Feature Articles

Optical Filters in Nature

Optical engineers require an array of sophisticated equipment to produce what Mother Nature creates effortlessly—optical filters that are diverse, complex and visually striking.

by H.D. Wolpert
Half a Century of Laser Weapons

Even before the laser was invented, science fiction writers saw rich potential in the use of light-beam “death rays” as powerful tools of destruction. But the real history of directed-energy weapons in the United States has been fraught with political and technical challenges and setbacks.

by Jeff Hecht
Reflections on Total Internal Reflection

These authors probe some of the most fundamental approximations in optics to explore why total internal reflection is not as straightforward as it might seem.

by Lorne A. Whitehead and Michele A. Mossman

Departments and Columns

Optics Innovations
LightPath Finds a New Path

How a niche telecom company turned into a high-volume supplier.

Plasma Polarization Puzzler

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers produced pairs of 80-fs, 800-nm pulses using a Ti:sapphire laser and a Michelson interferometer.

The History of OSA
OSA’s First Four Presidents

A look back at the Optical Society’s founding fathers.

Energy Solutions that Work Smarter, not Harder.

The 2008 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow makes the case for an often-overlooked energy solution: increasing the efficiency of our existing resources.

Metamaterials Enable Sub-Diffraction Imaging

Optical superlenses made with negative-refractive materials could allow much finer optical lithography and chip inspection.

Did You Know?

Substrate-Bound Proteins Create Image of Einstein


Also in this Issue

Book Reviews
Book Reviews

OSA Fellows
2009 OSA Fellows

OSA Today
OSA Today

President's Message
President’s Message