), Khosla Research award of IIT Roorkee for lifetime contributions (2014), Om Prakash Bhasin award for Electronics and Telecommunication (2013), Prof Y T Thathachari award for physical sciences (2010), OSI award for life time contribution (2011), CEOT award of IETE (2010), and Homi Bhabha award of UGC for applied sciences (2006). He was also a recipient of AvH Fellowship (at Fraunhofer Institute IPM Freiburg Germany, 1982-83), Fulbright Fellowship (at NIST Bolder CO USA, 1991) and Royal Norwegian CSIR (NTNF, Norway) Fellow (at the then Norwegian Institute of Technology and now NTNU Trondheim, 1975-77) and has been a member of the Board of Directors of OSA (2009-11), President of OSI (2012-15), and a member of the Jury for the Galileo Galilei award of ICO (2009-2014).

Prof. A Selavarajan (1938-2017) was outstanding researcher and educator of Photonics of India. He joined ECE Department, Indian Institute of Science in 1972, and has been with the department for nearly three decades. He was the Chairman of the Department during the period April 1995 to September 1999. He successfully organised the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Department in 1996 and the construction of Golden Jubilee Seminar Hall thereafter. Prof. A Selavarajan was instrumental in leading the department into the Photonics era, shaping the present Applied Photonics Laboratory. He developed and nurtured one of the few groups in India working in both theoretical and experimental areas of Applied Photonics. He has played a key role in organising the biannual international conference on Photonics in India, the first two of which were held in Bangalore in 1991 and 1994 under his Technical Chairmanship. He has held visiting positions at University of Uppsala, Sweden. University of Arizona, USA, Technical University of Denmark, University College London and International Centre for Theoretical Physics Italy.