Welcome to the website of the Optics and Information Emeritus Group

The research of this Emeritus Group focuses on the three-dimensional vector patterns of optical modes and on their quantized excitation. In the year 2000, when Gerd Leuchs suggested the establishment of a Research Group to the Max Planck Society he also proposed the possibility of focussing light tighter by polarization pattern engineering. The first experimental verification of this effect in 2003 was also the first paper published by the newly established Max Planck Research Group at Erlangen. The following years have seen an unprecedented worldwide increase of research into radially polarized and related light modes. The topic was of course also continued in this division, leading to projects on the transverse angular momentum of light, on localisation of particles and on non-factorable mode patterns resembling entanglement and including applications e.g. in plasmonics. The other line of research on quantized excitations goes back to Gerd Leuchs' observation of photon anti bunching in 1979 and of squeezed light in second harmonic generation in 1990 and has led to numerous on-going projects on quantum communication, including the generation of temporally tailored single photon wave packets using a whispering gallery mode resonator, the generation of bright squeezed vacuum states and the distribution of quantum keys via satellites. In one project both research lines are combined to study the efficiency of the coupling of quantum light to a single atom. The goal is two-fold: to experimentally demonstrate the reversibility of spontaneous emission and to provide photon-photon interaction at the highest bandwidth allowed by nature.

Eye in the Sky

Image of the Week of OPN

Image of the night sky in Ediger-Eller, Germany, displays a nice combination of imagination and optical diffraction at work.

Photographer MPL Founding Director Gerd Leuchs and Optica President (2024).

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Experimental physicist Gerd Leuchs elected president of renowned scientific society Optica

Gerd Leuchs, Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Senior Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, has been elected President for 2024 by the members of Optica.

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The research of this Emeritus Group focuses on the three-dimensional vector patterns of optical modes and on their quantized excitation. There are six groups working on different research-topics within the field of optics and information.


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Quantum technology simply explained: Gerd Leuchs gives the Leopoldina lecture

In front of over 200 science enthusiasts – including the Prime Minister of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and physicist Dr. Reiner Erich Haseloff – Prof.…

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Max Planck School of Photonics Autumn School in Erlangen

The Max Planck School of Photonics (MPSP) kicks off its annual Autumn School Retreat with a visit to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of…

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Founding Director Gerd Leuchs becomes Vice President of the scientific organisation Optica

The membership of Optica, formerly OSA, the leading organization for the advancement of optics and photonics worldwide, has elected Gerd Leuchs,…

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First MPL partner group in Africa

The Max Planck Society is funding the team of Professor Geoffrey Kihara Rurimo, Director of the National Institute of Optics and Lasers at the…

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Operational quantum tomography

Olivia Di Matteo, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Leuchs-Russell Auditorium, Staudtstr. 2


As quantum processors become…

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Gerd Leuchs new OSA Director-at-large

From 2020, Prof Gerd Leuchs and Prof Polina Bayvel will be members of the board of directors of OSA.

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