Osaka and Optical Manipulation

Thanks to the invitation of Prof. Hajime Ishihara, I visited Osaka from 29th April to 2nd May 2023.

I arrived in Osaka on Saturday (29th Apr). On 30th Apr (Sunday) I headed out to visit the famous Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto with 2 PhD students from Ishihara’s group : Hideki Arahari and Takao Horai

Kiyomizudera Temple towards the right and beautiful landscape surrounding it.

Apart from the temple, we had a wonderful time exploring the Nishiki Market and Kamo river.

On 1st May, I visited Osaka University to officially meet Prof Ishihara, his group and other research groups in the university. We had a wonderful discussion on optical manipulation and major projects related to it especially in Japan, and undoubtedly Osaka has emerged as a major center in optical manipulation.

with Prof. Ishihara

I was delighted to see so many students and research groups interested in optical trapping/manipulation and related science and technology. I learnt about some very interesting applications of optical manipulation. Also, it was great to see such a great sense of humor in this group of researchers. It was truly amazing.

Science + Humor …..we had a great time..

I also visited labs of Prof. Ashida and Prof Ito, and got a very nice overview of their work including optical manipulation in liquid helium and photochemical reactions in an optical trap.

At 4pm, I gave my talk on “Optical Manipulation based on Opto-Thermal Gradients“. I elaborated on the role of absorption and related thermal gradient in optical manipulation. I presented some of our ongoing work on optical manipulation with structured light. The talk was attended by at least 30 to 40 people, and I was informed that students from various groups in Osaka were present (there are a few universities). The quality of questions and the follow up discussion was very good, and really enjoyed it.

Finally, the day ended with a wonderful dinner at a tofu-themed Japanese restaurant. We had wonderful discussion on history and philosophy in our countries, and was very interesting.

Dinner with Professors Ishihara, Ito, Ashida and Yokoyama

My trajectory in Japan has been Yokohama –> Tokyo –> Okinawa –> Osaka. After 16 days, one conference talk and 4 research seminar across Japan, I am now heading back from Osaka to Tokyo (and writing this blog) on Shinkansen – the bullet train. Tomorrow, I will be leaving to India.

In Japanese, the word ‘Osaka’ also means ‘a large hill’. Japan’s geography has many large hills (see a picture of Mt. Fuji I took from the moving Shinkansen), and metaphorically speaking Japanese like to scale complex landscapes of life by bringing culture with science and technology. There is a lot to learn from this approach to life.

the majestic Mt. Fuji

Osaka, optical manipulation and the perennial ascent towards knowledge. What a memorable trip this has been.

To Japan and to all the people I met here – Doumo Arigatou Gozaimasu !

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