Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

Showing 11 results for Fundamentals + Photonics RSS
The process of detecting light—whether with our eyes, cameras or other devices—is at the heart of a wide range of civilian and military applications, including light or laser detection and ranging (LIDAR or LADAR), photography, astronomy, quantum information processing, medical imaging, microscopy and communications. But even the most advanced detectors of photons—the massless, ghostlike packets of energy that are the fundamental units of light—are imperfect, limiting their effectiveness. Scientists suspect that the performance of light-based applications could improve by orders of magnitude if they could get beyond conventional photon detector designs—perhaps even to the point of being able to identify each and every photon relevant to a given application.
A unique class of engineered light-manipulating materials, known as metamaterials or structured materials, makes use of patterns of strongly interacting wavelength or sub-wavelength-sized elements. Because of these intricate internal and surface structures, new properties have emerged, some exhibiting behavior that has resulted in rewriting long-understood “laws” for how light and other electromagnetic (EM) waves interact with materials. These materials have been opening up new options for controlling EM waves in many technological arenas, among them imaging, thermal control, and frequency conversion. Specific applications include night-vision, heat reflection and management in aircraft engines, and temperature regulation of electronics on satellites in the hot-and-cold extremes of space.
November 28, 2017,
DARPA's Defense Sciences Office is sponsoring a Proposers Day webcast to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Nascent Light-Matter Interactions (NLM) program. The Proposers Day will be held via prerecorded webcast on November 28, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Advance registration is required for viewing the webcast.
The goal of All Together Now (ATN) is to develop theoretical protocols and experimental techniques that enable new collective atom regimes, leading to sensitivities approaching the ultimate fundamental limits of performance.
The photon is a fundamental carrier of information, possessing numerous information carrying degrees of freedom including frequency, phase, arrival time, polarization, orbital angular momentum, linear momentum, entanglement, etc. Because optical photons are approximately a million times more costly (i.e., energetic) than their radio frequency counterparts, photons are a valuable resource for many military applications ranging from communications systems to visible and infrared sensing platforms.