October 2003

Organic Dye Lasers: Brief History and Recent Developments

The organic dye laser has the distinction of being the first broadly tunable laser. It is capable of providing a wide variety of output forms that range from ultrashort to high energy pulses, and from highly stable continuous wave narrow linewidth oscillation to high average power emission. Current application areas include medicine, laser isotope separation and fundamental physics research.

Extremely Large Sparse Aperture Telescopes

Concepts for the next generation of extremely large telescopes are being studied by national and international consortia. The reality of diminishing fiscal resources presents new challenges. What about a sparse or almost-filled aperture telescope? Could it meet the requirements of scientists at lower cost?

Some Thoughts on Journal Publishing in the 21st Century

The journals published by non-profit professional societies are easier on library budgets than those produced by the profit-driven sector, but the fact that OSA and other non-profit societies price their non-member subscriptions to support non-publishing efforts raises a thorny question. Why, and to what degree, should universities subsidize the general operation of professional societies?

Use Tomorrow’s Photonics Devices Today

A new program offers U.S. universities engaged in applications research an opportunity to acquire, free of charge, advanced photonics devices from national laboratories and industry.

A New Federal Institute Focuses on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Advances in bioimaging and bioengineering are changing our views on everything from how the brain develops to how to treat cancer. The U.S. Congress created the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to serve as a base for researchers in a number of related cutting-edge fields.

OPN Trends—The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?

This issue of OPN Trends was conceived to bring together different views regarding a question that was first posed in ancient times but remains unanswered today. What, indeed, is “the nature of light”? Many of us still feel perplexed when asked by a student to answer the seemingly simple question, “What is a photon?”

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