Terahertz experts gather in Hong Kong

9 September 2015

In August 2015, physicists, chemists and electronic engineers gathered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the 40th International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves.

Funded in part by a grant from the Croucher Foundation, the meeting is the oldest and largest continuous forum devoted to the science and technology of long-wavelength radiation. Presentation topics ranged from basic physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and materials science to problems in high frequency circuits and systems, communications, antennas and optics, imaging and spectroscopy, as well as potential applications for the technological advancements.

Following a record number of 750 abstract submissions, over 600 people from academia and industry from 37 countries participated in this year’s conference – the largest IRMMW-THz conference in Asia yet. The technical sessions were held over five days, with two plenary lectures each day. The plenary speakers were selected through the technical program committee, chaired by Prof Xi-Cheng Zhang of Rochester University.

Dr Emma MacPherson, assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and conference chair reviewed the presentations: “of particular note were speakers Prof Ron Shen, from Berkeley University of California, well known for his contributions to non-linear optics, and Professor Philippe Goy, this year’s Button Prize winner for his outstanding contributions to terahertz instrumentation and its uses in the understanding of fundamental concepts in physics. Additionally, there were three sessions each day during which five different topic areas were presented in parallel. Indeed, there were slots for a total of 335 talks to be presented as well as a further 300 posters.”

Commenting on the programme, MacPherson said: "As well as the technical sessions, there were social events to encourage collaborations and brainstorming. These included a welcome reception with a lion dance and a dinner, during which there was a face changing performance. It was great to see participants enjoying the culture and doing science simultaneously... there is a tradition of incorporating something representative of the hosting city and a terahertz pulse into a logo for the conference. Since the dragon is a well-known and auspicious creature in China, we felt this would be an appropriate feature for our 2015 logo."

This is the first time that the meeting has been held in Hong Kong.

For more information on the conference, please click here.

To find out more about Croucher Foundation funding, please click here.