Feature Articles

History of the Optical Society: Origins and Roots Do Matter

A historical sketch of contributions The Optical Society and its members made to programs in the defense industry which depend on optical technology.

by F. Dow Smith
Protecting the War Fighter's Vision In a Laser-Rich, Battlefield Environment

A look at the passive nonlinear optical limiter, which offers the best hope for visual protection against the threat of laser systems on the battlefield.

by James S. Shirk
Optical Technology in Naval Applications

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), as the U.S. Navy's corporate laboratory, conducts a broad R&D effort. Described in this article are a selection of NRL projects that represent the importance of optical technology in naval applications and illustrate why optics has a key role in the naval arena.

by T.G. Giallorenzi

Departments and Columns

Research and Industry News

Mazur Helps Discover Mysterious Black Silicon / Coalition for Photonics and Optics Holds Federal Funding Forum / New Electro-Optics Center To Be Created in Southwestern Pennsylvania / High-Tech Incubator Opens in Orlando / Spectromicroscopy Findings Hold Promise For the Development of Improved Magnetic Devices / Adaptive Optics System Captures Infrared Images Of Neptune and Titan / Laser 40th Reunion and Hughes Research Lab Open House / Historic “Uniform Color Scales” Donated to OSA

Capital View
Riding the Range

A look over the science and technology terrain in Washington, D.C., USA

Legal Lens
The American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

A discussion of the patent legislation signed into law on November 29, 1999.

Selecting An Advisor: Twenty-Five Questions to Ask

To help new students select a good advisor, a group of physics graduate students at Harvard University, USA, prepared a list of questions to ask about potential advisors.

OSA Annual Meeting
OSA 1999 Annual Program Report

A brief discussion of OSA’s 10 key results for 1999 and the status of each. Also included is a report on OSA Board of Directors’ actions and a list of award recipients.


A look at different ellipsometers, which are used to determine the optical and structural constants of thin films and flat surfaces based on the measurements of the ellipse of polarization in reflected or transmitted light.

Zoom Lens for a Digital Camera

This month’s design is a 2.8:1 zoom lens intended for a 1/4-inch (4.5mm diagonal) sensor.

The Optics InfoBase is Coming Soon!

An introduction to the Optics InfoBase, an internet-based repository designed to provide optics professionals with easy access to the quality optics information they need and desire.


Also in this Issue

From the President
From the President

2000 OSA President Erich Ippen provides a recap of the 2000 OSA Leadership Conference.

Optical Feedback
Letters to the Editor

An author responds to an OPN Book Review of his work; and a correction to a post-deadline paper, summarized in the “Recent Research” column of the January 2000 OPN.

Book Reviews
Book Reviews

Reviews of Fiber Bragg Gratings by Yakov Sidorin / Nonlinear Fitters for Image Processing by Barry R. Masters / Ferroelectric Phenomena in Crystals: Physical Foundations by D. Perlov