March 1998

Lasers: Magic Bullets of the Cosmetic Revolution?

Susan M. Reiss

CO2 and erbium laser systems are the current lasers of choice for skin resurfacing applications. But which is better and are there alternatives? Reiss addresses these questions, and looks at the needs—both in training and technological development—of this fast growing market.

Using Optical Sensors to Measure Arterial Blood Gases

Fiber optic sensors that allow for real-time monitoring of blood gases offer a viable alternative to traditional electrochemical analyzers.

Plasmon Polariton Scattering from Rough Metal Surfaces

What are plasmon polaritons and how do they affect design calculations when dealing with rough metal surfaces? O'Donnell examines these resonant oscillations of conducted electrons.

UUDeview: Yet Another Format Converter

At one time, most e-mail was text, readable on a screen. Now, many types of non-textual information are being transmitted using a large variety of formats. When browsers such as Mosaic, Netscape, or Internet Explorer are used to obtain information, format conversions are often transparent to the user. However, once one leaves this cozy world, format conversion can be a problem.

Holography and Holographic Interferometry

Holography dates back to 1947, when Hungarian-born British scientist Dennis Gabor (1900-1979) developed the theory of holography while working to improve electron microscopy. Gabor coined the term hologram from the Greek words holos (meaning whole) and gramma (meaning message). The 1971 Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Gabor for this invention.

Two Nice Diffraction Experiments

This month I bring you two excerpts from Robert Ehrlich's book Turning the World Inside Out and 174 Other Simple Physics Demonstrations (see "Light Touch," January 1998). Ehrlich is professor of physics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The demonstrations described produce nice results, yet are very simple and inexpensive to set up. A small pen light with a Krypton bulb or a small decorative bulb serves as an excellent light source for them. Enjoy!

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