Cover Story

Astronomers will soon be using the 25-m Giant Magellan Telescope to probe the universe with a sensitivity and resolution that go far beyond anything that can be achieved today. more>>


Laser Tweezers and Holographic Optical Trapping

Tractor beams have long been a staple of science fiction, and now they have a real-life equivalent on the micro-scale. Laser tweezers can trap and hold tiny objects in three dimensions and may one day be used to manufacture micro- and nano-scale products. more>>

Having Fun with Silicon Marbles

Silicon gave us the microelectronics revolution of the previous century and may lead the microphotonics revolution of this one. It is also the material of choice for manufacturing modern marbles, and, on a smaller scale, for microspheres that may enable three-dimensional electrophotonic integration into volumetric lightwave circuits. more>>

Ole Rømer and the Speed of Light

While his 17th-century contemporaries were debating the nature of light, Ole Rømer was busy measuring its velocity. This little-known Danish scientist was the first to determine that light moves at a finite speed. more>>

Wavy Diffraction Gratings

OSA Fellow Stephen Jacobs describes how he created “wavy gratings” by attaching a diffractive material to corrugated metal roofing. The result is a brilliant display of colors that welcomes visitors to Tucson’s City Hall and the University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center. more>>


Now, a Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind., U.S.A.) team has figured out a way to detect trace levels of a harmful contaminant with devices that many law enforcement laboratories already own. more>>

Keisuke Goda, Kevin Tsia and Bahram Jalali of the University of California at Los Angeles (U.S.A.) built an entirely new kind of camera based on optical image amplification and used it to collect more than 6 million images per second. more>>

Insulating compound formed by adding hydrogen to graphene. more>>



Photonic Simulator Stimulates Learning

A virtual learning system shows high school students how to build—and communicate through—their own optical networks. more>>

Global Optics

Optics in Turkey

Koç University in Istanbul is leading efforts to advance optics research and education in Turkey. more>>

Optical Engineering

Process Control with Sub-Aperture Polishing

These tips and tools will help you use sub-aperture polishing systems effectively for a wider variety of materials. more>>

Optics Innovations

Technology Transfer at Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences

The technology transfer specialist at the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences describes recent efforts to ensure that the University’s optics are translated into innovations. more>>

Policy Matters

The Road Ahead for U.S. Science Policy

Is the Obama administration making room for science among many competing priorities? more>>

The History of OSA

Reminiscences: Aden Returns from the War

As Aden’s military service ends, a fruitful career begins. more>>