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May 2000

Newton, Prisms, and the "Opticks" of Tunable Lasers

F. J. Duarte

Newton's contributions to the understanding of refraction and dispersion were central to the design of prism spectrometers; his reflection telescope introduced the basic principles of modern observational telescopes. What is not generally recognized, however, is that Newton's original prismatic configurations also laid the foundations for some of the principles applied today in the optics of tunable lasers. This little-known fact is the focus of this article.

Designing Cost-Effective Precision Optical Mounts

Whether you're an OEM or a scientific researcher, you need a mount that will deliver precision and stability in a form that tits in your setup. Choosing the right mount is a complicated task of balancing functionality - size, ease of use and performance - with cost. To make the right choice for application, it is helpful to know what goes into the design and manufacture of a typical mount. In this article, we will take a look at what issues an engineer faces in the production of opto-mechanical mounts, including performance, materials, site and the manufacturing process itself.

Dispersion Managed Solitons: The Key to Terabit Per Second Optical Fiber Communication Systems

Dispersion managed solitons, now being developed by a number of different groups, can resolve the technical problems that in the past have prevented the use of the soliton transmission format in optical fiber communication systems. Given the rapid progress being made by researchers, within two years an Internet backbone powered by these inherently stable and robust nonlinear optical pulses will be a reality.

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