Cover Story

Integrated Silicon Photonics: Harnessing the Data Explosion

Sean Koehl, Ansheng Liu and Mario Paniccia

With the digital universe expanding at an exponential rate, silicon photonics is poised to bring fiber optics to a much broader array of data transport applications. Researchers at Intel Labs describe a fully integrated optical data link... more>>


A Roadmap for Metamaterials

Nikolay I. Zheludev

Metamaterials have rapidly advanced over the past few years—from being a paradigm for engineering unique electromagnetic properties to forming a material base for functional devices with tuneable, switchable and nonlinear capabilities. In the future, they will allow for dynamic quantum-effect-enabled systems. more>>

The First Fibers to Homes

Jeff Hecht

Thirty-five years ago this month, Japan’s Ministry for International Trade and Industry announced plans to build the world’s first fibered city. A two-way fiber-optic network called the Highly Interactive Optical Visual Information (Hi-OVIS) was far ahead of its time. more>>

The Metamorphosis of the Transistor into a Laser

Milton Feng and Nick Holonyak Jr.

The transistor put us on the path to semiconductor electronics research. It led to the integrated circuit, optoelectronics, light-detecting devices, diode lasers, LEDs, and now further to the transistor laser—a true laser and three-terminal photonic transistor active element. more>>


Spacetime Cloak Could Hide Events from Observers

Patricia Daukantas

British scientists have devised a new method for cloaking events from outside observers. more>>

Stimulated Raman Scattering Improves Video of Living Tissue

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers have sped up the stimulated Raman spectroscopy imaging process to make real-time imaging of surface tissue cells practical. more>>

3-D Self-Assembling Point-Source Microlasers

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Tiny spherical drops in liquid self-organize into lasing cavities that demonstrate low threshold, emit in all directions, and can be designed with wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared. more>>

Optical Lift Could Steer Solar Sails and Micromachines

Patricia Daukantas

Tiny objects can experience a type of “optical lift” from a uniform beam of light. more>>


Career Focus

Creating Effective Presentation Slides

Jean-luc Doumont

When attending a conference, scientists are typically exposed to hundreds of slides, most of which are highly ineffective. Here’s how to make your slides a powerful component of a successful presentation. more>>

Global Optics

Optics in Ireland 2011

Chris Dainty

Eight years after our last article on optics in Ireland, we’re pleased to report that the country is still growing its investments in science, building optics research, and promoting industrial collaborations. more>>

Policy Matters

Science Policy in Brazil: Innovation for Sustainable Development

Luiz Davidovich

Brazil outlines an ambitious agenda for increasing its commitment to science and technology. more>>

The History of OSA

OSA Presidents of the Early 1960s

John N. Howard

John Howard presents brief biographies of two leaders from 1960 and 1961. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with Alan Gara

Lyndsay Basista

Our conversation with Alan Gara, IBM Fellow, Blue Gene chief architect and OFC/NFOEC keynote speaker. more>>

OPN Talks with Clint Schow

Angela Stark

Our conversation with Clint Schow, research staff member at IBM and OFC/NFOEC 2011 Computercom Symposium organizer. more>>