Changing Perceptions in Optics: What Can a Thin Engineered Surface Do?
Over the last two centuries, our understanding of light has undergone multiple paradigm changes from confirmation of the wave nature of light to the formation of electromagnetic and quantum light theories. Nevertheless, the general perception of "optics", i.e., how we manage the flow of light, has remained almost the same for millennia. Even today, "optics" reminds us of carefully shaped and polished pieces of various types of glasses and crystals lumped into systems. In the past decade, advances in nanotechnology have presented a new route to optics using nanopatterned structures that enable precise control of optical wavefronts with subwavelength resolution. In this talk, I will present some of our work on how thin layers of engineered materials, called metasurfaces, can dramatically alter what we perceive of optics, and how this can lead to a paradigm shift in the design and fabrication of optical elements and systems.