Cover Story

Seeing the Light in Spain

Kim Douglass

The Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) in Barcelona, Spain, is two years old. Already it has drawn a team of 40 faculty, post-docs and doctoral students. By 2007, organizers hope to more than triple the number. Here’s how a group of... more>>

Features

Nanocomputing With Nanoclusters

Tae-Hee Lee and Robert M. Dickson

Metallic nanoclusters ranging from 1 nanometer to approximately 100 nanometers in size exhibit size tunable electrical and optical properties that may offer ways to make computers run faster. In particular, the combination of elevated stability, robustness and ease of fabrication makes the concept of nanocomputing based on electroluminescent silver nanoclusters an appealing possibility. more>>


A Blue Sky History

Pedro Lilienfeld

Although ideas about the origins of the sky’s blue color can be traced back to Greek antiquity, the first concerted effort to reach a plausible explanation is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The Italian master was followed by Newton, and later by Bouguer and de Saussure. Tyndall wrestled with the problem around 1869, but the definitive explanation was proposed only in 1899, by Lord Rayleigh. more>>


Scatterings

Pulses

Education

A Tutorial on Light and Optics For Grade School Teachers

Rudolph P. Guzik

At the request of the Illinois Science Teachers Association, the education committee of the Chicago Optical Group has been developing a tutorial on light and optics for elementary school teachers. In this article, the executive director of the Optical Group describes the challenges encountered as the tutorial took shape. more>>


Light Touch

A House of Cards

Tim Miller

What lessons can be learned from participation in experiments that ultimately fail? In this installment of “Light Touch,” Tim Miller describes the experience he gained from involvement in the design of a satellite-based spectrometer that met with an untimely end. more>>

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