April 2005

Axicon—the Most Important Optical Element

Zbigniew Jaroszewicz, Anna Burvall and Ari T. Friberg

Last year, the optics community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formal naming of the axicon. Long before that, however, axicons generated vivid discussions and disagreements, often of fundamental importance to our understanding of optics.


Education: The Foundation of a Nation—Creating the National Military Academy of Afghanistan

OSA fellow and U.S. Army Colonel Barry Shoop describes his recent experience helping to establish the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, which is designed to build expertise in engineering and train officers to support and defend the country’s new constitution.

Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment: Spectroscopy From Orbit

The goal of this satellite mission is to improve understanding of the chemical and dynamical processes that control ozone distribution in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

Organic Optoelectronics: Materials and Devices for Photonic Applications, Part II

In the February OPN, we summarized the progress that has been made in the area of organics in optical communications. A second article in this issue will focus on the state-of-the-art in organic solar cells, organic light emitting diode technology for flexible displays and organic optical data storage.

Optical Fiber Fabric Displays

Imagine donning a jacket that can play a video or display various images that have been downloaded from the Internet. A group of French researchers have developed a new approach to flexible textile display with potential applications that extend far beyond fashion.

 

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