Column: My Story as a New Professor
Column: My Story as a New Professor
  • Assistant Professor Park Kyoung-Duck (PHYS)
  • 승인 2022.11.13 01:06
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▲Professor Park Kyoung-Duck and his lab members
▲Professor Park Kyoung-Duck and his lab members

 Introducing my Research
 Optics and condensed matter physics have been traditionally separated. My research is not confined to these two fields but is a new research field that has not existed before: combining both of them with nano-science technology. Specifically, it is to develop nano-scale spectral imaging technology that overcomes existing limitations. Using them, it is also to discover, analyze and control nano-optical properties newly emerging on a nano-scale when various matters including single-molecules, single-quantum light sources, and low-dimensional quantum matters contact with light. The detailed works of my research are: i) pioneering new areas of nano-imaging and nano spectroscopy measurement, ii) investigating various nano-optical phenomena, a difficult problem in academia, by developing technologies, iii) applying optical measurement technology to wide fields such as condensed matter physics, chemistry, and biology, iv) going beyond 'nano-optical measurement and analysis', real-time measuring and opening up a new research field by proposing the subject of 'active control of the interaction between light and matter in a nano-scale'. The name of my lab is 'Super-resolution imaging & spectroscopy', and eight graduate students and two undergraduate students are studying the physical problems mentioned above.

 Motivation for Choosing this Area
 I entered the lab of Professor Lee Seung-gol of the Department of the Information and Communication Engineering at Inha university during my sophomore winter break. As I started to study the measurement of the properties of the various photonic integrated circuit's optical waveguides, I became interested in the research and development of optical measuring equipment. I needed to enter a lab due to alternative military service rather than start with an interest in a specific research subject, so I took a lecture on electromagnetism and joined the lab of my esteemed professor, which naturally made me select this research field. I realized later on that a trivial decision at that time became a very significant decision, the starting point that would determine my life.

 Nature of Optical Experiment
 An optical experiment utilizes various light sources including a laser. It also needs a process to set up components for controlling light, a light detector for measurement, and so forth to conduct the desired experiment. It is enjoyable because this process is like assembling Lego blocks. In my lab, we built a nano-optical microscope that enables us to observe microscopic things that are imperceptible to general optical microscopes. It is very interesting that there are many chances to observe new physical phenomena that have not been discovered by other researchers using the nano-optical microscope that was made in my lab for the first time in the world.

 Research Experience
 Speaking as an experimental scientist, it is enlightening that "An experiment is conducted by the brain, not the body". Generally, it is thought that theoretical research needs to use the brain a lot and experimental one needs to use the body a lot, but in fact, it is not true. Most theoretical research labs in Korea do computational research, and there is a characteristic that they can obtain expected results by utilizing and combining theories that were already established or using computers. On the other hand, in experimental research, if we do not use our brains in-depth, it is hard to gain successful results because we encounter diverse factors occurring on the experiment site, besides theories and methodologies that have already been revealed. Therefore, using the brain is much more important than using the body. I have had many impressive experiences while conducting experimental research, but it was most impressive overall to have this realization.

 Thoughts and Adversity as a New Professor 
 The things that I am doing well as a new professor are giving students self-motivation and guiding them to lead research themselves. This is possible because I trust the abilities and potential of students. However, I should give instructions in many parts because students do not have enough research experience, and teaching that rigor of research is critical. It requires me to invest a lot of time in individual students, but I have difficulty in the lack of time I realistically spend with my students due to other various duties as a professor. I usually have a talk about the right way to research by using group meetings where all students gather to overcome these problems.

 Advice for Postechians
 You might be more stressed or lose your way if you study or research roughly. I hope you do not worry about results, but find good colleagues and dive into the sea of studies or research alone or with your fellows. Discard everything and be passionate about what you want to accomplish, and then you can become a genuinely talented person, an influential person in society, and a leader of great and small groups. The campus is calm, but society is the battlefield without gunshots.

▲Professor Park Kyoung-Duck and his lab members
▲Assistant Professor Park Kyoung-Duck (PHYS)