We conduct applied optics research in the use of optics from the smallest scales to the largest.

Labs, Centers, and Programs: 
  • Optical Vortex Laboratory
  • Advanced Optical Fabrication, Instrumentation, and Metrology Laboratory (AOFIM Lab)
Principal Faculty: 

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We conduct research into the design, development, and application of imaging to material and biological systems on very small scales, in conjunction with the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Electrical Engineering.

Labs, Centers, and Programs: 
Principal Faculty: 

Richard Hailstone

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We conduct research in the development of novel detector and sensor technologies.

Labs, Centers, and Programs: 
Principal Faculty: 
  • Zoran Ninkov

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We conduct research aimed at deciphering ancient documents, preserving cultural heritage, and enhancing art reproduction and distribution.

Labs, Centers, and Programs: 
Principal Faculty: 
  • Roger Easton
  • David Messinger

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With our collaborators in physics, mathematics, and computer science, we conduct research dedicated to understanding the nature and evolution of the universe in which we live, from the sun-earth environment to the earliest furthest reaches of the universe.  Our research encompasses development of state-of-the-art instrumentation, observation and interpretation, theoretical physics and modelling using state-of-the art computation, and mining of large astronomical datasets.

Labs, Centers, and Programs: 
Principal Faculty: 
  • Stefi Baum
  • Joel Kastner
  • Zoran Ninkov

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I’m one of the few people at work in my group with actual education in imaging science rather than just picking things up on the job so I’ve become a resource on data / algorithms / brainstorming.
Maria Busuioceanu
Imaging Science '13

RIT graduate wins prestigious undergraduate award from the American Physical Society

Hao Shi ’13 wins national recognition for undergraduate quantum optics research

Hao Shi

Oct. 15, 2013
Susan Gawlowicz

Hao Shi, a 2013 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s physics program, was chosen as a recipient of the American Physical Society’s LeRoy Apker Award. The premier national award recognizes outstanding achievement in physics by an undergraduate student in the United States.

The American Physical Society presents the annual award worth $5,000 to two students: one from a Ph.D.-granting institution and another from a non-Ph.D. granting institution. The society will recognize Shi’s undergraduate research from RIT’s non-Ph.D. granting program, and the work of Guy Geyer Marcus, the recipient from Wesleyan University’s Ph.D. granting program, during a ceremony at the society meeting in Madison, Wis., slated for June 2­­–6, 2014. As Shi’s nominating department, RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy will also receive a certificate and $5,000 to support undergraduate research.

“I am very honored to be a recipient this year, especially considering the caliber of the finalists whom I met in Washington, D.C., during the final,” Shi says. “This award also speaks directly to the quality of education I received at RIT, where I have had direct and substantial interactions with the faculty members.”

The Apker Award recognizes Shi’s undergraduate research in theoretical quantum and optical physics, and cites his work on “Torsional Optomechanics: A Dialogue Between Spinning Photons and Twisting Oscillators.” Shi explored the quantum dynamics of optomechanical systems with his RIT research adviser and mentor, professor Mishkat Bhattacharya, and his secondary mentor, professor Edwin Hach III.

“Hao’s ability and performance are outstanding. In his research collaboration with me, he displayed formidable mathematical skills, substantial independent thinking, writing and speaking of high clarity, and a growing mastery of the literature,” Bhattacharya says. “I essentially treated him as a senior graduate student.”

Shi submitted five papers during his undergraduate career at RIT. He was the first author on papers published in the Physical Review A, Journal of Modern Optics, and the Journal of Physics B, a co-author on a paper published in the American Journal of Physics and a co-author on a paper submitted to the Journal of the Optical Society of America A. Hao is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University. The research performed by Shi and Bhattacharya was partially supported by a grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Shi is originally from Xiamen, China.

In 1978, Jean Dickey Apker established the LeRoy Apker Award in the memory of her husband and colleague. Apker was an experimental physicist at General Electric Research Laboratory known for his research on the photoelectric effect in semiconductors and the photoelectric properties of potassium iodide.

