Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Light and Sound

Optical Guitars

Explore how NSERC-funded research is using fibre optics to re-discover the guitar. Featuring the work of Raman Kashyap, (École Polytechnique de Montréal) and Hans-Peter Loock (Queen's University).


Light and Sound: Optical Guitars - Hans-Peter Loock
October 20, 2011
Explore how NSERC-funded research is using fibre optics to re-discover the guitar. Featuring the work of Hans-Peter Loock (Queen's University).

Light and Sound: Optical Guitars - Raman Kashyap
October 20, 2011
Explore how NSERC-funded research is using fibre optics to re-discover the guitar. Featuring the work of Raman Kashyap (École Polytechnique de Montréal).

Impact Stories

A Sound Discovery
A Sound Discovery
October 20, 2011
Creating a better guitar pickup.

Light Music
Light Music
October 20, 2011
Optical fibre is the backbone of today's telecommunications system and the Internet.


Hans-Peter Loock, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Queen's University

Hans-Peter Loock is a native of Germany where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Engineering Chemistry (TU Darmstadt,1991). He moved to the University of Victoria for graduate studies in Chemistry (PhD in 1996 on laser chemistry), but also spent a lot of time outdoors in pursuit of his romantic vision of Canada, which included bears and cougars but not mosquitoes. He then moved to the National Research Council Canada (NRC) in Ottawa as an NSERC Visiting Fellow in a Government Lab, and worked in the Spectroscopy Group of the NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences on the characterization of small molecules using a variety of laser spectroscopic techniques. Since 1999, he has worked at Queen’s University where he is active in a variety of research areas including:

  • laser-initiated reactions in gases and ice;
  • chemical detectors for extremely small sample volumes using fiber optics; and
  • fiber optic sensors for refractive index, fluorescence and mechanical vibration (including guitar pickups).

He is the author of about 60 articles and four issued patents, and is the recipient of national and provincial awards.

Raman Kashyap, Professor, École Polytechnique de Montréal

Raman Kashyap received his BSc from King’s College London, United Kingdom (U.K.), and his PhD in physics from Essex University, U.K. He has been active in the field of photonics research for 35 years, many spent at British Telecom Research Laboratories in Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, U.K. He researched fiber Bragg gratings since the very early days of the field; published over 400 papers in journals, books, and conferences, presented numerous invited talks at conferences and institutes around the world; authored the first book on fiber Bragg gratings (expanded 2nd. edition, 2001) and has 26 granted patents with several pending.

He holds the Canada Research Chair in Future Photonic Systems and is a professor jointly appointed in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics at École Polytechnique de Montréal and the Université de Montréal. He is the Director of the Advanced Photonics Concepts Laboratory and Fabulas—a laser micro-fabrication laboratory. His current research interests center around advanced application in photonics, including optical signal processing, poling, advanced Bragg gratings and sensors, photonic musical instruments, single frequency sources, random lasers, radio over fiber, tunable photonic crystal structures, bio-photonics, nonlinear optics, integrated optic waveguides, direct laser writing and micromachining, surface plasmons, solid-state laser cooling and devices for atom guidance.

Raman Kashyap is a Chartered Physicist; elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America, Institute of Physics, and Engineering Institute of Canada; a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers; and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.