Cover Story

Laser-Based Weather Control

Jérôme Kasparian, Ludger Wöste and Jean-Pierre Wolf

The far-fetched concept of weather control just might be in our scientific forecast. Researchers are making progress in using ultrashort laser pulses to create lightning and cue cloud formation, with potential applications in agriculture... more>>

Features

The Road to Multi-Dimensional Bit-by-Bit Optical Data Storage

Min Gu and Xiangping Li

Recent advances in optical data storage have led to the development of a five-dimensional device that could hold up to 2,000 times more data than a conventional DVD. more>>


Holography and the Laser

Jeff Hecht

The invention of the hologram actually predates that of the laser, but they both came of age during the technological boom of the 1960s. Holography has not matched the growth of some laser applications, but if you look in your pocket or purse, you will find it is alive and well. more>>


The Optical Illusions of Cosmetics

Patricia Daukantas

Using optically complex pigments and particles that scatter light, today’s cosmetic scientists and designers have engineered sophisticated new products that enhance people’s features rather than cover up their skin. more>>


Rayleigh Was Right: Electromagnetic Fields and Corrugated Interfaces

Alexandre V. Tishchenko

Lord Rayleigh theorized that the electromagnetic field in a periodically corrugated interface is composed of waves outgoing from the interface. A careful numerical analysis suggests that this hypothesis is true well beyond the commonly stated limit. more>>