April 1997

Nonlinear Waveguides on the Way to the Marketplace

Jonas Webjörn, Derek Nam, Sabeur Siala, and Robert Waarts

The authors explore the process of quasi-phase-matched frequency doubling in nonlinear waveguides to create a blue laser.

Light at the End of the Tunnel? Femtosecond Pulses Excite Short-Wavelength Lasers

Hooker explores current work in the XUV and soft x-ray spectral region aimed at achieving “table-top” short-wavelength lasers.

Ultra-Low-Threshold Quantum-Confined Lasers Are Indeed Superb, But How "Quantum" Are They?

Most, if not all, semiconductor lasers manufactured today, which are key components in consumer items such as CD-ROMs and laser printers, are of the quantum well type. What gives these lasers their unequivocal superiorities? Is quantum confinement solely responsible? This article discusses some of these issues, and where the future may lie.

Microlaser-Ooptical-Mechanical Systems for Biomedicine: A biological microcavity laser for cell structure analysis

Gourley discusses the development of “biocavity” lasers and how they are allowing scientists to analyze cells in new and exciting ways.

The Christmas Corona

On Christmas Eve 1996, a spectacular sight occurred in the Colorado sky over Boulder. This did not involve flying reindeer, but with its vivid red and green colors did seem appropriate to the holiday season. As the last Christmas Eve full moon of this century passed behind a thin wave cloud, formed by the wind blowing from west to east over the Rocky Mountains, the small, uniform cloud droplets produced the most colorful lunar corona I have ever seen. My children, who have learned to notice optical phenomena in the sky, pointed it out to me, successfully delaying their bedtime another hour while we took photographs.

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