OPN September 2009

Cover Story

Choosing an Ethical Career in Optics

Patricia Daukantas

Many of today’s young professionals are looking to pursue careers that deeply resonate with their own values. Although there are few “right” answers when it comes to choosing your career path, you can start by asking the right questions. more>>

Features

Concentrated Photovoltaics

Blair Unger

One of the challenges of adopting solar power as a widespread energy solution is the sheer amount of space that would be required to harness large amounts of the sun’s energy. Now, photovoltaic technology offers a means of gathering more sunlight into a smaller space. more>>


LED Sun Photometry

Forrest M. Mims III

Twenty years ago, amateur scientist Forrest Mims revolutionized the field of sun photo-metry by devising an inexpensive filterless method of detecting sunlight that uses LEDs as spectrally selective photodiodes. He has been working ever since to develop improved instruments and collect measurements of atmospheric aerosols and water vapor. more>>


Optical Fiber Sensors Based on Brillouin Scattering

Xiaoyi Bao

Optical physicists are carrying on the legacy of Leon Brillouin by developing and studying Brillouin-based optical fibers that can be used in telecommunications, nonlinear optics and the monitoring of civil structures such as bridges and dams. more>>


Scatterings

Cloud Imaging Benefits Earth-Space Communications

Valerie Coffey

Researchers at Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont., U.S.A.) have discovered that a cloud-imaging system developed for climate research also shows promise for enhancing Earth-to-space optical communications. more>>


Ultraviolet LEDs Enhance Lettuce Nutrients

Valerie Coffey

Sientists have found that applying supplemental ultraviolet-B radiation to red-leaf lettuce increases the production of polyphenolic compounds and possibly the storage lifetime of the chemicals. more>>


Did You Know?

Valerie Coffey

A new type of optical disc can store 1.6 terabytes of data. more>>

Pulses

Optical Engineering

Liquid Mirrors in Engineering

Ermanno F. Borra

Liquid deformable mirrors are a young but promising technology. They offer engineers a lower-cost alternative to their solid counterparts as well as the ability to generate extremely large deformations. more>>


Optics Innovations

Genvac Aerospace: The Art of Reinvention

Joe Klinehamer

How one company transformed itself from a telecom bust into an aerospace boom. more>>


Policy Matters

Global Investments in Scientific R&D

Tom Price

For scientists around the world, one bright spot in the global economic meltdown is an increase in governments’ investment in research and development. more>>


The History of OSA

OSA’s Charter Members

John N. Howard

A look at the lives of some of OSA’s founding fathers. more>>


Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with Andrea Ghez

Angela Stark

OPN talks with Andrea Ghez, black hole hunter and FiO keynote speaker. more>>

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