IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


April 9, 2018
6:30 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Forbes Road

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Light Complexity in Time and Space, and the Underlying Physics of Analogies

Prof. Marc Sciamanna, CentraleSupélec, Metz, France

IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer


Prof. Marc Sciamanna, CentraleSupélec, Metz, France

Abstract:  I will review the configurations in which an optical system undergoes dynamical instabilities and how the resulting so-called dynamical complexity drives applications in e.g. secure optical communications, random number generation fro cryptography, brain-inspired optical computation, high-resolution imaging and sensing. Concepts such as deterministic chaos, entropy and fractal that originate from applied mathematics are of increasing interest in photonics. Harnessing these concepts has enabled significant improvement of laser properties including modulation bandwidth, multimode emission and beam quality. On the other hand, the availability and ease of operation of lasers in a wide range of configuration make them a convenient test bed for exploring basic concepts of nonlinear dynamics. The cross-fertilization of disciplines allows for identifying analogies with phenomena such as extreme events well known in economy and hydrodynamics or neuronal computation and regulatory networks in biology. In addition, nonlinear light-matter interaction yields interesting spatio-temporal instabilities arising from either modulation instability (leading to optical patterns) or from soliton interactions. In this field, the resurging interest in nonlinear propagation of exotic light beams such as accelerating waves and vortices has motivated analogies with dynamics in rotating or curved reference frames including gravitational effects.


Biography:  Marc Sciamanna graduated in Electrical Engineering (2000) and PhD in Applied Sciences (2004) from the University of Mons (Belgium) and received his "Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches" from the University of Lorraine (France) in 2009. In 2004 he has been appointed as an Assistant, then an Associate (2007) and since 2009 as a Full Professor at Supélec, today named as "CentraleSupélec" and ranked among the top 5 Engineering Schools in France. From 2013 to 2017 he has been the Deputy Director of the LMOPS Laboratory (Optical Materials, Photonics and Systems). He is coordinating the Master in Photonic and Communication Systems (SPC) at CentraleSupélec. Since 2017 he leads the Chair in Photonics at CentraleSupelec.

Marc SCIAMANNA is a recognized researcher for his contributions to nonlinear dynamics of laser diodes, applications of optical chaos, and the physics of optical instabilities including the formation of optical patterns, the nonlinear propagation of non conventional beams including vortices and Airy beams, and the onset of optical rogue waves. He has published about 90 journal publications and over 100 publications in conference proceedings, receiving more than 3000 citations in the past 15 years. He has been invited speaker at more than 25 international conferences including two plenary talks at IEEE Winter Topicals 2009 and SPIE Photonics Europe 2014. He has been awarded with the IEEE Photonics Society Graduate Student Fellowship Award in 2002, the SPIE F-MADE Scholarship Award in 2003, and the MIT Technology Review TR35 award in 2007, which awards each year 35 top young innovators being less than 35 years old, here on the topic “Controlling chaos in telecom lasers”. In his country he has been awarded with the Best Researcher Award from Lorraine Region. Since 2016 he is one of the Associate Editors for Optics Letters (Optical Society of America). He regularly serves as Conference Chair and/or Conference Committee member for SPIE Photonics Europe, IEEE International Semiconductor Laser Conference, EOS Annual Meeting. Since 2017 he has been appointed as a member of the Scientific Council for the Office parlementaire d'évaluation des choix scientifiques et technologiques (OPECST) in France.


This meeting begins at 6:30 PM Monday April 9th, 2018 and will be located 3 Forbes Road (a MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility), Lexington, MA, 02420.  The meeting is free and open to the public.  All are welcome. Prior to the seminar there will be social time and networking from 6:30 – 7:00PM.  Dinner will also be provided.   The seminar will begin at 7:00PM.  For more information contact Ajay Garg, Boston IEEE Photonics Society Chapter chair at, or visit the Boston IEEE Photonics Society website at


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory Forbes Road

3 Forbes Road

Lexington, MA 02420

Directions to MIT Lincoln Laboratory Forbes Road: (from interstate I-95/Route 128)

The Forbes site is off Marrett Road (Route 2A) which crosses Rte-128 at Exit 30. Please see the link below for more details: