Cover Story

Seeing in the Dark: Defense Applications of IR imaging

Valerie C. Coffey

Infrared imaging is used in many defense applications to enable high-resolution vision and identification in near and total darkness. Thanks to recent advances, optics companies and government labs are improving low-light-level vision... more>>


Towards an Integrated Chip-Scale Plasmonic Biosensor

Ryan M. Gelfand, Dibyendu Dey, John Kohoutek, Alireza Bonakdar, Soojung Claire Hur, Dino Di Carlo and Hooman Mohseni

Biosensing allows researchers to detect tiny amounts of harmful chemicals before they become major threats. These researchers are using advanced optical technologies to develop the biosensor of the future—a plasmonic-based chip-scale device that will allow for compact, inexpensive, ubiquitous and sensitive detection. more>>

Insect Eyes Inspire Improved Solar Cells

Francesco Chiadini, Vincenzo Fiumara, Antonio Scaglione, Drew P. Pulsifer,

Taking a cue from nature, these researchers looked to the compound eyes of insects as a model for developing their unique approach to harvesting sunlight. more>>


Tiny Room-Temperature Plasmon Lasers

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Researchers demonstrated a nanoscale plasmon laser that works at room temperature, in air. more>>

A Glass That's Tougher Than Steel

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers at two California laboratories have developed a metallic glass that has more resistance to bending and breaking than many types of steel. more>>

Electron Microscopes Get Twisty

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers at a U.S. laboratory have created spiraling “electron vortex beams” that could lead to better electron-microscopy images of magnetic and biological materials. more>>

Electromagnetic Liquid Pistons Could Aid in Adaptive Imaging

Patricia Daukantas

With simple fluid dynamics, researchers have created an electromagnetically driven liquid-piston system that could be used for small-scale adaptive optics applications. more>>


Career Focus

Resumes and CVs: A Problem-Solving Approach for Scientists

Alaina G. Levine

Scientists are natural problem-solvers, so they’re in luck when it comes to preparing a resume or CV. Getting at the heart of how you can address problems for potential employers is the key to getting your foot in the door for an interview. more>>

Light Touch

An Eye toward Multispectral Imaging

H.D. Wolpert

The mantis shrimp is a marvel of nature that represents a truly multispectral scanning system. more>>

Optics Innovations

Optonetic: A Niche in Custom Coatings

Mark Oberdzinski

A small company in Orlando’s optics hub takes advantage of local support and cutting-edge technology to provide customized thin-film coatings for a large range of customers. more>>

Policy Matters

Science in the United Kingdom: Sailing in Stormy Seas

Tim Hayes

Britain’s scientists and technologists met the government’s spending review with cautious relief— and questions. more>>

The History of OSA

Presidents of the Mid-1960s

John N. Howard

During the mid-1960s, OSA was led by an expert on colorimetry (and a stickler for grammar) and a pioneer who first envisioned OSA as an international society. more>>

Conversations in Optics

OPN Talks with Donald Keck

Lyndsay Basista

Our conversation with Donald Keck, CLEO:2011 plenary session keynote speaker. more>>

OPN Talks with James Fujimoto

Lyndsay Basista

Our conversation with James Fujimoto, OCT pioneer and CLEO:2011 plenary speaker. more>>