December 2007

Optics in 2007: Introduction

Robert D. Guenther

This special issue of Optics & Photonics News (OPN) highlights the most exciting research to emerge in the preceding 12 months in the fast-paced world of optics. “Optics in 2007” offers readers a unique opportunity to access, in a single source, summaries of cutting-edge optics research reported in the peer-reviewed press. The areas covered in 2007 include biophotonics, communications, holography, lasers, micro-optics, microscopy, nonlinear optics, photonic structures, plasmonics, quantum optics, slow light, solitons and ultrafast optics.


Optics has provided key tools for advancing both modern and traditional biology.


Although there has been a decrease in telecom research since 2000, significant optical engineering advances continue to provide important contributions to wide-bandwidth communications.


Through a careful analysis of numerically reconstructed holographic images, it is possible to obtain 3D information from a single high-aperture EUV Gabor hologram.


Researchers have demonstrated the optical cooling of a laser.


What unique performance can be provided by micro-optical systems? Is there a limit to the reduction we can make in optical systems? Researchers have taken steps to address these questions.


Investigators have found new ways to provide the biological community with more powerful tools.

Nonlinear Optics

Phase matching is a necessity, but what happens in the extreme? Can we use the nonlinear processes to create the necessary phase matching?

Photonic Structures

The field of photonic structures now includes not only the identification of naturally occurring structures and the production of conventional optical operations, but the observation of disordered optical structures.


Surface plasmons are finding interesting applications in nano-optics, where the attenuation does not dominate.

Quantum Optics

Interestingly, quantum optics is being used to solve problems in classical optics.

Slow Light

We are finally observing slow light without having to make heroic efforts.


We can now create structures to form solitons.

Ultrafast Optics

Short optical pulses provide useful material processing capability.


A new intraocular lens has been developed to correct coma. Another finding about metamerism shows that the eye-brain connection stills surprises.

Surface-Vein Scans Track Cancer Spread

Did You Know?

OPN Talks with Robert M. Metcalfe

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