Cover Story

Computers at Work on Ultrafast Laser Design

Catalin V. Filip

Ultrafast lasers have evolved so quickly in the last decade that engineers have only recently incorporated computer technology into their design. Today, new computer programs could provide increased precision and performance for... more>>

Features

Advances in Yb:Fiber Frequency Comb Technology

Axel Ruehl

Femtosecond-laser frequency combs revolutionized the field of precision metrology after their introduction in 1999. Today, they are commonly used in atomic clock calibration, low-noise frequency synthesis, astronomical spectrograph calibration and precision spectroscopy. Scientists are now pushing to extend frequency combs into the mid-infrared and extreme ultraviolet spectral region with Yb:fiber technology. more>>


Light, Atoms and Nuclei: The Optical Discovery of Deuterium

Charles W. Clark and Joseph Reader

Eighty years have passed since atomic spectroscopy was used to discover deuterium, or “heavy hydrogen.” The element has played a transformational role in the development of nuclear energy and isotope chemistry. Currently, it is helping astronomers to understand the very origins of our universe. more>>


Remembering the Million-Hour Laser

R.W. Dixon

On the 50th anniversary of the diode laser, Richard Dixon reminisces about the program that took the device from laboratory curiosity to the applied technology that forms the backbone for terrestrial and undersea communications. more>>


Scatterings

Bending 3-D Microshapes With Light

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A twist on a long-used printing technique allows researchers to use photolithography to make complex microscale 3-D shapes. more>>


One-step Rainbow Grating

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A low-cost, single-step method makes reflection gratings with tailored, variable periods. more>>


Lasing from a Self-Assembled Photonic Crystal

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers in India have developed a mirrorless photonic crystal laser made out of dye-activated, self-assembled nanoscale spheres. more>>


Team Builds Mid-infrared Lumped Nanocircuit

Patricia Daukantas

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (U.S.A.) have built a working 2-D optical nanocircuit designed out of “lumped” elements analogous to the familiar building blocks of electronic circuitry. more>>


Stimulating Specific Neurons with Light

Yvonne Carts-Powell

A new, noninvasive method to control neurons uses the unique optical and electrical properties of quantum dots (QDs). more>>

Pulses

Career Focus

What Makes a Good Website for Scientists?

Marc J. Kuchner

More and more scientists are creating their own websites to showcase their careers and interests. What constitutes a successful site to our peers? The answer might surprise you. more>>


Education

An Optics Road Trip in Rural Australia

Björn Sturmberg and Owen Brasier

Two members of the University of Sydney OSA student chapter report back from their two-week road trip through a remote area of the Australian Outback, during which they gave high school students a unique introduction to hot topics in optics. more>>


Light Touch

Arago’s Inadvertent Test of Relativity

Greg Gbur

Nearly 100 years before Einstein’s special theory of relativity, François Arago unknowingly found the first experimental evidence for it. more>>


Optics Innovations

Coming to Life: The Story of Spectral Applied Research

Richard Berman

A Canadian company focused on life sciences imaging had to reinvent itself in order to remain relevant. more>>


Reflections in Diversity

Uncovering Hidden Biases in Optics

Elsa Garmire

How do you fight what you cannot see, even within yourself? more>>


The History of OSA

Edward O. Hulburt: Frederick Ives Medalist, 1955

John N. Howard

Edward O. Hulburt, recipient of the 1955 Frederick Ives Medal, was a pioneer in atmospheric research. He is best known for his rocket experiments that examined ultraviolet and X-radiation in the ionosphere and for establishing optics research at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. more>>

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