March 2004

Using Optics to Monitor Volcanoes

Ulrike Willer, Christian Bohling and Wolfgang Schade

Geochemical reactions and seismic activity lead to changes in the temperature and composition of volcanic gases. Laser spectroscopy enables online, in situ monitoring of volcanoes. In combination with fiber optic sensors, it may one day serve as the basis for a new type of eruption warning system.

An Analysis of OSA’s Peer Review Survey

Peer review of scientific articles is considered a fundamental professional responsibility by the majority of those who responded to a survey of reviewers for OSA’s journals.

Quantum Key Distribution: How Do We Know It’s Secure?

Quantum key distribution—the creation of secret keys from quantum mechanical correlations—is an example of how physical methods can be used to solve problems in classical information theory. The author describes the basic principles that can be used to confirm the security of the quantum key distribution systems now being marketed to banks, governments and network service providers.

Optics and the Old Masters Revisited

Did Jan van Eyck use an optical projector to create one of the most famous paintings of the early Renaissance? Some have suggested that the artist built the projector by reversing the convex mirror depicted in the painting itself. The author arrives at a different conclusion by use of geometrical optical analysis.

Transmission of Light Through Small Elliptical Apertures (Part 1)

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