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Greg Gbur

Dr. Greg  Gbur

Associate Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Department of Physics and Optical Science
UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte NC 28223
United States

tel: 704-687-8137
E-mail: gjgbur@uncc.edu

Area of Expertise

Coherence theory, singular optics, cloaking and invisibility, history of science, plasmonics, atmospheric propagation

Biography

Gregory J. Gbur received a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago in 1993 and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1996 and 2001. Since 2005, he has been a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, becoming a Full Professor in 2016. His research is in classical theoretical optics, focusing on singular optics, coherence theory, plasmonics and invisibility/cloaking. He has written or coauthored over 80 journal papers to date, including three reviews for Progress in Optics. He also wrote the textbook Mathematical Methods for Optical Physics and Engineering (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011), and is currently finishing a textbook on Singular Optics, due in 2016. He has an active interest in science communication, writing the personal science blog Skulls in the Stars since 2007, and has written popular articles for a number of magazines, including La Recherche, American Scientist, and Optics and Photonics News.

Lecture Title(s)

How Not To Be Seen: The History and Science of Invisibility
Though cloaking devices and invisibility have only become popular areas of research in the past decade, there is a long history of invisibility schemes not only in science fiction but also in a number of important physics problems, stretching back over a century. In this discussion, we take a tour of the history and science of invisibility, starting from its unusual origins in atomic theory all the way to the most modern practical schemes for cloaking, illusions, and earthquake protection.

Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics
It is well-known that a falling cat will (almost) always land on its feet, regardless of how it is dropped. What is not as well-known is that this feline ability was a puzzle to the physics community for almost a century, and is related to some of the most subtle and complicated physical phenomena in nature. We take a look at the history and science of falling cats, from the 1800s to the present day.

The Science Chamber of Horrors
Can science be scary? Understanding the natural world can help dispel many of its dangers and terror, but often we also learn about new frightening phenomena. In this presentation, we share some tales from history where science and horror have clashed, discussing topics such as deadly volcanoes, ball lightning, monstrous creatures, and even "scientific" ghost stories.

Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics
Not every hugely influential scientific experiment earns a prominent place in the history books. In this presentation. we discuss four very important optical experiments that have fallen into relative obscurity, from the ray, wave, electromagnetic, and quantum eras of optical science.

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