New Professors Lecture Program - Fall 2016

Quantum Cryptography with Structured Photons

By Ebrahim Karimi

Photo of Ebrahim Karimi

Abstract: Structured light, possessing a complex amplitude, phase and polarisation distribution, invokes interesting fundamental properties that enable novel applications in classical and quantum optical experiments. They are highly advantageous to encode more information per single carrier as physical realizations of high-dimensional states. In the quantum regime, structured photons are robust against imperfections during generation, detection and transmission. Therefore, they may provide the technical infrastructure for the generation of ultra-secure and super-dense quantum communications.

In my speech, I will present the recent progress, challenges and development in performing high-dimensional quantum key distribution, quantum hacking as well as our recent achievements in simulating quantum computations with structured photons.

Photo of an example of structured quantum waves.

An example of structured quantum waves. Probability density distribution of finding photon is shown in avocado colour, while red ellipses indicate the polarisation distribution.

Biography: Professor Ebrahim Karimi received his diploma in Mathematics and Physics from Eghbal Lahori (Saghez, Kurdistan (Iran)) in 1997. He fell in love with physics and mathematics as a high school student while attending several national physics conferences. He received a BSc in Physics with emphasis in mathematics from Kerman University in 2001. He joined the mathematical physics group in IASBS for graduate studies and was ranked 18th among all national incoming students. He later changed his research focus and graduated under the supervision of Prof. Arashmid Nahal “Laser Cooling and Trapping of Natural Atoms” in 2002; Prof. Yousuf Sobouti was his graduate advisor. In 2009, he received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Naples “Federico II”, under supervision of Prof. Lorenzo Marrucci and Prof. Enrico Santamato. He received the best Ph.D. thesis award for his thesis titled “Light orbital angular momentum and its application on the classical and quantum information". After his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral fellow under Phorbitech FET European project (led by Prof. Lorenzo Marrucci), and in Prof. Robert Boyd’s Quantum Optics group. Prof. Ebrahim Karimi currently holds the Canada Research Chair in the field of Structured Light, and is the group leader of Structural Quantum Optics (SQO) at the University of Ottawa. He is also an adjunct professor at IASBS, and is an Associate Editor of Optics Express (Optical Society of America). Applications of structured quantum waves (light and particles) in modern science are the main subject of his research team.

Invading Your Privacy One Biomolecule at a Time

By Adam J. Shuhendler

Photo of Adam J. Shuhendler

Abstract: Life at the molecular level is by no means static. Instead, it is the sum of coordinated, and continuously adaptive, sub-cellular events driven by biomolecules. The over- or under-activity of these ‘biomolecular machines’ can results in disease or injury (e.g. oxidative stress), or in an intended response to applied therapy (e.g. DNA damage or tumor cell death). These active biomolecules rarely work in isolation, but are rather parts of integral networks within which any single sub-cellular target is only transiently active or transiently present, often rapidly giving way to its successor in the signaling chain. This transiency often makes these biomolecules elusive to analysis by traditional methods in the context of the living organism. However, measuring the activity of these molecules while overcoming the difficulty of target transiency can open up new possibilities for improved understanding of these pathways in living systems, and for improved (personalized) medicine. In the Molecular Medicine Lab, we apply molecular imaging, the assessment of a target biomolecular machine non-invasively and longitudinally in living subjects, in order to interrogate these highly transient sub-cellular functions of fundamental importance. The goal of the Molecular Medicine Lab is to provide access to information about the dysregulation of molecular activity that underlies disease through non-invasive, quantitative, and clinically accessible imaging techniques.

Biography: Adam completed his undergraduate training at the University of Toronto, studying Forensic Sciences and Toxicology. He continued to a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Toronto, studying biochemical toxicology of drug-drug interactions to enhance cancer chemotherapy. This work fed into his Doctorate in the same department, developing nanoparticle dosage forms for drug delivery to multidrug resistant breast cancer. In efforts to track the fate of his nanoparticles, he developed an interest in imaging that led him to a postdoc at Stanford University in the Molecular Imaging Program. There, Adam developed skills in enzyme and bioanalyte-sensitive molecular imaging agent design and implementation.  In July 2015, Adam took up an assistant professorship in the Dept of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Ottawa.

Mineral chemistry of magmatic ore deposits

By Sarah Dare

Photo of Sarah Dare

Abstract: With the growing population on our Planet and the increasing development of new technologies, the demand for mineral resources, such as Ni, Cu, Pt, Ti, V, P and Rare Earth Elements (REE), is greater than ever. These types of mineral resources occur in magmatic ore deposits formed of rocks that are 1) typically enriched in Fe-sulfide and/or Fe-oxide minerals, termed here ore-forming minerals and 2) associated with igneous intrusions that represent crystallized magma chambers under volcanoes. The study of these ore-forming minerals, in particular their trace element chemistry, is important to help us a) better understand the geological processes (i.e., petrogenesis) involved in forming these ore deposits, b) find new deposits (exploration) and c) to identify which minerals to extract the metals from. My research interests and expertise are in the acquisition and interpretation of trace elements in ore-forming minerals, analysed in-situ by laser ablation ICP-MS. This is a new but rapidly advancing field of research. For example, the trace element composition of an Fe-oxide mineral, such as magnetite, varies according to the type of ore deposit that it formed in. Magnetite is a very resistant mineral and is commonly found as detrital grains in stream and glacial sediments. The chemical ‘fingerprint’ of these detrital magnetite grains allows us to identify the type of rock and ore deposit that the magnetite originated from. This is currently being developed as an exploration tool to help find new mineral deposits in Canada.

Biography: Dr. Sarah Dare is originally from England where she studied Geology as an Undergraduate at Cambridge University and then carried out a Ph.D at Cardiff University in Wales in collaboration with the British Geological Survey. She moved to Canada in 2008 for a post-doc with Prof. Sarah-Jane Barnes, who holds the Canada Research Chair in magmatic ore deposits at l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. There she worked on a number of projects, collaborating with researchers from Laval University, several mining companies and the Geological Survey of Canada. In 2014 she started as Assistant Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences here in UOttawa. This year she was awarded the W.H. Gross Award by the Mineral Deposit Division of the Geological Association of Canada for her significant contribution to the field of Economic Geology by an early career scientist.

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