December 2008

Optics in 2008

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.

Beam Engineering

By properly shaping the waveform, we can now control the diffraction of light.


Optics has provided key tools for advancing modern and traditional biology. Now it may play a role in reducing medical costs.

Diffractive Structures

Photonic structures began in the search for localization associated with defects. Now, however, localized states have been demonstrated in defect-free media.


We have created lasers with operating properties that we never would have dreamed of when the technology was invented 50 years ago.

Material Processing

Short optical pulses provide useful material processing capability.


We continue to find new performance enhancements even for mature technologies like optical microscopy


The coupling of micro-fluidics and array imaging opens a fascinating area of research.

Nonlinear Optics

Nonlinear optical response has enhanced our ability to produce coherent light throughout the optical spectral region.

Optical Engineering

New waveform generation provides the experimentalist with interesting new tools

Optical Storage

Temporal storage of optical signals is a needed capability in communications.

Optical Tweezers

First discovered in 1970, optical tweezers can now be generated and controlled.


Electron-spin-based photonic devices are a hot topic in optical research.

Quantum Optics

It is now possible to conduct optical experiments on systems that exhibit strongly correlated behavior.

Remote Sensing

We continue to develop more sensitive systems for the remote sensing of biological and chemical trace components.


We have missed the presence of resonant scattering behavior in the Rayleigh region for years, but a clue was lurking in quantum theory.

Terahertz Technology

This frequency range has had a variety of names since the 1960s, and researchers continue to be interested in exploiting this spectral region.

Ultrafast Optics

We describe a novel short pulse laser system.

Phase Mask Could Boost Iris Recognition Systems

Did You Know?

The Quest for Women Scientists

Bridging the Gap

Sea Change: A History of Submarine Periscopes

Early OSA Honors and Awards

Recent Issues

July/August 2020 July/August 2020
June 2020 June 2020
May 2020 May 2020

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