January 2010

History of Gas Lasers, Part 1—Continuous Wave Gas Lasers

Jeff Hecht

In this first of a two-part series, Jeff Hecht relives the excitement that accompanied the development of the first gas lasers to generate continuous-wave beams.

A Snapshot of Optical Communications

Optical communications is advancing at nearly the speed of light. This preview of March’s Optical Fiber Conference/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference describes current trends, including the increasing role of wireless technologies and the continued integration of optics with other networking layers.

CMOS Sensors for Imaging Blood Flow

Laser Doppler flowmetry is useful for monitoring blood flow, but the slow scanning speed can introduce motion artifacts and make detection of rapid changes impossible. Instruments that incorporate CMOS technology may enable real-time imaging of microcirculation.

Fresnel Reflection, Lenserf Reflection and Evanescent Gain

Recent investigations into Fresnel reflection and total internal reflection have led to conflicting results when the evanescent medium is “gainy” rather than lossless or lossy. This controversy can be resolved by introducing the much less well known concept of Lenserf reflection—an idea put forward by the illustrious Dr. Tung Inn Cheek.

Social Media Illuminate Optics

Defunct Lasers

Lasers Go Ultralong

Eyeing Shrimp Eyes for Manipulating Polarization

Did You Know?

Early Profiles in Optics: Charles E. Mendenhall

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