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Original Source: University News

Carlson pressed 'start' on xerography 75 years ago
Chester Carlson

Oct. 24, 2013
by Matthew Daneman

The building is still standing on 37th Street in Astoria, Queens — home today to a pizza place and car service business.

It was in a small second-story apartment there 75 years ago that Chester Carlson, who had a regular day job and also was attending law school while he moonlighted as an inventor, changed the world.

Before Oct. 22, 1938, making a copy of a document was laborious, clunky and time-consuming. It involved anything from retyping or rewriting it to using carbon paper to photography-like systems that were expensive and involved big, cumbersome equipment.

Today, making a copy involves pushing a green button on a photocopier.

The step between the two came on Oct. 22, 1938, in that Astoria apartment. There, making that first photocopy worked like this: Carlson and his lab assistant, Otto Kornei, took a sulfur-coated zinc plate and a glass microscope slide with "10-22-38 Astoria" written on it in ink. They made the room as dark as possible, and Kornei vigorously rubbed a handkerchief on the zinc plate to build up an electrostatic charge. The glass slide went atop the plate, and the two shone a bright light on it for a few seconds. They removed the slide and sprinkled dust-like lycopodium powder onto the zinc plate. They blew off the loose powder, and what remained spelled out "10-22-38 Astoria."

Carlson later said they repeated the experiment several times "to convince ourselves that it was true, then we made some permanent copies by transferring the powder images to wax paper and heating the sheets to melt the wax. Then we went out to lunch and to celebrate."

"I know that he always was surprised by the success — he never dreamed it would be as big as it was," said Hal Bogdonoff, who worked for two years in the 1950s as Carlson's lab manager in Haloid-provided space on Hollenbeck Street in Rochester's 14621 neighborhood. "He said that he was looking for a process to enable people to do copying easier than he'd suffered with when he was the patent attorney and had to hand-copy materials at the library. I don't think he ever visualized the mechanical embodiment and the success it would ultimately reach," said Bogdonoff, now a resident of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Carlson's work grew out of research he read about in the niche field of photoconductivity.

"There was no prior art for him to work off of," said Ray Brewer, company archivist for Xerox Corp., the company that Carlson essentially built with his discovery of electrophotography or, as some call it, "xerography," from the Greek words for "dry writing." Xerox — then known as Haloid, and based in Rochester — in 1947 acquired the rights to develop a xerographic machine.

"There was no 'Eureka' moment" in Carlson's work, Brewer said. "It was just hard work and research he did. He just stayed with it. He was very persistent. He went through a lot of chemical compounds, different types of powders. He had the general idea of how it was supposed to work, but he didn't know how to get there."

Today, electrophotography is a staple of modern business life. And Carlson's discovery is indirectly a major part of the fabric of the Rochester region, from the roughly 6,400 Xerox employees locally to the Chester Carlson Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology, the Carlson Science and Engineering Library at the University of Rochester and the Carlson MetroCenter YMCA in downtown Rochester.

The path between that Astoria apartment and success was a long one. Between 1939 and 1944, he pitched the technology to more than 20 companies and received more than 20 variations on "not interested." And Rochester-based Haloid's breakthrough product, the 914 copier, didn't come out until 1959.

Today, xerography is not the centerpiece of Xerox that it once was. Fifty five cents of every dollar Xerox takes in comes now from business process outsourcing services — from running call centers and computer servers to processing such transactions as insurance claims and debit-card swipes. Its traditional printing technology business — making, servicing and supplying office equipment and big digital printing presses — is struggling with declining sales.

"We actually asked ourselves that question, whether or not we wanted to put forth the effort to make a big deal (about the 75th anniversary) because we're not the same company we once were," said Renee Heiser, vice president of Xerox corporate and employee communications and chairwoman of the anniversary activities. "We made the decision to say this is an important date and it's beyond just the invention of xerography. It's about celebrating the company and our history as well as where we're going."

