Peer review of scientific articles is considered a fundamental professional responsibility by the majority of those who responded to a survey of reviewers for OSA’s journals.by John Childs, Kelly Cohen, Mark Dixon and Paul L. Kelley
Geochemical reactions and seismic activity lead to changes in the temperature and composition of volcanic gases. Laser spectroscopy enables online, in situ monitoring of volcanoes. In combination with fiber optic sensors, it may one day serve as the basis for a new type of eruption warning system.by Ulrike Willer, Christian Bohling and Wolfgang Schade
Quantum key distribution—the creation of secret keys from quantum mechanical correlations—is an example of how physical methods can be used to solve problems in classical information theory. The author describes the basic principles that can be used to confirm the security of the quantum key distribution systems now being marketed to banks, governments and network service providers.by Norbert Lütkenhaus
Did Jan van Eyck use an optical projector to create one of the most famous paintings of the early Renaissance? Some have suggested that the artist built the projector by reversing the convex mirror depicted in the painting itself. The author arrives at a different conclusion by use of geometrical optical analysis.by David G. Stork
Departments and Columns
The apertures of classical optics simply block those parts of an incident wavefront that fall outside the aperture, allowing everything else to go through intact.Moreover,multiple apertures act upon an incident beam independently of each other, polarization effects are usually negligible (i.e., scalar diffraction), and it is not necessary to keep track of both the electric- and the magnetic-field components of the beam.
The federal government is acting to address both concerns. The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which authorizes $3.7 billion in federal funding over four years, requires study of the potential impact of nanotechnology on society.