The “NOP2023” conf for a technological future between photonics and international collaboration


Organized by the researcher Cristian Ciracì of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia  in Lecce, it will bring together minds from all over the world. Among the speakers also Prof. Narang, Science Envoy of the U.S. Department of State

A scientific conference to foster international collaboration on the most advanced frontiers of the physics of light, is taking place in Lecce  September 6-8, organized by the IIT- Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) of Lecce. Among the speakers from all over the world, also Prof. Junsuk Rho of the University of South Korea, a leading expert on nanophotonics fabrication and experiments, and Professor Prineha Narang of the University of California and Science Envoy of the U.S. Department of State. The objective of the conference is to consolidate a network of scientists active all over the world for the development of new photonic technologies to be applied in various fields, including artificial intelligence.

The “NOP2023” conference is the first international workshop dedicated to non-linear optics and plasmonics, two sectors of contemporary physics that will define the evolution of current technologies, such as those related to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The growing use of AI has increased the need for high-speed and energy-efficient computing systems that surpass current systems. Photonics, ie the study of the propagation of light also as an information carrier, thanks to its intrinsic advantages in terms of speed and efficiency compared to electronics, seems to be the most promising solution.

“This international workshop originated from the need to bring together the brightest minds in the photonics sector and develop those collaborations that are essential to solve critical issues and obtain the best results. The goal is to exchange skills and bring together different disciplines, from quantum theoretical studies to the creation of real devices,” says Cristian Ciracì, researcher in charge of the Computational Nanoplasmonics group at IIT in Lecce and organizer of the conference.

The conference originated as part of a project that Ciracì is carrying out with South Korea, within the bilateral executive program of scientific and technological cooperation between Italy and South Korea supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The project includes a specific collaboration plan between Junsuk Rho of the University of Korea, an expert in nanophotonics fabrication and experiments, and Ciracì, an expert in theory and simulations, for the creation of integrated optical devices.

The international nature of the “NOP2023” workshop goes beyond the Italy-South Korea project as shown by the presence of numerous speakers from China, Singapore, Canada, Australia, the United States and various European countries, and by the participation of Professor Prineha Narang, U.S. State Department Science Envoy.

Prineha Narang is a Professor and Howard Reiss Chair in Physical Sciences at UCLA where she leads an interdisciplinary group in quantum science and technology. Prior to moving to UCLA, she was an Assistant Professor of Computational Materials Science at Harvard University. Before starting on the Harvard faculty, Dr. Narang was an Environmental Fellow at Harvard, and worked as a research scholar in condensed matter theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Narang’s work has been recognized by many honors, including APS’ Maria Goeppert Mayer Award and the Mildred Dresselhaus Prize. In 2023 she was appointed a U.S. Science Envoy by the State Department, whose goal is to forge connections and identify opportunities for sustained international cooperation and for supporting innovation.