Cover Story

For the past 50 years, the Thin Films Group of the National Research Council in Canada has developed optical coatings that have been used for everything from protecting paper currency against counterfeiting, to increasing the contrast... more>>


Envisioning Invisibility: Recent Advances in Cloaking

Throughout the ages, invisibility has been a recurring motif in literature and popular culture. Now, it has captured the imagination of physicists as well, as they work to develop metamaterials that will make cloaking a reality at optical frequencies. more>>

Anticipating the Broadband Revolution: Report from OFC/NFOEC 2007

More than ever before, optical communications is about FTTX—bringing fiber to the home, the small business, the rural villages. In Anaheim, 13,000 attendees at the premier fiber-optics conference learned about the latest advances in super-fast short-haul networks. more>>


Researchers at Purdue University have created a metamaterial that has negative values for both effective permeability and effective permittivity—a so-called “dual-band” or “double-negative” refractive index—for light with a wavelength of 813 nm. more>>

Researchers at NIST have measured the key optical properties of a semiconducting nanotube that could play a role in cancer treatment or sensor systems. more>>

Wake Forest University researchers have boosted the efficiency for organic plastic solar cells to a new record for the type of device. more>>



Long-Distance Learning: Teaching Optics in the Outback

In the Australian outback, small towns and even individual homes are often separated by hundreds of kilometers of vast grasslands and sunburnt deserts. Providing adequate educational resources to children who live in these areas is a great challenge. The OSA Student Chapter at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra has created a science communication program that goes the extra mile—literally. more>>

Optical Engineering

Engineering A New Column

Roughly half of OPN’s readers are engineers or professionals who work in applied research. With this issue of OPN, we are pleased to introduce a new column designed to meet their needs. more>>

Optics Innovations

Iridian Spectral Technologies: From Spin-off to Mature Manufacturer

A company that began as an offshoot of Canada’s National Research Council has now come into its own rainbow of opportunity. more>>

Policy Matters

Whose Research Is It Anyway?

Legislation expected to renew debate on “open access” publishing. more>>

The History of OSA

OSA Honorary Members of the 1940s and 1950s

From its beginnings in 1916, the Optical Society has designated a special category of membership to individuals who have made unique, unparalleled contributions to the field of optics. This column highlights the careers of five optical pioneers who became honorary members in the 1940s and 1950s: Theodore Lyman (1941), C.V. Raman (1941), R.W. Wood (1944), R.A. Millikan (1950) and Arnold Sommerfeld (1950). more>>


Beyond the Vacuum Tube: Lighting Solutions for the 21st Century

Conventional lighting based on vacuum tube technology is alarmingly low in energy efficiency and contributes enormously to wasted energy, carbon emissions and global warming. Fluorescent lamps are a step in the right direction compared to incandescent bulbs, but solid-state solutions are needed in order to secure a truly bright future. more>>

Conversations in Optics

Our conversation with Sir John Pendry, Metamaterials expert. more>>