Cover Story

The authors use a new receiver model to demonstrate that, in optical communication systems, the bit-error rate depends not only on the optical signal-to-noise ratio but also on the polarization states of the signal and the noise. more>>


Plenty to Smile About in Ireland

A major government commitment to biotechnology and information technology is drawing top optics researchers to Ireland. more>>

Using Near-Infrared Light to Detect Breast Cancer

Frequency-domain optical mammography is a safe and painless technique that may one day become a valuable tool for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. more>>

Optical Performance Comparison of Argon-Ion and Solid-State Cyan Lasers

Recent advances in biotechnology have created a need for compact, efficient and reliable 488-nm cyan lasers, a trend which has hastened the development of technologies to replace air-cooled argon-ion lasers in biomedical instrumentation applications. more>>

Optical Slow Wave Structures

Nonlinear processes are enhanced in slow wave structures that consist of a cascade of directly coupled optical resonators. Although slow wave propagation has not yet been deployed at optical frequencies, new research could make slow wave structures the cornerstone of switches and other wideband devices for all-optical processing. more>>



Electronic Information

Electronic Delivery of Articles in OSA Journals

The electronic availability of journal articles means that OSA journals are now as close as your computer desktop, whether at work or in a home office. Just a few keystrokes or mouse clicks are all that is required to download an article. more>>

Global Optics

Impressions of Kyrgyzstan

OSA’s International Council partially funded an 11-day trip to the Kyrgyz Republic by Akhlesh Lakhtakia, a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. Lakhtakia toured the country, lecturing on sculptured thin films, observing the culture and sampling kabobs. more>>

Light Touch

The Phantom Laser

In most cases, laser alignment is a delicate, time-consuming process. That’s why I was really annoyed when I found that an unstable resonator system I was working on had spontaneously “decided” to become a perfectly aligned stable resonator. The power concentration at the end mirror had become so great that it had blown the coating off the multilayer stack. more>>


OFC 2004: On the Leading Edge

The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) 2004 will take place Feb. 22-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif. This marks OFC’s 29th anniversary. The conference has evolved into the key forum for the presentation of the most significant optical communications plications and research available. more>>

OSA Today

Who’s Who on OSA’s Board of Directors

OPN talks with Keren Bergman. more>>

Washington Focus

An Optical Scientist Has the President's Ear

It sounds odd coming from the mouth of a presidential advisor, but John H. Marburger III insists he’s not much interested in government.What does interest him is science—optical science, to be precise. more>>