January 2021

Artist’s impression of a soliton microcomb device. [Image: Brian Long, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA]

Combs of Light on a Chip

Edwin Cartlidge

Frequency combs may soon leave the metrology lab and enter the mainstream.

Photonic Nanojets

Microspheres, microcylinders and more complex dielectric structures can create nanoscale concentrations of directed energy. Thanks to advances in fabrication techniques, these optical jets could soon find their way into applications.

Polaroid’s Experiment in South Africa

Fifty years ago this month, the high-profile U.S. photography and optics firm attempted to take action against apartheid. The project’s mixed results—and some details behind the story—remain relevant a half-century later.

Research and Industry News

Global Trust in Science

What Will Year Two of the Pandemic Bring?

The First Diffraction Gratings

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