Cover Story

Recent advances in infrared laser spectroscopy may enable scientists to make accurate, in situ, real-time measurements of the isotopic composition of gas species emitted from volcanoes. more>>


Continuous-Wave, Room-Temperature Quantum Cascade Lasers

Quantum cascade lasers are now capable of continuous-wave, room-temperature, single-frequency operation with large powers. This progress may be translated into many applications, including medical breath analysis and environmental monitoring. more>>

Optical Pumping in Polymer Lasers: Advances and Challenges

Semiconducting or conjugated polymers combine novel semiconducting properties with simple processing. This article explores optical pumping in polymer lasers by highlighting recent advances in ultrafast photonics and the fabrication of polymer laser resonators. more>>

Lasers in Dermatology

Almost as soon as the first laser was invented, physicians aimed its light at the skin. Today, dermatologists use many types of lasers to treat everything from disfiguring birthmarks to the wrinkles of age. more>>




Color Mixing of Light

Demonstrations of color mixing are typically done using lamps with color fi lters or light emitting diodes. We describe how to conduct a color mixing experiment with a spectroscope and the light from a cathode ray tube computer monitor. more>>

Optics Innovations

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Fringes

The technology that supports 4D Technology Corp. in Tucson began in 1995 with the study of combustion. more>>

The History of OSA

Optics: An Action Program

Last month’s column described how OSA came to make optics education an important priority. How did the Society translate that goal into reality? It started with an “action program.” more>>

Washington Focus

Government Recognizes Need to Bolster Research

Washington’s newest buzzwords are competitiveness and innovation. From the White House to both sides of Capitol Hill, they’re being offered by everyone as the antidote to widespread worries that the United States is in danger of losing its world economic and scientific leadership. more>>