September 1990

Sculpting the Light Fantastic

Susan M. Reiss

They call themselves wizards, pioneers, sculptors, inventors. Their creations transform laser light into three-dimensional sculptures. With advances in laser technology, these artists are beginning to push the limits of light and space. In the past, combining art and lasers usually meant creating holograms. Holographers have perfected the technique of producing three-dimensional objects so they appear to float in space. Discovering new holographic techniques and better emulsion processes enables artists to create unusual forms. The Art, Science, and Technology Institute in Washington, D.C. recently opened Holography World, a permanent exhibit dedicated to displaying state-of-the-art holograms.

Poor practice perpetuated in new standard?

With reference to the article on "International Optical Standards" by Robert E. Parks in the June issue of Optics and Photonics News (page 14), a problem arises when the standards being recommended contain some poor practice along with the mostly good practice. The poor practice is perpetuated automatically.

Swimming pool optics

As we enjoy the last hot days of the year, there is still time for a few good romps in a swimming pool with the kids. By now, they may be tiring of the usual water games. This is a fine time to sneak in a little optics education; they won't even realize they're learning! Rather than doing experiments, why not see what the kids can observe around a pool, in terms of optics. (Besides, as a friend commented, with swim suits looking the way they do these days, oberservations around the pool could be pretty interesting.)


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