OPN May 2009

Cover Story

Using Plasmonics to Shape Light Beams

Federico Capasso, Nanfang Yu, Ertugrul Cubukcu and Elizabeth Smythe

The field of plasmonics—in which surface plasmon resonances of metals are used to manipulate light at the sub-wavelength scale—is transforming our understanding of nanophotonics and integrated optics. Now, researchers are harnessing... more>>

Features

Solid-State Lasers: Steady Progress Through the Decades

David C. Brown and Jerry W. Kuper

More than three decades after solid-state lasers were developed, physicists and engineers have made an extraordinary amount of progress, and the pace of development is accelerating. more>>


A New Era for High-Energy-Density Physics

Edward I. Moses, Robert L. McCrory, David D. Meyerhofer and Christopher J. Keane

The field of high-energy-density physics is on the verge of a revolutionary event—the achievement of fusion ignition in the laboratory. Research at the University of Rochester and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will enable new science to be conducted in astrophysics, materials science and laser-matter interactions. more>>


Scanned Laser Pico-Projectors: Seeing the Big Picture (with a Small Device)

Mark Freeman, Mark Champion and Sid Madhavan

Pico-projectors are the latest technology to prove that big things often do come in small packages. These tiny projectors are embedded in mobile devices to provide large-screen displays that can be viewed from anywhere. more>>


Scatterings

Probing the Link between Fat and Cancer

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A group of researchers from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind., U.S.A.) have used nonlinear optical microscopy to assess the effects of fatty acids on cancer cells in mice. more>>


Unraveling the Mysteries of Photosynthesis

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A refinement on four-wave mixing methods has provided new information about how energy is transferred within photosynthetic organisms. more>>


Did You Know?

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Lasers help make guitars. more>>

Pulses

Education

Exploring What the Eye Cannot See

Javier Hernández-Andrés, José A. García and Juan L. Nieves

At Spain’s Science Museum of Granada, visitors can explore the limits of human vision—and how optics can overcome them. more>>


Light Touch

Edible Lasers: What’s the Next Course?

Stephen R. Wilk

Thirty-five years have passed since Ted Hänsch and Art Schawlow invented the world’s first edible laser. Is there hope for a future in culinary photonics? Steve Wilk savors the possibilities. more>>


Optical Engineering

In Your Phase: All About Optical Vortices

Carlos López-Mariscal and Julio C. Gutiérrez-Vega

This primer on optical vortices describes the physics behind electromagnetic phase singularities and highlights their importance in nature, science and society. more>>


Optics Innovations

Lumencor Looks to Light up Biotech

Claudia B. Jaffe

Lumencor’s beginnings were simple but its aspirations never were. The company began as a husband-and-wife team whose vision was to become the lighting manufacturer of choice for the biotech industry. more>>


The History of OSA

The First Two Editors of JOSA

John N. Howard

OSA’s first journal—The Journal of the Optical Society of America—was launched in 1917, just one year after the Society came into existence. Here, John Howard chronicles the lives of JOSA’s first two editors. more>>

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