VI Summer school organized by CEFOP-UDEC: Optics and Photonics took summer


* National and foreign researchers gathered in the Center for Optics and Photonics at the University of Concepción to address recent topics related to quantum physics. Computing and quantum communication have been the protagonists of these meetings.

For five years the Center for Optics and Photonics, CEFOP-UDEC from University of Concepción, has developed the Summer School of Optics and Photonics in January. This year 2016 has been no exception. With national and foreign researchers this meeting took place. Its main objective was the advances in quantum physics.

With extensive attendance, pre- and postgraduate students sat in on lectures and mini-courses taught by leading researchers who are developing their work in prestigious national and international laboratories. One of them was Dr. Enesto Galvao, of the Institute of Physics of the Fluminense Federal University, Brazil, who came to the summer school to present themes related to the world of quantum computing. “The aim of the course was to review the basic concepts of alternative models of quantum computation, to identify what is essential and what is secondary to quantum computing, with practical implications for experimental implementations.”

Dr. Aldo Delgado, responsible researcher of the Millennium nucleus of Advanced Optics and a CEFOP-UdeC researcher, explained that the schools organized by the Center for Optics and Photonics are very important for at least two reasons: “They allow our students to complement their training, since such events brings together researchers from related areas, which we do not offer, who have expertise that our students can approach and experience. A second reason is that summer schools favor discussions around collaborations on these new scientific themes, which plants the seeds for future collaborations.”


Interest in summer schools organized by CEFOP-UdeC also crosses borders. On this occasion, there were five young researchers who came from Argentina to participate in this meeting, specifically from the University of Buenos Aires. Laura Knoll, one of our attendees, explained that her work is focused on quantum optics, so she appreciated that the school has been “very experimental. We have had visits to the laboratories, which have been very useful. There are many similarities in what we do in both countries.”

Regarding the interest in quantum communication, and future applications, Laura said that it is the communication of the future. “Many of the developments that are being carried out now are evidence of initial beginnings, such as the experiments that have been made here in CEFOP-UdeC with fiber optics. Personally, I think that it is the path that technology will take.”

Constanza López and Maricarmen Castro came from the University of Chile. Both have new Master’s degrees and are thinking about their doctorates. “This school has given us a vision of what is possible in the area. The topics that have been covered here, although very specific, are quite diverse, and as research lines, they are attractive areas that are promising,” they said.


Dr. Felipe Barra is a young researcher at the University of Chile who a few months ago was published in an important English journal, Scientific Reports, where he shows that “to implement a specific interaction between a system – a quantum machine – and its environment, it is essential to invest energy by a third party.”

This, ultimately, is about thermodynamics, but not from the more classical point of view. “In thermodynamics the amounts with which one works with are defined according to how the energy is used, because energy works in a bit arbitrary way in heat that is energy, that we can not count, and the work that we can utilize. Thus, that is arbitrary, in the sense that it has to do with the skills that we have to operate the system,” he explained.

What Dr. Barra addressed during his presentation is that there is a formalism of quantum systems, where it is possible to identify terms: energy in the form of work and energy in the form of heat, “but for the identification to be valid, it is necessary that the system, in interaction with the environment, complies with certain properties, but this formalism is so famous, people always use these definitions even when they began to use systems for which these definitions were not appropriate. Therefore, my work deals with a kind of class of systems, for which those definitions are not appropriate and shows how to find definitions which are appropriate.”

Another researcher who participated in the summer school was Dr. Alfred U´Ren, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who led a mini-course on the study of photon pair generation and, in particular, “of the design of sources with particular characteristics, taking into account the needs of different types of applications. We focus on spectral, temporal, and spatial needs of photon pairs, where we have developed different techniques to condition the properties, in order to choose the type of properties that one wants to have according to particular research needs.”

For Dr. U´Ren, it was very fruitful talking with the researchers of CEFOP-UdeC, where they discussed the possibility of collaborations and interests in common. “With the CEFOP researchers there is much overlap and topics of common interest.”

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