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Photonics is all about manipulating light. Modern photonics is a result of long (over half a century), steady technological innovations and improvements on passive and active optical materials as well as micro- and nano-fabrication, assisted by advent of electronics and system designs. The pace of change as of today has only become quicker. Photonics has penetrated so deeply into our daily lives such that many of us may not be aware of its presence. This is especially true when you use a computer or play with your iPad: without photonics, one can't see information displayed; one can't fetch a remote website at a lightning speed, not to mention to view a Youtube video; one can't capture and thereof share an image. Today's photonics is in fact much more than just information technologies. Since the EU has started to phase out energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs in 2009, we see LED lamps a new household commodity. These products are still under constant developments and improvements. The perpetual energy crisis and inflamed concern over global warming drive researchers to look at new, efficient and cost-effective solar cells. Can we see even slimmer and more exotic TV sets or mobile phones? Etcetera. We hope through this course one can appreciate the technological impacts of photonics on the current society, understand the physics, find out their engineering setups, and see more clearly how and by how much they can be improved in the future. Welcome.


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