OPN March 2010

Cover Story

Forty Years of Optical Manipulation

David McGloin and Jonathan P. Reid

This year, as the laser celebrates its 50th anniversary, a field that was made possible through laser technology reaches an important milestone as well. Over the past 40 years, optical manipulation research has deepened our understanding... more>>


Lasers in Communications

Patricia Daukantas

Low-cost semiconductor lasers power the shortest networks in the data center and the long-haul links that speed information around the globe. Today, lasers are integrated into photonic circuitry and even optical cables. more>>

Hermann von Helmholtz: A 19th Century Renaissance Man

Barry R. Masters

Hermann von Helmholtz was many things to many people: physicist, teacher, medical doctor, aesthete and more. He drew on his extensive knowledge of many fields to invent the ophthalmoscope—a device that revolutionized ophthalmology—when he was just 29 years old. more>>

The Promise of Diffractive Waveplates

Nelson V. Tabiryan, Sarik R. Nersisyan, Diane M. Steeves and Brian R. Kimball

Diffractive waveplates exhibit the high diffraction efficiency of Bragg gratings in micron-thick material layers. more>>


Flat Lens Zooms Fast

Yvonne Carts-Powell

An adaptive liquid crystal (LC) diffractive lens developed at the University of Arizona (U.S.A.) focuses with high efficiency and zooms with millisecond-fast switching times. more>>

Filming Freezing Flies

Yvonne Carts-Powell

To investigate why some insects can survive freezing, while others can’t, researchers filmed the formation and spread of ice in real time as fly larvae froze using high-energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source (APS). more>>

Did You Know?

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Using standard CMOS tools to fabricate a tiny map of the world. more>>



Chilean Children Take a Voyage of Light

Rodrigo A. Vicencio

In 2008, an optics professor at the University of Chile and ten pedagogy students began work on a program to educate elementary school children about light and optics. A marvelous voyage had begun. more>>

Global Optics

Optics in India

Lakshminarayan Hazra

From antiquity to C.V. Raman’s time to today, India has evolved to become a leader in optical research and industry. more>>

Light Touch

A Popular History of the Laser

Stephen R. Wilk

Long before Ted Maiman made the first ruby laser work, the concept of directed light had already entered the public consciousness—through all manner of sci-fi ray guns, “blasters,” and hand-held beams. more>>

The History of OSA

Brace, Skinner and Tuckerman: Optics in the Heartland

John N. Howard

In the late 1800s, the University of Nebraska became the first school west of the Mississippi to award a doctoral degree. It also gave optics three bright stars and early leaders. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with Philippe Keryer

Angela Stark

Our conversation with Philippe Keryer, executive VP at Alcatel-Lucent and OFC/NFOEC plenary speaker. more>>

OPN Talks with Hideo Myahara

Lyndsay Basista

Our conversation with Hideo Myahara, president, National Institute of Information & Communications Technology and OFC/NFOEC plenary session keynote. more>>