The ZEISS Symposium is held every two years, starting in 2016, following the same format. It is intended as a platform for optics experts to identify trends and research requirements in this field. Around 200 international scientists and leading industry representatives networked on different topics like "Optics in the Digital World" or "Optics in the Quantum World". The results are published in a series of additional white papers.
The ZEISS Research Award Ceremony will be held following the topical workshops at the ZEISS Symposium. The award will honor outstanding achievements in international research. Many of the 26 award winners have gone on to receive other important distinctions, and four of them have even won the Nobel Prize.
Quantum effects are in use since the 20th century and have led to market shaping innovations like semiconductor electronics and lasers. In the 21st century, quantum technology developments focus on the controlled quantum state of individual or coupled systems. While this quantum technology is still in the research stage, it offers an enormous potential and a number of initiatives worldwide have been formed to foster the technology and its commercial potential.
Some quantum technologies might prove to be of particular importance in optics and were in the focus of our symposium:
- Quantum computers are currently under fierce development and can be of considerable interest in the fields of Pattern recognition, machine learning and optimization problems.
- Quantum Simulation offers opportunities in the development of materials.
- Quantum sensors and metrology uses quantum effects to measure physical parameters with highest accuracy and allows reliable and robust measurements with direct reference to fundamental standards.
- Quantum-Enhanced Imaging uses the quantum properties of the light to improve the optical image or to achieve new imaging modalities allowing e.g. to beat both the shot noise limit and the resolution limit.
The focus of this topical meeting was the interrelation of the emerging applications and technologies. The meeting was organized in a manner to allow intensive discussions and a fruitful exchange of ideas with a single keynote session and subsequent workshop-style presentations and discussions compiling whitepapers on the research needs of the addressed topics.
The results were the basis for a panel discussion of high ranking representatives of industry and academia working out the focus fields with need for joint action.
Specialized in scope and restricted in number of participants the topical meeting organized in the heartland of Germany’s optics industry gave the opportunity to easily establish contacts and to initiate new research collaborations and business relations.
Around 200 international experts discussed trends in optics and photonics at the ZEISS Symposium 'Optics in the Digital World.' The keynote speakers were Laura Waller from the University of California, Berkeley, Ingmar Posner from Oxford University and David Bohn from Microsoft. All three outlined the requirements to be met in the future by research. These are being shaped by increasing digitization and Big Data applications and are determining trends in optical technologies. These include computer-aided image processing, processing large datasets in optics, obtaining information from data, visualization for augmented and virtual reality scenarios (AR/VR) as well as computer vision and machine learning.
The Symposium in Oberkochen networked international scientists and leading representatives from industry. Meeting in the ZEISS Forum, the Symposium participants not only presented the current state of technology, but also identified and worked out where there is need for action in strategic research fields in the coming years. As future-oriented technologies, optics and photonics shape our society, science and culture. Other new important areas include communications, sensors, illumination and medical technology. Digitization enables the manufacture of microchips with ever-smaller structures and therefore more computing power with increasingly small dimensions. Another exciting field of innovation is immersive microscopy with the newly available VR/AR scenarios for digitized Big Data visualizations using VR headsets, data gloves and other devices. The Symposium served as a blueprint for the digital world of tomorrow, actively advancing light technologies.
Optics in the digital world is going to change how we gather, process and visualize information. The transformation has just begun, driven by a strong interaction of digital and optical technologies. While optical imaging is a key technology for data generation subject to digital evaluation, it is simultaneously affected and changed by powerful image processing techniques in the field of computational optics. Cloud technology enables information extraction, visualization, pre-processing and transmission of large and many data sets from instruments and provides platforms for sharing and processing of data from space-time distributed inputs. Visualization systems for augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) reality are currently undergoing fierce development, with applications just emerging.