Feature Articles

Optics in 2010 Introduction

This special issue of OPN highlights the most exciting peer-reviewed optics research to have emerged over the past 12 months. This year's issue includes 30 summaries representing the work of more than 130 authors from 14 countries.

by GUEST EDITORS: Robert D. Guenther, Judith Dawes, Rongguang Liang, Carlos López-Mariscal and Elena Silaeva
Guided Waves

Photonic structures allow control of dispersion in guided wave systems.


New ideas in compressive sensing are expanding our imaging capability. Research that models the retina has led to an understanding of the eye’s acuity.

Interferometric Imaging

We have developed interferometric systems to measure nanosize structures and freeze their motion in time. Researchers have also suggested a method to extract both phase and amplitude information for crystallography.


We are developing a better understanding of the fundamentals of novel lasing devices such as the quantum cascade laser and the random laser.

Nonlinear Optics

Optical switching has now been made efficient through the use of nonlinear processes.

Optical Construction

The use of light for controlling objects led to the development of optical tweezers. Now, the applications have expanded into the creation of three-dimensional structures and the control of surface structures.

Optical Engineering

Researchers are once again interested in using non-diffracting beams of light because of the possibility

Optical Magnetic Interaction

Magnetic interactions with light are usually so small that they are ignored, even in nonlinear optics. Scientists have discovered that parametric processes can drive the interactions to unanticipated strengths.


Plasmonic lenses have been developed for detecting circular polarization.

Quantum Optics

Quantum information science continues to drive work in quantum optics. New research makes fundamental measurements showing parity-time symmetry breaking using an optical system.


Spectroscopic imaging has become a useful diagnostic tool in biology and chemistry.

Ultrafast Optics

A novel method of deflecting an optical beam has produced a new streak camera design.

Departments and Columns

Tripping the Laser Fantastic: A Look Back at LaserFest 2010

As our global celebration of the birth of the laser ends, OSA Past President Tom Baer reflects on the year’s events and festivities—and the 50 years of laser history that preceded them.

Optical Engineering
Using Rapid Prototyping for Lens Mounts

An optical engineer shares his notes on using rapid prototyping technologies to create lens mounts.

Helping Eyes Heal Themselves

A new treatment for people with damaged corneas may emerge from a study in which corneas regenerated around an implanted collagen scaffolding.

Career Focus
Finding the Right Graduate-Level Internship

Internships are not just for college kids. They’re a low-risk way for graduate students and young professionals to try out various career options and research opportunities.

Global Optics
Photonics in Europe

Photonics has been offi cially acknowledged as a key enabling technology in Europe. Driven by global trends and growing awareness, Europe is experiencing industry growth and an increase in the number of optical societies and public private partnerships that promote photonics applications.

The History of OSA
Presidents of the Early 1950s

John chronicles the lives of two key Society leaders in the 1950s—a distinguished spectroscopist and a pioneering optical engineer.

Slow-Light Silicon Chip Could Lead to Practical All-Optical Switches

A U.S.-based team has demonstrated the slowest light ever propagated on a single silicon chip.

Laser Technique Moves Particles more than a Meter

In an extension of optical tweezer technology, a new technique guides 100-µm particles more than a meter through air, along a narrow and controllable tube made of laser light.

Optical Clock Leads to Better Measurements of Relativity

Thanks to super-accurate optical clocks, scientists can measure the effects of relativity on ordinary speeds in the everyday world—10 m/s, which is 33 kph or roughly 22 mph.

The Optical Aspects of Graphene Research

Graphene, the one-atom-thick carbon lattice that is the subject of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, has many potential applications in photonics—from flexible solar cells and thin-film displays to heat dissipation in tiny optoelectronic devices.


Also in this Issue

OSA Today
OSA Today

President's Message
President’s Message

Book Reviews
Book Reviews


In Memory
In Memory

Remembering OSA Fellows Carl R. Ingling, Norman J. Brown Jr. and Raymond N. Smartt.