11th International Symposium on Optics and its Applications
11-15 July 2023
OPTICA and SPIE joint student chapter of Yerevan State University (YSO), in collaboration with the OPTICA student chapter (IPR Armenia) of The Institute for Physical Research (IPR) of NAS RA, will host the 11th International Symposium on Optics and its Applications (OPTICS11) from July 11th to 15th 2023 in Yerevan-Ashtarak, Armenia.
OPTICS11 is sponsored by the YSO Student Chapter‘s Optica Special Program grant. This fully in-person edition is devoted to the 100th anniversary of Mikael Ter-Mikaelian, an important contributor to high-energy physics, laser physics, and nonlinear optics. In 1963, as the dean of the Physics department at Yerevan State University, he founded eight new chairs and organized the Joint Radiation Laboratory (JRL) of the university and the Academy of Sciences of Armenia (NAS RA), where the theoretical development of the foundations of quantum generators and their successful implementation led to the serial production of the first Arzni laser in the USSR. In 1968, JRL became the IPR of the ASA. To celebrate his legacy the symposium will bring together experienced scientists from various countries in the field of optics and photonics to provide a perfect setting for the participants to acquire the most recent developments in that area.
Invited speakers from more than 20 research institutions worldwide will present their talks on different research topics. During the Symposium, a special section will be dedicated to the professional development lectures from the academy and industry points of view. Students will have a chance to present their research with oral presentations as well as posters.
Mikael Ter-Mikaelian (1923-2004), a graduate of the Yerevan State University (YSU) in 1948, received a diploma in physics and mathematics. He went to Moscow, where he completed his candidate dissertation at the Lebedev Physical Institute in 1953 under the supervision of Evgeny Feinberg. During that period, he made the most important discovery of his career: the coherence-length effect in high-energy particle interactions with matter. He showed that with the increase of energy, the longitudinal size of the particle-matter interaction region increases to macroscopic dimensions even though the wavelength of radiation produced by the particles is shorter than the interatomic distances. As a result, the cross sections of bremsstrahlung and photon pair production are enhanced at high energies. His results have since found wide application in the fields of high-energy particle and radiation physics.
From 1954 to 1963, he was affiliated with the Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI), first as the head of the theoretical department, and then as the institute’s deputy director. In 1954, he predicted that, due to the polarization of the medium, the Bethe–Heitler bremsstrahlung spectrum would be suppressed at certain photon energies. This phenomenon, now known as the Ter-Mikaelian or longitudinal density effect, resembles the Fermi density effect. During 1960–61, Ter-Mikaelian developed the theory of x-ray transition radiation produced in a stack of plates. He and his colleagues showed that XTR could be used to identify and measure the energy of single particles with energies much higher than is possible with čerenkov detectors. XTR detectors first developed at YerPhI are now used in high-energy physics experiments all over the world. In 1962, Ter-Mikaelian received his doctorate in physics and mathematics from the Lebedev Institute.
His classic monograph High-Energy Electromagnetic Processes in Condensed Media, published in 1969 in Russian and in 1972 in English (Wiley-Interscience), has served as a virtual handbook on radiation processes since its publication. One of the most cited books in the field, it is famous for its clear exposition and breadth and depth of discussion. Among the many important subjects examined in that book is the radiation emitted by electrons passing through the planes of a crystal. In this process, the Weizsäcker–Williams pseudo-photons accompanying the electron are diffracted and emitted as real photons at angles close to the Bragg angle. This radiation was later “rediscovered” by other theorists and termed quasi Čerenkov or parametric x-ray radiation.
In 1963, Ter-Mikaelian left YerPhI and began new activities in quantum electronics at YSU. As the dean of the Physics department at YSU, he founded eight new chairs and organized the Joint Radiation Laboratory of the university and the NAS RA, where the theoretical development of the foundations of quantum generators and their successful implementation led to the serial production of the first Arzni laser in the USSR. In 1968, JRL became the IPR of the ASA.
From 1968 to 1994, Ter-Mikaelian was the director of IPR. For part of that time (1988–94), he served as academician-secretary of the ASA’s Department of Physics and Mathematics. He retired from IPR in 1994 and became honorary director of that institute; he also was appointed head of IPR’s theoretical department, a position he held until his death.
For their work in the field of quantum electronics and their initiatives in the industrial production of lasers and laser materials, Ter-Mikaelian and his associates were awarded the State Award of Armenia in 1980. They investigated new phenomena such as self-induced population inversion, three-component structure in resonance fluorescence, and two-photon effects on “dressed atoms.” That work and studies of resonant interaction of laser radiation with atomic systems established Armenia as a world-class contributor to the field of laser physics and nonlinear optics. In his final years, Ter-Mikaelian revisited the field of high-energy radiation physics and had begun work on the second edition of his world-famous book.