Cover Story

Ground-Based Telescopes for the 21st Century

Patricia Daukantas

Astronomers are reaping the fruits of two decades of research in adaptive optics and inno-vative telescope design. Despite funding uncertainties, plans are moving forward to build a new generation of large optical and infrared telescopes... more>>


Laser-Induced Fluorescence: Spectroscopy in the Sky

Chiao-Yao She and David A. Krueger

Scientists are using laser-induced fluorescence to assess temperature and wind in a largely unstudied layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. Their results are crucial to our understanding of solar-terrestrial relations and lay the groundwork for studies of global warming and atmospheric turbulence. more>>

Optical Atomic Clocks—from Dream to Reality

Long-Sheng Ma

Recent developments in atomic physics and laser technology, especially techniques for laser cooling and the manipulation of atoms, have enabled the realization of so-called Cesium fountain atomic clocks with relative accuracy approaching 4 x 10-16. more>>

Optical Tunable Dispersion Compensators Based onThermally Tuned Fiber Bragg Gratings

Yves Painchaud, Carl Paquet and Martin Guy

Fiber Bragg gratings are well positioned to respond to the growing need for more stringent control of dispersion compensation. Thermal tuning has proven to be an effective technique for achieving this goal. more>>


Ionic Liquids for Lunar-Telescope Mirrors

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Researchers have demonstrated a spinning liquid mirror design that could be used for the main mirror of a huge infrared telescope based on the moon. more>>

Cells Act as Optical Fibers in the Eye

Yvonne Carts-Powell

New research shows that light is gathered and directed through the tissue to the photosensors by cells that act as optical fibers. more>>

Did You Know?

Yvonne Carts-Powell

The ultimate in small lasers. more>>


Global Optics

Visual Optics Research in Spain: A Historical Perspective

Susana Marcos and Pablo Artal

Spain is a world leader in physiological optics and vision applications—thanks to a history of pioneering research that extends more than half a century. more>>

Light Touch

The Crookes’ Radiometer: Apply Light Pressure

Stephen R. Wilk

What did 19th-century scientists know about this fascinating device that many modern physics teachers do not? more>>

Optical Engineering

Optomechanics and the Small-Displacement Domain

Alson Hatheway

It’s no secret that many of the analytical methods used by mechanical engineers are linearized simplifications of more or less nonlinear mathematical theories. Structural mechanics and heat transfer are just two of these theories. more>>

Optics Innovations

Optimax Maximizes Learning to Succeed

Joseph Spilman

The corporate culture of this optics manufacturing company emphasizes learning and its rewards. more>>

The History of OSA

OSA’s Finances in the 1980s

John N. Howard

OSA finds a home in Washington, D.C., and slowly builds its reserves. more>>


Congressional Fellows

Kevin Whittlesey and Eleanore Edson

Congressional fellows discuss enhancing science communication and ensuring proper care for wounded soldiers. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with John L. Hall

Angela Stark

Our conversation with John L. Hall, Nobel Laureate and keynote speaker at Frontiers in Optics. more>>