Cover Story

What We See in the Aurora

Joseph A. Shaw

The aurora is a particularly spectacular optical phenomenon because of its great variety: the aurora's color, shape, and motion change, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, before the viewer's eye. On some long, quiet Arctic nights, the... more>>


The Lost Generation of Fiber Optics

Jeff Hecht

Some engines start the first time; others require several tries. The same thing can happen when new technologies are launched. Fiber-optic imaging was first "invented" in the late 1920s, but a generation was "lost" before the technology was reinvented in the 1950s. Imaging bundles were invented by different people at least five times during the course of those thirty years. The history of fiber optics is a sobering reminder to inventors and scientists alike that a bright idea alone may not be sufficient. more>>

The Faraday Effect

Masud Mansuripur

In this issue of Optics & Photonics News, the Engineering column has been expanded to highlight one of the major technical achievements of Michael Faraday, a founding father of the field of electromagnetics. more>>

Ultra Wide-Angle Eyepiece for a virtual Reality Display

J. Brian Caldwell

Virtual reality displays typically consist of two image sources with suitable collimating optics (eyepieces) all packaged in a head mount. To keep the package as small as possible, it is necessary to keep the collimating optics very compact while maintaining adequate image quality. The optics should also cover as wide a field as possible to help create a sense of total immersion in the virtual environment. Yet another requirement is to keep the pupil size as large as possible to accommodate eye rotation and reduce mounting tolerances. more>>