Cover Story

This special issue of Optics & Photonics News (OPN) highlights the most exciting research to emerge in the preceding 12 months in the fast-paced world of optics. more>>


Beam Engineering

By properly shaping the waveform, we can now control the diffraction of light. more>>


Optics has provided key tools for advancing modern and traditional biology. Now it may play a role in reducing medical costs. more>>

Diffractive Structures

Photonic structures began in the search for localization associated with defects. Now, however, localized states have been demonstrated in defect-free media. more>>


We have created lasers with operating properties that we never would have dreamed of when the technology was invented 50 years ago. more>>

Material Processing

Short optical pulses provide useful material processing capability. more>>


We continue to find new performance enhancements even for mature technologies like optical microscopy more>>


The coupling of micro-fluidics and array imaging opens a fascinating area of research. more>>

Nonlinear Optics

Nonlinear optical response has enhanced our ability to produce coherent light throughout the optical spectral region. more>>

Optical Engineering

New waveform generation provides the experimentalist with interesting new tools more>>

Optical Storage

Temporal storage of optical signals is a needed capability in communications. more>>

Optical Tweezers

First discovered in 1970, optical tweezers can now be generated and controlled. more>>


Electron-spin-based photonic devices are a hot topic in optical research. more>>

Quantum Optics

It is now possible to conduct optical experiments on systems that exhibit strongly correlated behavior. more>>

Remote Sensing

We continue to develop more sensitive systems for the remote sensing of biological and chemical trace components. more>>


We have missed the presence of resonant scattering behavior in the Rayleigh region for years, but a clue was lurking in quantum theory. more>>

Terahertz Technology

This frequency range has had a variety of names since the 1960s, and researchers continue to be interested in exploiting this spectral region. more>>

Ultrafast Optics

We describe a novel short pulse laser system. more>>


Biometric imaging devices that recognize the unique fibrous structures of the human eye have been touted for security applications. An engineer has developed a phase mask that would make image acquisition easier for subjects to use by increasing the camera’s depth of field. more>>

A team from Stanford University has demonstrated the modulation or "shaping" of single photons in the laboratory. more>>

Hubble Space Telescope repair mission status update. more>>



Bridging the Gap

The Australian National University’s Student Chapter recently conducted an optics outreach program targeting teens in a remote part of Australia. more>>

Light Touch

Sea Change: A History of Submarine Periscopes

The complicated story of a seemingly simple maritime technology. more>>

Photo Caption Contest Results

We received many witty responses to our recent solicitation for creative descriptions of three historical photos. Here are some of our favorites. more>>

Policy Matters

The Quest for Women Scientists

The National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences and other U.S. organizations are looking for a few good women—well, more than a few—to pursue careers in the sciences. more>>

The History of OSA

Early OSA Honors and Awards

Early in OSA’s history, two special honors were created to recognize optical pioneers. more>>