Cover Story

More and more, optical designers and manufacturers are applying the concepts of non-imaging optics to problems in illumination design, allowing them to avoid restrictions on surface geometry and create simpler designs with better... more>>


Towards Dynamic Surface-Emitting Fiber Lasers

A new laser combines key advantages of fiber lasers and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. It provides enhanced capabilities that could be applied to medical imaging, explosive vapor and chemical detection, photodynamic therapy and fabric displays. more>>

A Roadmap for Optical Data Storage Applications

Optical products were once thought to represent the future of data storage, but their evolution has been slower than experts had anticipated. This article describes the latest progress in optical data storage applications and explains how these products must adapt to compete with other technologies. more>>

Orthogonally Polarized Lasers and their Applications

Precision metrologists have traditionally thought of lasers as mere light sources. Now, orthogonally polarized lasers are being applied as sensors themselves. They’re being developed and used to measure displacement, wave plates’ retardation, force and weight. more>>


Ancient cloth can tell us a lot about the people who made it. Just as archaeologists look at the tools and other gear left behind by earlier cultures, textiles also have their stories to tell. more>>

Researchers at Perdue University demonstrate a digital holography system for recording the response of cancerous cells to anticancer drugs. This device could possibly provide a method for high-throughput screening of cell health. more>>

A chemical color sensor could provide an inexpensive breath test for lung cancer. more>>


Light Touch

Telescopes Before Lippershey: Fact or Fiction?

Fictional accounts of early telescopes abound, but were there any real instruments before Hans Lippershey patented his invention in 1608? It’s likely that one Elizabethan surveyor and mathematician was at least onto the same idea with his reflecting device. more>>

Optics Innovations

Finding the Right Structure for your Business

Making the appropriate choice can help you maximize profits and reduce taxes and legal fees. more>>

The History of OSA

Post-War European Optics Journals

It’s a tale of international intrigue that includes the outbreak of war, a special arrangement with the Vatican, Soviet scientists in the Cold-War era, and the birth of a publishing empire. Read on to learn about the surprisingly colorful history of several post-war European optics journals—and the other important Maxwell in optics. more>>

Conversations in Optics

Our conversation with William Phillips, Nobel Prize winner and CLEO/QELS keynote speaker. more>>