Sunday Public Talks

Sunday, September 18, 2011
ECOC presents for the first tim  the Sunday Public Talks. 
Room A

They are free of charge. If you are not yet registered for the ECOC conference, please register here:

Form Public Talks only



14:30 - 17:30 Jean-Daniel Colladon Symposium "Milestones in Light Guiding"

Colladon-web-(2).jpg This symposium is held in honor of Jean-Daniel Colladon (1802-1890) from Geneva, the inventor of lightguiding. In fact, Colladon demonstrated for the first time in 1841 the guiding of light in a liquid jet of water at the Academy of Science, now the University of Geneva.

The Colladon experiment, described 1842 in the French Academy of Sciences' journal “Comptes rendus”, was afterwards reproduced many time and applied in the illumination of water fountains, for example in the Paris World Exposition in 1889.

A working demonstration model of the “Colladon fountain” will be demonstrated during the conference in the entrance hall at the Palexpo conference centre in Geneva.

The Talks


Daniel Colladon and the Origin of Light Guiding

Jeff Hecht, Contributing Editor, Laser Focus World, USA

Daniel Colladon devised light guiding in 1841 as a way to illuminate water jets in lectures at the University of Geneva. The effect was so striking it was used on stage by the Paris Opera, and later adapted for the luminous fountains of the 1889 Paris exposition. I will describe Col¬ladon's idea, his demonstrations, and the 19th century roots of fiber optics.

Slides in PDF Style   download here 

Through a Glass Brightly: Making the First Low-Loss Optical Fibers

Donald B. Keck, former Vice President, Research Director for Corning Inc., USA

Forty years ago a Corning Incorporated team invented the first low-loss optical fiber usable for telecommunications. This critical component launched a global effort that resulted in the In¬formation Age in which we live. Some of the stories of that invention will be shared together with other thoughts concerning this technological revolution.


No Network Without Optical Amplifiers

David N. Payne, Director Optoelectronics Research Centre University of Southampton, UK

In the early 1980's work began on the missing component - the all optical amplifier. Semicon¬ductor, fibre Raman or crystal? Eventually, a complete newcomer, the erbium-doped fibre amplifier won hands down, but not without a fight.


Photonic Crystal Fibres: New Ways to Guide Light

Philip Russell, Director at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Germany

Photonic crystal fibre avoids the restrictions of total internal reflection, allowing light to be guided with low loss in a gas-filled hollow core. This has wide-reaching consequences in, e.g., gas-based nonlinear optics and sensing.

Sponserd by:
QP-logo-WEB-(1).jpg UNIGE70_Logo-WEB.jpg Musee-mhs-WEB-(1).jpg hepia-Logo-WEB-(2).jpg EPFL-Logo-WEB-(2).jpg

18:00 - 19:00  Science of secrecy

Simon Singh, Science Writer, United Kingdom
simon-singh-web-(3).jpg Dr. Simon Singh completed a PhD in particle physics at CERN before becoming a science writer. His books include The Code Book, Fermat’s Last Theorem and Big Bang. His most recent book is Trick or Treatment? (Alternative Medicine on Trial), co-authored with Edzard Ernst.

In “The Code Book”, Simon Singh included ten encrypted messages with a prize of £10,000 for the first person to decipher them. He will also use the Challenge to explore the history of cryptography. The talk will include a demonstration of a genuine Second World War Enigma machine.


Sponsord by