February 2009

Optical Filters in Nature

H.D. Wolpert

Optical engineers require an array of sophisticated equipment to produce what Mother Nature creates effortlessly—optical filters that are diverse, complex and visually striking.


Half a Century of Laser Weapons

Even before the laser was invented, science fiction writers saw rich potential in the use of light-beam “death rays” as powerful tools of destruction. But the real history of directed-energy weapons in the United States has been fraught with political and technical challenges and setbacks.

Reflections on Total Internal Reflection

These authors probe some of the most fundamental approximations in optics to explore why total internal reflection is not as straightforward as it might seem.


Plasma Polarization Puzzler

Metamaterials Enable Sub-Diffraction Imaging

Did You Know?

LightPath Finds a New Path

OSA’s First Four Presidents


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