Cover Story

Unraveling Bessel Beams

Angela Dudley, Martin Lavery, Miles Padgett and Andrew Forbes

Since their discovery in the late 1980s, Bessel beams have found their way into many disciplines, including optical tweezing and precision drilling. Researchers are now looking to these light beams as a means of transferring data... more>>


Accelerating Optical Beams

Miguel A. Bandres, Ido Kaminer, Matthew Mills, B.M. Rodríguez-Lara, Elad Greenfield, Morderchai Segev and Demetrios N. Christodoulides

Thanks to their unique interference, accelerating beams appear to curve as they travel. They require no waveguiding structures or external potentials and appear even in free space. This beautiful phenomenon has led to many intriguing ideas and exciting new applications.


Louis de Broglie and the Wave Nature of the Electron

Barry R. Masters

Louis de Broglie was a Frenchman of noble birth who many believed would become a great statesman or diplomat. Instead, he changed our understanding of how the universe works by developing a theory for the wave-particle duality of electrons.




Patricia Daukantas, Valerie C. Coffey, Sarah Michaud and Adam Zysk

Headliners, policy news and industry updates.




New Resources for Educating Precision Optics Technicians

Daniel Hull and John Souders

The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, has always been committed to building the capacity of U.S. community colleges in order to provide more highly skilled photonics technicians—and in 2012 it expanded that mission to include precision optics technicians.


Optics Innovations

U.S. Patent Reform and Photonics Companies

Joseph Gortych

A new law represents the most significant patent reform that the United States has seen in over 50 years. Joseph Gortych explains what optical entrepreneurs need to know about the America Invents Act.


Conversations in Optics

Fluorescence Front Runner

Brielle Day

Stephen Harris has been making outstanding contributions to the field of laser science for more than 50 years.