Cover Story

New advances in elastic light scattering technology allow for faster and more accurate identification of bacteria. By using globally networked libraries of unique scattering patterns produced by bacterial colonies, researchers have... more>>


Recollections of the First Continuous Visible Laser

Alan White worked as a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs during its heyday for industrial research. Here, he recalls his work with Dane Rigden to develop the first continuous visible helium-neon laser in 1962—and how the project evolved from covert weekend tinkering to the talk of the lab. more>>

Tilted Fiber Bragg Gratings as Multi-Sensors

The tilted fiber Bragg grating is a new kind of sensor that possesses all the advantages of well-established Bragg grating technology in addition to being able to excite cladding modes resonantly. This device opens up a multitude of opportunities for single-point sensing in hard-to-reach spaces. more>>

Light in Flight: Optical Applications in Civilian Aviation

Optical technologies such as head-up displays, fiber sensors and quantum dots will help build 21st century airplanes, connect pilots to crucial information and ensure the structural health of aircraft. more>>


Scientists used optogenetics—a combination of genetic engineering and laser technology—to study the pathways between two parts of the brain involved in feeling reward. more>>

Researchers can tune the optical properties of their boron-based reversible mechanochromic dyes with simple changes to the dye's chemical makeup. more>>

New research demonstrates a way to image tiny but important light receptors in the living eye. more>>

Recent experiments demonstrate a new technique for confining light in nanoscale waveguides. more>>


Career Focus

Making the Leap from Grad Student to Professor

Doing a teaching stint right out of graduate school is an often overlooked alternative to carrying out a postdoc that can allow you to explore new topics, interact with students and keep your options open. more>>

Light Touch

Britain's Acoustic Mirrors

Just as lenses reflect and concentrate light, dish-like structures called acoustic mirrors can amplify sound. These odd-looking devices have played a key role in the military history of Great Britain—and are now getting a second life as works of art. more>>

Optical Engineering

Approximated Scatter Models for Stray Light Analysis

In the absence of measured data, stray light estimates can be daunting for engineers who do not regularly make scatter calculations. Here’s how to make reasonable approximations. more>>

The History of OSA

Missing Links in OSA’s Archives

As OSA approaches it centennial in 2016, its staff and volunteers are working to compile a comprehensive history of the organization. While we are gathering much information, there are still a few elusive missing photos and biographies. more>>

Conversations in Optics

Our conversations with Ferenc Krausz, attosecond aficionado and FiO plenary speaker. more>>

Our conversations with Jorge Rocca, compact X-ray laser luminary. more>>