News Release 

CLEO 2021 to engage global audience with all-virtual format

The premier conference on lasers and electro-optics to showcase latest innovations and interactive virtual exhibit

The Optical Society

Scientific Meeting Announcement

WASHINGTON - CLEO, the world-renowned conference for laser science and photonics applications, will be presented in an all-virtual format, 09 - 14 May 2021. This approach will accommodate speakers and attendees from across the globe with live and on-demand content. CLEO is co-sponsored by the American Physical Society, IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA).

The conference will feature over 2,000 technical presentations of invited and tutorial speakers and contributed talks, plus Special Symposia, Workshops, Applications & Technology Topical Reviews, Short Courses, special events and four distinguished plenary speakers. A virtual exhibition will include industry-focused sessions and companies showcasing market-ready technologies in all areas of lasers and photonics.

"The CLEO Conference has not only been at the forefront of excellence in optics and photonics research, but is also striving for inclusivity initiatives to encourage a more diverse audience," said Tara Fortier, one of the six CLEO General Chairs. "We recognize that the value of offering this innovative conference virtually is not just for participant safety, but also to promote greater accessibility for members of our global community. Improving broad and diverse participation is central to the vitality of our community as we continue to encourage students, early career professionals, researchers and business leaders to engage and exchange in CLEO's groundbreaking content."

The four plenary speakers, representing academia and industry, will address advancements in quantum information science and technologies, quantum computing and optical communications. The plenaries scheduled for Tuesday, 11 May and Wednesday, 12 May will be presented live with a recorded archive available later for on-demand viewing.

In his talk titled "From Quantum Foundations to Quantum Communications and Back," Nicolas Gisin, Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva, will describe the evolution of quantum information science from Bell inequalities to commercial Quantum Key Distribution and Quantum Random Number Generator chips. His talk will take place Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

Margaret Murnane, Director, STROBE, Fellow, JILA, Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA will discuss advances in high harmonic light sources in her plenary presentation titled "Harnessing Attosecond Quantum Technologies." The ability to harness and control short wavelength light has generated powerful new tools for x-ray imaging, manipulating quantum materials and designing more efficient nanoscale devices. Murnane's talk is scheduled for Wednesday, 12 May.

The plenary talk titled "Silicon Photonic Quantum Computing," by Jeremy O'Brien, CEO, PsiQuantum, USA, will highlight the company's approach to fault tolerant quantum computing. PsiQuantum is poised to develop the world's first useful quantum computer using silicon photonic chips to process quantum information with single photons. His talk will take place Tuesday, 11 May.

Many applications of optical communications beyond conventional fiber systems are emerging that harness photonic technologies, especially using photonic-integrated-circuits. Alan Eli Willner, Professor, University of Southern California, USA, will explore advances with optical fiber technologies in his talk titled "Optical Communications: Innovations and Applications Abound."

CLEO's technical presentations cover the range of emerging technologies in laser science, quantum, biophotonics, telecommunications, advanced imaging and more. Monitor the CLEO website for the latest information on conference registration. Register in advance to receive the web link to access the conference.


About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

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