Wireless Personal Communication Networks
David J. Goodman
To optics and photonics experts, the status of wireless communications will seem strange. There is a shortage of technology to satisfy a substantial public demand. Photonic communication, in common with other information services... more>>
Complexity Management—The Other Challenge To Information Networking
The vision of Information Networking is access to information at any time, from any place, in any volume, and in any form. This vision calls for a global network of distributed, interworking, high-speed communications and computing capabilities.
Fiber optic technology addresses one part of the Information Networking challenge—the need for huge bandwidths. But another major challenge is to develop the system and software architectures needed to manage the enormous complexity of a global information network. Progress in this area has been slower than in fiber optic technology, and it has been far slower than progress in computer processor speeds. Why is this so? In a word, the problem is complexity.
This paper describes the complexity management challenge in general terms and one of the efforts underway to meet it. It also describes the information marketplace that awaits the emergence of a solution. more>>
From Draft To Implementation: More Explanation Needed
Robert E. Parks
Early in November, the group working on the new international optical drawing standard, ISO 10110, met in Tokyo to make the final technical changes in the document. The 13 parts of the draft standard now go to the editing committee to make sure the language is correct; then it will be published by ISO in Geneva as a Draft International Standard (DIS). When the DIS is published, about a year from now, it will be circulated internationally for six months prior to acceptance. From every indication, the vote will surely be to accept. more>>
Liquid Crystals Revisited
Steven E. Shields
As I described in the April Light Touch column (page 58), liquid crystal materials are beginning to be used in an ever-increasing number of applications. I started with the properties of liquid crystals in general, and then quickly discussed the most common liquid crystal application—twisted nematic displays. These displays are used in many applications, ranging from clocks and watches to portable laptop computers. This column describes a different kind of liquid crystal—the kind used to make unbreakable fever thermometers. more>>
Revtex From Aps, Compuscripts With LaTeX
K. C. Harvey
The American Physical Society (APS) has a macro package for use with LATEX called REVTEX. This column will explain how to obtain a complete APS REVTEX toolbox by mail, how to get the REVTEX macro files through INTERNET or BITNET, and why this approach to the preparation of technical manuscripts is a good idea. more>>