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Quantum Electromagnetics: A New Look

Event Date: December 15, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Weng Chew
Speaker Affiliation: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Time: 10:30am
Location: MSEE 239
Contact Name: Professor Andy Weiner
Contact Phone: 765-49-45574
Contact Email:
Priority: No
School or Program: Electrical and Computer Engineering
College Calendar: Show


Quantization of the electromagnetic field (called quantum electromagnetics here) has been a fascinating and important subject since its introduction by Dirac in 1927. However, this knowledge is often inaccessible to technologists such as engineers. This subject will be discussed in its simplest terms so that it can be easily understood by a larger community of researchers. To this end, a new way of motivating Hamiltonian mechanics is presented. Furthermore, a novel way of deriving the quantum equations of motion for electromagnetics and Maxwell's equations is presented.   All of the equations of motion are derived using the generalized Lorenz gauge. This gauge reduces to the simple Lorenz gauge in vacuum, which retains the relativistic invariance of Maxwell's equations written in terms of the vector and scalar potentials. It has been found that the generalized Lorenz gauge formulation gives rise to differential equations and integral equations without low frequency breakdown. This makes it suitable for use in modern quantum optics problems, which are often studied in the long wavelength regime, and in multi-scale systems. It is well known that the vector potential manifests itself in the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Also, the vector and scalar potentials appear naturally in the Schrodinger equation so that this formulation is also easy for coupling in the Maxwell-Schrodinger system. By advocating this formulation, it is expected that more quantum effects can be easily incorporated in electromagnetic calculations.  It could also open the avenue for computational quantum electromagnetics/optics.


W.C. Chew received all his degrees from MIT. His research interests is in wave physics, specializing in fast algorithms for multiple scattering imaging and computational electromagnetics in the last 30 years.  His recent research interest is in combining quantum theory with electromagnetics, and differential geometry with computational electromagnetics.  After MIT, he joined Schlumberger-Doll Research in 1981.  In 1985, he joined U Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was then the director of the Electromagnetics Lab from 1995-2007.  During 2000-2005, he was the Founder Professor, 2005-2009 the YT Lo Chair Professor, and since 2013 the Fisher Distinguished Professor.  During 2007-2011, he was the Dean of Engineering at The University of Hong Kong.   He has co-authored three books, many lecture notes, over 400 journal papers, and over 600 conference papers.  He is a fellow of various societies, and an ISI highly cited author.   In 2008, he received the IEEE AP-S CT Tai Distinguished Educator Award, in 2013, elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2015 received the ACES Computational Electromagnetics Award.  He is selected to receive the 2017 IEEE Electromagnetics Award, and be the IEEE AP-S President Elect.