For the 75th anniversary, Xerox is planning a multimedia program that it will roll out over the course of the coming year "to generate excitement and pride and to reinforce our company purpose with our employees around the globe," Heiser said. "I want our people in Grenoble (France) or Chile to see a little bit of Chester in what they do."

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Original Source: Democrat and Chronicle

Imaging science student studies tiny details of vast universe
Detector Research
Student Stories

A. Sue Weisler

Creativity—in the forms of both imaging science research or quilting—comes easily for Kim Kolb, a graduate student in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Go to kimkolbquilts at www.Etsy.com to see her quilts, decorations and accessories.

Oct. 10, 2013
Susan Gawlowicz

Kim Kolb’s Ph.D. crunch culminated 
in a whirlwind trip to Florence, Italy, 
that had nothing to do with the 
Medici, DaVinci or the Arno River. 
(Well, perhaps DaVinci.)

Kolb, a graduate student in RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, arrived in time for the Scientific Detector Workshop on Oct. 4 to share findings about an imaging system that could bring higher sensitivity and clearer vision to space missions. 

Imaging arrays of Geiger-mode 
avalanche photodiodes, or GM-APDS, count each photon, or unit of light, 
carried in an “avalanche,” or a flurry of electrons. The technology was developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory and advanced in 
partnership with RIT’s Center for Detectors in the College of Science with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. 

Kolb spent the summer testing and characterizing the devices in the RIT Center for Detectors. In September, 
she and her colleagues irradiated three 
of the detectors at Massachusetts General Hospital Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center to imitate the damaging effects 
of space.

The posters Kolb presented in Florence, and the paper published in the conference proceedings, describe those results, which measure the usability of the radiation-damaged detectors.

Early this fall, she won a fellowship from NASA’s Earth and Space Science program to compare and contrast the 
new Geiger-mode photodiodes with 
two other single-photon detectors—
linear-mode avalanche photodiodes 
and electron-multiplying charge-coupled devices. But most of her original work and contributions will have to do with 
the GM-APDS, Kolb says. Her dissertation will recommend the best single 
photon counting device for specific NASA 
applications, including the detection of exoplanets—or Earth-like planets 
outside our solar system—high-contrast imaging, adaptive optics and array-based LIDAR.

“Kim’s research has the potential to dramatically transform our perception 
of the universe and also our ability to probe the human body,” says Don Figer, director of the Center for Detectors at RIT. “She has been more deeply 
embedded in the center’s research than any other graduate student we have had, and she is now in a unique position in the world to do the most meaningful development of new photon-counting detectors.”

Kolb initially joined the Center for Detectors as a senior undergraduate in the microelectronics program. After 
gaining industry experience, she returned to RIT on a fellowship from the military contractor BAE Systems to pursue a 
master’s degree from the Center for Imaging Science.

“I feel really lucky,” she says. “There’s a lot of opportunity that I’ve been given that I feel I need to live up to.”

Results from Kolb’s research on the Geiger-mode photodiodes will further 
the center’s bid to develop technology suitable for NASA exoplanet missions and to uncover the physics behind 
mysterious dark matter and the universe-accelerating force dark energy.

“At the end of the day, all I’m trying 
to do is to count photons,” Kolb says. 
“It might seem tedious and small to get 
so embroiled in tiny details and incremental improvements, but the more 
photons we can collect, the more we 
can know. It’s about exploring the 
universe. It’s about exploring our home on a bigger scale.”

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Original Source: University News

Dr. Roger Easton to be featured at Rochester Academy of Sciences Event

Nov. 4, 2013
Center for Imaging Science

Free Public Lecture - Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Imaging Technologies and the Impending New Golden Age in Manuscript Studies
Presented by: Dr. Roger Easton of RIT

Hear how erased ancient texts are being revealed through advances in imaging & computer technologies!

Nazareth College. Shults Community Center Forum.
4245 East Avenue. Pittsford.

More Information

Rochester Academy of Science