Honorary lecture: Light, sound and other vibrations


Event details

Date 29.09.2023
Hour 17:1518:15
Speaker Prof. Luc Thévenaz
Location Online
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language French, English
Just over one generation, optics has experienced a deep move, enabling light to propagate complex information and interact intimately with matter. I've been able to chart my career with a fresh eye, free from the cumbersome legacy of classical optics, and I'd like to share this path with you during this lesson, which has taken us over some opened avenues. In particular, the resonance of light with the medium vibrations has enabled us to discover amazing effects, such as slowing down or speeding up the signal carried by light, creating optical memories or even sensors measuring temperature along the length of an optical fiber all over several tens of kilometers. The presentation will conclude with some personal thoughts on the immeasurable difficulties experienced by researchers in gaining recognition for their visionary concepts in the face of a wall of skepticism and conformism.
The presentation will take up the challenge of being intelligible to a cosmopolitan audience, understanding either French or English.

For more than 30 years Prof. Luc Thévenaz has consistently made significant and fundamental contributions to fiber-optic sensing, as well as to the research and implementations of slow and fast light in optical fibres. He has addressed all aspects of the field from basic fundamental considerations through sophisticated pioneering implementations. This technology has now entered the real world and contributes to make our world safer, by anticipating catastrophic failures through the constant monitoring of large structures and dangers subject to human and natural threats.
He also launched in the mid-1990’s a pioneering activity in gas traces sensing based on spectroscopic techniques using near-IR and mid-IR semiconductor lasers. He has realized extremely sensitive systems based on a photoacoustic detection principle.
He is Fellow of the IEEE and Optica, and Member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Registration required


  • Faculté STI – Décanat & Institut IEM