25th Congress of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) • 16th International Conference on Optics Within Life Sciences (OWLS)
Gerard Mourou

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Gérard MourouVita
Professor at the École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France and A. D. Moore Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, USA

Passion Extreme Light and Applications to the Greatest Benefit of Human Kind

Extreme-light laser is a universal source providing a vast range of high energy radiations and particles along with the highest field, highest pressure, temperature and acceleration. It offers the possibility to shed light on some of the remaining unanswered questions in fundamental physics like the genesis of cosmic rays with energies in excess of 1020eV or the loss of information in black-holes. Using wake-field acceleration some of these fundamental questions could be studied in the laboratory. In addition extreme-light makes possible the study of the structure of vacuum and particle production in "empty" spacewhichis one of the field’s ultimate goal, reaching into the fundamental QED and possibly QCD regimes.

Looking beyond today’s intensity horizon, we will introduce a new concept that could make possible the generation of attosecond-zeptosecond high energy coherent pulse, de facto in x-ray domain, opening at the Schwinger level, the zettawatt, and PeVregime; the next chapter of laser-matter interaction.



Stefan Hell

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Stefan W. HellVita
Director, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
Professor at University of Göttingen and Heidelberg University

Optical microscopy: the resolution revolution

Throughout the 20th century it was widely accepted that a light microscope relying on conventional optical lenses cannot tell apart details that are much finer than about half the wavelength of light, or 200-400 nanometers, due to diffraction. However, in the 1990s, the viability to overcome the diffraction barrier was realized and microscopy concepts defined that can resolve fluorescent features down to molecular dimensions. In this short talk, I will discuss the simple yet powerful principles that allow neutralizing the limiting role of diffraction1,2. In a nutshell, feature molecules residing closer than the diffraction barrier are transferred to different (quantum) states, usually a bright fluorescent state and a dark state, so that they become discernible for a brief period of detection. Thus, the resolution-limiting role of diffraction is overcome, and the interior of transparent samples, such as living cells and tissues, can be imaged at the nanoscale.

1. Hell, S.W. Far-Field Optical Nanoscopy. Science 316, 1153-1158 (2007).
2. Hell, S.W. Microscopy and its focal switch. Nature Methods 6, 24-32 (2009).


Karsten Danzmann

Prof. Dr. Karsten DanzmannVita
Director, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) and Director, Institute for Gravitational Physics, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Listening to the sounds of the dark universe!

For thousands of years we have been looking at the universe with our eyes. But most of the universe is dark and will never be observable with electromagnetic waves. Since September 14th , 2015, everything is different:

Gravitational waves were discovered! We have obtained a new sense and finally we can listen to the universe. The first sounds that we heard were from unexpectedly heavy Black Holes. By now, gravitational wave astronomy has become routine. Laser interferometers on the earth are operating at the quantum limit and soon we will be able to listen to low frequencies with detectors in space. With gravitational wave detectors we are listening to the dark side of the universe. And some day we will hear the Big Bang.



Gerard Mourou

Prof. Dr. Reinhard GenzelVita
Director, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), Garching
Professor of the Graduate School, Physics and Astronomy Departments, University of California, Berkeley, USA

A 40-Year Journey

More than one hundred years ago, Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity (GR). One year later, Karl Schwarzschild solved the GR equations for a non-rotating, spherical mass distribution; if this mass is sufficiently compact, even light cannot escape from within the so-called event horizon, and there is a mass singularity at the center. The theoretical concept of a 'black hole' was born, and was refined in the next decades by work of Penrose, Wheeler, Kerr, Hawking and many others. First indirect evidence for the existence of such black holes in our Universe came from observations of compact X-ray binaries and distant luminous quasars. I will discuss the forty year journey, which my colleagues and I have been undertaking to study the mass distribution in the Center of our Milky Way from ever more precise, long term studies of the motions of gas and stars as test particles of the space time. These studies show the existence of a four million solar mass object, which must be a single massive black hole, beyond any reasonable doubt.




Michal Lipson

Prof. Dr. Michal LipsonVita
Eugene Higgins Professor, Columbia University / President-Elect of OPTICA

The Revolution of Silicon Photonics

We are now experiencing a revolution in optical technologies, where one can print and control massive optical circuits on a microelectronic chip. This revolution is enabling a whole range of applications that are in need for scalable optical technologies, and it is opening the door to areas that only a decade ago were unimaginable.



Online Program

Important Dates

24 April 2022
Extended Deadline for papers

May 2022
Abstract acceptance / grants application

June 2022
Program issue

17 July 2022
Deadline for post-deadline paper submission

28 August 2022
2nd Early bird registration deadline

5 - 9 September 2022
ICO-25 - OWLS-16


Important Information

A Special Issue of the Journal of the European Optical Society – Rapid Publications (JEOS:RP) with papers from the congress ICO-25-OWLS-16-Dresden-Germany-2022 is planned. The general chair of the congress, Prof Juergen Czarske is associate editor of the JEOS:RP: jeos.edpsciences.org


Freiberger Straße 33, 01067 Dresden, Germany

Scientific Partner

TU Dresden
01069 Dresden, Germany