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What all can light particles- photons, do in our daily lives? Can you imagine about such light that can store information and help to transfer these information through very thin glass fibers that can carry the equal of 300,000,000 simultaneous telephone calls? All these come under Photonics, the technology of light energy. Photonics is considered to be the next generation technology. Just as electronics is the technology of the 20th century, Photonics could be the technology of the 21st century. Even though the Photonic era began in the 1960's with the invention of laser, it made an impact on telecommunication only in the late 70's. Photonics is a hi-tech subject that evolved as a result of the fusion of optical technology with electronics. It is the use of light to obtain, convey or process information. It is the science of mastering the techniques involved in the emission, detection, transmission and modulation of light. This sub-discipline of physics deals with the study of photons, the elementary particle of light. It also deals with the instruments required such as laser guns, optical fibers, optometric instruments etc. In Photonic system, information signals are conveyed as pulses of light and these optical signals are transmitted through optical fibres. Optical fibres are strands of special glass around 10 micron (100µm) in diameter (i.e about the thickness of a human hair) which can carry thousands of times more information than electrical wires. Photonic devices that are used to convert electrical signals into optical signal and back again where necessary, can be made up from a variety of materials including semi conductors and even optical fibres. These devices are also used to manipulate and process optical signals directly, without the need for conversion. In recent years, Photonics has become a fundamental technology in worldwide telecommunication, computing, security and many other applications because of its advantage to work more effectively and with much greater speed. The growing numbers of practical applications of Photonics make it an important field both for research and commercial development. The technology of Photonics is used for imaging, health care and medicine, defense, optics and electronics. It has a strong reputation of solving research problems through advanced spectroscopy, lasers, microscopy, and fiber optic imaging. Photonics is also put to use in biotechnology, microbiology, medicinal sciences, surgery and life sciences. It is even applicable for industrial manufacturing, entertainment, metrology which is the science of measurement that deals with weights and measures; and Photonic computing. Photonic computing uses photons of laser light to perform the logic that makes computing work. Apart from these industries, the technology has steadily penetrated into military applications. Those who have a keen interest in science and its intricacies and are curious to solve questions related to science can pursue Photonics as a career. There is a global demand for skilled people with Photonics training. A Photonics specialist can work as Engineers, technicians, scientists in Photonic companies and as professional officers in universities and Government offices. The nature of work differs with the post held. The scientist has to do more research work on Photonics, while the engineers design Photonic equipments. The Photonics technician helps the engineers in designing and manufacturing. ________________________________________ Eligibility There are many institutions in India as well as abroad that offer courses in Photonics in order to create well-educated photonic specialists. Those who have passed plus two in the science stream (Physics, Chemistry and Maths) with a minimum mark of 50% are eligible for graduation courses in Photonics and Optoelectronics. A candidate having a Bachelors degree in Physics and Mathematics, Applied Physics or Electronics can pursue M.Sc in Photonics or Optoelectronics. One can obtain MTech, MPhil, and PhD in the field of Photonics and the eligibility is a Masters degree in Physics or Photonics. There are some diploma courses also that would help one to become a Photonics technician. Two-year technician programme help one to become a photonics technician. Apart from the educational qualifications, some personal skills are required in order to be an expert in Photonics. Personal skill: Those who wish to pursue a career in Photonics must have a fascination for science and related topics. They should have an eye for detail and a curiosity for solving science-centered questions. One should be good in physics and mathematics. Creativity is also needed in this field, as they have to design equipments and communicating skill, to be a part of the manufacturing team.



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