CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this week with a symposium featuring exhibits, tours, and several speakers from around the world, including two physicists that have won the Nobel Prize.  The college was founded in 1987 as The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL).

The two-day symposium will be opened at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center by Tony Waldrop, UCF’s provost and executive vice president, and Bahaa Saleh, dean of the college and director of CREOL.

Thursday’s plenary talk will be presented at 9:30 a.m. by John Hall, the 2005 Nobel Prize winner in Physics. He will discuss lasers and a proposed space experiment to test Albert Einstein’s assumptions of physics. Hall currently works with JILA (formerly known as the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics) operated by the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Nicolaas Bloembergen, the recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics, will present Friday’s plenary talk at 9 a.m. Bloembergen, a member of the University of Arizona faculty, will talk about the origin of nonlinear optics.

A third Nobel Prize winner, Charles Townes, inventor of the laser and namesake of the college’s Townes Laser Institute, also will be in attendance. CREOL’s Martin Richardson, director of the institute, will discuss future projects of the research facility at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Dean Saleh will talk about the future of optics and photonics at 8:30 a.m. Friday, and additional presentations will be made during both days by speakers from Stanford, Cornell, Southampton, UCF and other universities.

For a complete schedule of sessions, tours, presentations and venues, click here.