April, 1980

Optical Bistability: An Undergraduate Experiment

W. P. Greene, H. M. Gibbs, A. Passner, S. L. McCall, and T. N. C. Venkatesan

An apparatus for student use is described that utilizes only commercially available components and that can be used as several different optical devices: optical memory, optical limiter, and optical ac amplifier. This simple setup is a close analog of the optical bistable devices being developed for possible optical signal-processing applications.

Optics at Georgia Tech

Far from the optics shops of the San Francisco Bay area, the brick factories of the Northeast optics establishment, and the electro-optics community of southern California, there is an institution that is producing intelligent, trained professionals in the field of applied optics. Its students have complained of jet lag after their plant trips, and more than a few have bemoaned the fact that so little in optics is available near their home of the last few years. Their home is the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, and their training comes from a unique blend of physics and electrical engineering courses.

Surgical Applications of Lasers

In the early 1960's, lasers first appeared in the hands of biologists and medical researchers. They believed that this energy could be put to therapeutic use. A great deal of information regarding the absorption, transmission, and scattering of light by tissue has been compiled since that time. Today, lasers are used in many areas of medicine, including surgery, medical diagnostics, and biological assay. This communication will emphasize those medical applications in which laser energy is used to cut, ablate, cauterize, or selectively injure tissue.

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