Cover Story

Recent Advances in Retinal Imaging With Adaptive Optics

Joseph Carroll, Daniel C. Gray, Austin Roorda and David R. Williams

Since its first application to retinal imaging nearly a decade ago, adaptive optics has helped researchers make fundamental advances in the understanding of how the human visual system works. more>>


Adaptation and Visual Experience

Michael A. Webster

Visual perception is regulated by processes of adaptation that adjust visual coding to match the scenes we see. Adaptation strongly influences subjective judgments about image quality and perceptual norms and may help determine what we notice when we look around us. more>>

Random Lasers: Development, Features and Applications

Hui Cao

The random laser differs from other types of laser in that its cavity is formed not by mirrors but by multiple scattering in a disordered gain medium. The unique characteristics of the technology have encouraged scientists to explore new applications. more>>

Breath Diagnostics Using Laser Spectroscopy

Manfred Murtz

Laser-assisted analytical instrumentation for biomedical diagnostics, in particular for the analysis of exhaled breath, is attracting increasing attention among researchers. The characteristics of laser spectroscopic techniques for breath monitoring are discussed and potential applications are outlined. more>>




High-Energy Classroom Physics

Philip Plait

Relativity and particle physics don’t exactly lend themselves to the middle school cur- riculum. So how can you bring the uni- verse of high-energy astrophysics “down to earth” for students and the public? more>>

Washington Focus

Scientists Take Center Stage in U.S. Election Reform

Tom Price

Election reform legislation made animportant stop in the House Science Committee as it wended its way through Congress after the 2000 presidential vote- counting debacle. There, Republican Vernon Ehlers and Democrat James Barcia—leaders of the technology and standards subcommittee—introduced a bill to put science at the center of the reform effort. more>>