Cover Story

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>>

Features

Photonic Crystal Structures in Molecular Biosensing

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?

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

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>>