Cover Story

The terahertz regime is rich with potential uses in a variety of sensing, imaging and communications applications. Security screening and broadband communications are among the fields in which researchers predict that THz technology will... more>>


The Optical Design of Gemstones

With the aid of advanced software, optical design is now being applied to the precision cutting and grading of high-quality jewels. more>>

Laser Beam Shaping

Laser beam shaping, the art of controlling the irradiance and phase profile of a laser's output, is an enabling technology used in industrial applications including semiconductor lithography, circuit component trimming and laser printing. more>>

Dynamic Interferometry

Interferometry is a powerful measurement tool. Efforts to reduce the sensitivity of interferometers to vibration could greatly expand the number of fields in which they are employed. more>>

Optical Code Division Multiple Access

Code division multiple access (CDMA) allows multiple users access to limited-bandwidth networks. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched an ambitious program aimed at demonstrating technology for an advanced network based on optical CDMA. more>>

Electrically Switchable Bragg Gratings

Electrically switchable Bragg grating technology offers an innovative platform for emerging optical devices in applications ranging from highly reflective flat panel displays to photonic crystals. more>>



Global Optics

Optics Program in Ghana Addresses Real-World Problems

The Office of External Activities (OEA) of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP),1 a non-profit organization based in Trieste, Italy, is sponsoring several laser centers in sub-Saharan Africa. The sponsorship is part of ICTP’s ongoing effort to help developing nations create programs for research and training in physics and mathematics. more>>

Light Touch

I Was Right, It Is Obvious!

A reasonably competent scientist can work out an obvious problem. But the solution to such a problem is not necessarily what people unschooled in the science in question would consider “obvious.” more>>

Professional Development

A Career As a Consultant: Getting the Word Out

In February’s “Professional Development” column, Jennifer D. T. Kruschwitz, an engineer specializing in optical coatings, described the pros and cons of consulting as a career choice. This month she offers advice on how to connect with potential clients. more>>

State of the States

State Budget Cuts Could Mean Science Suffers

The National Governors Association is calling this the toughest economy for states since World War II, and science programs are facing grim news in many places. more>>