December 2004

Special Issue: Optics in 2004 Introduction

Bob D. Guenther David Hardwick, Changsheng Li and R. John Koshel

A record number of research groups submitted summaries to “Optics in 2004”: there were 104 submissions this year, representing the work of 414 authors. This was a significant increase over the total of 61 submissions to “Optics in 2003.”

Adaptive Optics

One of the most significant future advances in the study of other solar systems will be the direct imaging detection of planets orbiting other stars by either space-based telescopes or groundbased telescopes equipped with adaptive optics (AO).

Biomedical Optics

We demonstrate highly efficient evanescent-wave detection of fluorophore-labeled biomolecules in submicroliter aqueous samples positioned in the microstructured part of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF).


Self-Rotation of Red Blood Cells in Optical Tweezers: Prospects for High Throughput Malaria Diagnosis.


Fiber Photodetectors Codrawn From Conducting, Semiconducting and Insulating Materials.

Diffractive Optics

Assuming a circularly polarized input field, any scalar transmission function can be replaced by a unique fringe-orientation function without changing the (monochromatic) optical effect. What’s more, by assuming a linearly polarized input field, one can design diffractive beam splitters with 100 percent efficiency, a result that is not possible in the realm of scalar optics.

Fiber Optics

In recent years, a new class of optical fiber that operates by the photonic bandgap (PBG) effect has created great excitement in the optical community. Here we suggest that PBG fibers with low-index contrast can be used to obtain fibers with zero dispersion and a large mode area below 800 nm.


Diffracted Evanescent Wave Model for Enhanced and Suppressed Optical Transmission Through Subwavelength Hole Arrays.

Nonlinear Optics

Here, we summarize the independent observations of vortex-ring lattice solitons by two separate groups. These vortex-ring solitons are generic to nonlinear lattices in two dimensions and are building blocks for more extended and complex wave structures.

Optical Engineering

Development of Polymer Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Flakes for Electro-Optic Applications.

Photonic Structures

Lateral Thinking With Photonic Crystal Fibers


Ince-Gaussian Beams: The Third Family of Eigenmodes of Stable Laser Resonators.

Quantum Optics

Quantum Cryptography Edges Toward Telecom Speeds and Practical Applications.

Semiconductor Optics

Short Fiber Lasers Produce Record Power/Length of 1.33W/cm.

Ultrafast Technology

Compressing Femtosecond Laser Pulses Non-Iteratively.

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