Cover Story

Twenty-First Century Applications of Nanodiamonds

A.D. Greentree, I. Aharonovich, S. Castelletto, M.W. Doherty, L.P. McGuinness and D.A. Simpson

Diamond is taking on a new role as a versatile and practical platform for harnessing the new quantum physics. This article outlines some of the biological and quantum applications of nanodiamonds and the central role of diamond color... more>>


Photonic Crystal Structures in Molecular Biosensing

Jon Cooper, Andrew Glidle and Richard De La Rue

Biosensing now spans a range of medical, environmental and industrial applications. New optical techniques based on scattering, absorbance, transmission and photonic crystal technology will allow for compact, low-cost and reliable automatic analysis that can be easily produced on a mass scale. more>>

Population Inversions in Lightning Discharges?

William Silfvast

LaserFest provides a fitting opportunity to reflect on whether one of the hallmarks of the laser—population inversion—may have long predated its invention. Could these highly unstable and seemingly unnatural phenomena be part of the normal atmospheric process of lightning discharge? more>>

Extreme Nonlinear Optics with Ultra-Intense Self-Bending Airy Beams

Pavel Polynkin, Miroslav Kolesik, Jerome Moloney, Georgios Siviloglou and Demetrios Christodoulides

Recent research in nonlinear optics with ultra-intense and ultra-short laser pulses has opened the door to applications in remote spectroscopy, communications and atmospheric science. This article reviews studies into the propagation of ultra-intense self-bending Airy beams in transparent dielectric media. more>>


Pulsed Laser Emits Bursts of Darkness

Patricia Daukantas

A U.S. team has created a passively mode-locked quantum-dot diode laser that gives off pulses of darkness against a background of near-infrared light. more>>

A Fleeting Look at the Details of Photoemission

Patricia Daukantas

Thanks to cutting-edge ultrafast lasers, an international research team has measured how long it takes an atom to emit an electron after it has absorbed a single photon. more>>

A Gigapixel Camera Goes Asteroid-Hunting

Patricia Daukantas

On a mountaintop in Hawaii, a modestly sized telescope with the world's biggest digital camera has begun its key science mission: hunting for killer asteroids. more>>


Global Optics

Travel Log: OSA Fellow Visits Turkey

Barry R. Masters

Barry Masters shares what he learned on his trip to Turkey as part of the OSA Fellow Travel Grant program. more>>

Light Touch

The Myth of the Fiber-Optic Polar Bear

Daniel W. Koon

Fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t photonic, was he? more>>

Optics Innovations

Venture Capital and Angel Funding: Making It Work in 2010

Patricia Daukantas

Despite the shaky economy, venture capital is still a viable funding option for fledgling optics companies. However, optical entrepreneurs must demonstrate solid plans, a good chance of return on the investment and a strong vision. more>>

The History of OSA

Reminiscences: Robert W. Wood and the Unknown Chemical

Jarus Quinn

Former OSA Executive Director Jarus Quinn recalls his explosive summer as a grad student tasked with cleaning the lab of famed physicist R.W. Wood. more>>


OSA's Congressional Fellows Discuss Issues at Forefront of Congressional Debates

Gavi Begtrup and Matt McMahon

OSA's Congressional Fellows discuss harnessing America's energy potential and advancing American innovation and competitiveness. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN talks with Joseph H. Eberly

Lyndsay Basista

OPN talks with Joseph H. Eberly, Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment recipient and FiO speaker. more>>