Cover Story

Ultrafast and Ultrashort: Some Recent Advances in Pulsed Lasers

Valerie C. Coffey

In the R&D lab, new materials, improved performance and higher power levels are expanding opportunities for ultrashort-pulse lasers. And industrial suppliers are pushing the envelope toward ever-shorter and more stable pulses... more>>


Discovering a Laser

William T. Silfvast

An enthusiastic recounting of the early days of the helium cadmium laser—a twisting path with many characters that started at the University of Utah. more>>

120 Years of Optical Glass Science

Peter D. Dragic and John Ballato

An elegant, century-old mathematical relationship, tying the physical properties of a multicomponent glass to those of its chemical components, still provides a powerful tool in designing materials for fiber lasers and other applications. more>>



Patricia Daukantas, Valerie Coffey, Sarah Michaud and Stewart Wills

Headliners, policy news and industry updates. more>>


Career Focus

The Physics of Finance

Hannah Bembia

Putting a scientific background to work in the business world. more>>

Light Touch

The Mystery of Cryolite

Stephen R. Wilk

The search for an item for a lab demo takes the author surprisingly far afield. more>>

Optics Innovations

Block Engineering: Raising the Bar in QCL Spectroscopy

Scott Riggi

Building on a long pedigree in infrared spectroscopy, Block has emerged as a technology leader in instruments based on quantum cascade lasers. more>>

Conversations in Optics

Remembering James P. Gordon

Sarah Michaud

Colleagues Steven Chu, Linn Mollenauer, Mark Shtaif and Charles Townes share their memories of a legend and friend. more>>