Cover Story

High-Performance Infrared Focal Plane Arrays for Space Applications

Thomas Sprafke and James W. Beletic

Infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) have come a long way since the first two-dimensional arrays were produced in the 1970s. Today, they provide nearly ideal photon-noise-limited performance that will enable much of the space science done... more>>


Spatial Solitons in 2D Lattices

Gaetano Assanto, Katia Gallo, Alessia Pasquazi and Salvatore Stivala

These authors describe their observation of two-color optical solitons in a 2D parametric photonic lattice with hexagonal symmetry in lithium niobate. Their results have enabled wavelength-controlled angular steering and transverse displacement of self-trapped filaments of light. more>>

Big Pipes for Data Transfer: Report from OFC/NFOEC 2008

Patricia Daukantas

“Big pipes” is the most succinct way to describe the theme of this year’s Optical Fiber Conference/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) in San Diego. In today’s environment of social networking, online video and triple play, the telecommunications industry is gearing up for unprecedented broadband demand. more>>


Crystal Woodpiles for Ultrafast Communication

Patricia Daukantas

Tiny silicon photonic crystals that resemble layers of stacked logs could add ultrafast switching to on-chip optical modulators inside telecommunications equipment. more>>

Infrared Scattering Could Detect Alzheimer’s

Patricia Daukantas

A team of researchers has learned how to distinguish between brain tissue with and without Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by evaluating the near-infrared optical properties of the gray matter. more>>

Did You Know?

Patricia Daukantas

Major anniversaries in telecommunications. more>>



Introductory Science Experiments Using Silicone Optics

Raphael A. Guerrero and Arlyn S. Reguya

Silicone-replicated materials are easy to make and provide an inexpensive—and unbreakable—alternative to glass optics for classroom experiments. more>>

Light Touch

The Eye in the Spiral: Animals with Pinhole Visual Systems

Stephen R. Wilk

Most organisms have evolved precise, camera-like visual systems that allow them to easily find food and escape danger. But a few still rely on lensless eyes with crude pinhole optics. Why? more>>

Optics Innovations

Santec Corp.: One Niche at a Time

Patricia Daukantas

Santec Corp. has found success as a photonics manufacturer by expanding into different niche markets. more>>

Policy Matters

Deemed Export Rules Make Research a Commodity

Tom Price

Language isn’t the only barrier that complicates collaboration among scientists from different countries. Many researchers also find themselves struggling to communicate with foreign colleagues while adhering to export regulations that restrict information exchanged within the United States. more>>

The History of OSA

Profile in Optics: Leonard Thompson Troland

John N. Howard

Leonard Troland was a polymath in vision and colorimetry whose life was tragically cut short. more>>