Journal of Modern Optics
Light, the universe and everything – 12 Herculean tasks for quantum cowboys and black diamond skiers
Taylor & Francis is pleased to announce the release of a forward-looking and influential paper in the Journal of Modern Optics that describes some of the biggest scientific challenges in optical physics. In January of 2017, the participants of the annual conference on Physics of Quantum Electronics were asked to consider the most important ideas and challenges for the future of optical physics, and to formulate a set of questions representing some of the greatest aspirations in this field. This resulted in a multi-authored paper, in which many of the world’s leading experts addressed fundamental questions such as the future of gravitational wave astronomy (the topic of a recent Nobel prize), new quantum phases of matter such as time crystals, quantum theory in uncharted territories, and the ultimate limits to photon energies and optical resolution. The paper considers new roles that atoms could play in emerging technologies, new materials, and the future of quantum weirdness, properties such as coherence, squeezing and entanglement. The title of the paper, inspired by the location of the conference in Snowbird, Utah, is unique: "Light, the universe and everything – 12 Herculean tasks for quantum cowboys and black diamond skiers".
According to Prof. Suzy Lidström (Texas A&M University), the guiding motivation is that those who aspire to great science implicitly have the same guiding principle that steers powder skiers descending mountains or cowboys driving their herds across uncharted territory: “I will find a way or make one”.
Who was involved
Professor George Welch (Texas A&M), Professor Francisco Narducci (Naval Postgraduate School) served as editors, with Thomas Brown (University of Rochester) as editor in chief of what turned out to be a very challenging and exciting project, a publication that will be read and studied by aspiring graduate students throughout the world over the next decade.