Cover Story

Satisfying the world’s growing demand for energy is an urgent societal challenge. Organic photovoltaics holds promise as a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution. more>>


Optical Lithography in the Extreme UV

As the number of transistors on a chip continues to increase, the industry’s shrinking feature size is outstripping even the best efforts of optical engineers. Extreme ultraviolet lithography can lead to a more-than-tenfold decrease in wavelength, translating to a startling leap in performance. more>>

Using Lidar to Measure the Ozone Layer: South American scientists are using lidar technology to measure stratospheric ozone, water vapor and aerosols in Argentine Patagonia.

South American scientists are using lidar technology to measure stratospheric ozone, water vapor and aerosols in Argentine Patagonia. Their work is helping to monitor global climate change, and has led to the development of a method for alerting local populations to the presence of the ozone hole. more>>


Colorful applications for polymer opal films; lasers sort crops from weeds; portable sky-brightness meters. more>>

An Australian research group is developing a laser-driven sensor and spraying system that can distinguish the good plants from the undesirables. more>>

Portable sky-brightness meters from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. more>>


Global Optics

Arab Origins of the Discovery of the Refraction of Light

You’ve heard of DaVinci, Descartes and Newton, but what about Ibn Sahl and Ibn al-Haytham? These Arab scientists were describing the fundamental properties of light centuries before their European counterparts. more>>

Light Touch

Playing With Light

A history of Games that incorporate the photon. more>>

Optical Engineering

Surface Finishing of Complex Optics

Advanced optical designs require shapes and materials that are challenging to finish. As designs become more intricate, new fabrication tools are needed. We discuss advanced surface-finishing methods, particularly methods that rely on the magnetorheological finishing process, a stable polishing technology that enables precision fabrication of flats and spheres as well as increasingly complex optics, such as aspheres and freeform shapes. more>>

Optics Innovations

Technology Transfer at the University of Central Florida

UCF is home to two optics-based research centers. Both enjoy robust government and industrial funding, and have faculty with significant industry experience and an entrepreneurial spirit. more>>

The History of OSA

Reminiscences: From the Files of {Arthur Hardy}

Arthur Hardy pioneered the rapid automatic recording of absorption spectra. He was widely recognized for his invention of a recording spectrophotometer to measure refl ected and transmitted light. more>>