Feature Articles

Forty Years of Optical Manipulation

This year, as the laser celebrates its 50th anniversary, a field that was made possible through laser technology reaches an important milestone as well. Over the past 40 years, optical manipulation research has deepened our understanding of physics and biology, and it has yielded the optical-tweezer technique that is used across all the sciences.

by David McGloin and Jonathan P. Reid
Lasers in Communications

Low-cost semiconductor lasers power the shortest networks in the data center and the long-haul links that speed information around the globe. Today, lasers are integrated into photonic circuitry and even optical cables.

by Patricia Daukantas
Hermann von Helmholtz: A 19th Century Renaissance Man

Hermann von Helmholtz was many things to many people: physicist, teacher, medical doctor, aesthete and more. He drew on his extensive knowledge of many fields to invent the ophthalmoscope—a device that revolutionized ophthalmology—when he was just 29 years old.

by Barry R. Masters
The Promise of Diffractive Waveplates

Diffractive waveplates exhibit the high diffraction efficiency of Bragg gratings in micron-thick material layers.

by Nelson V. Tabiryan, Sarik R. Nersisyan, Diane M. Steeves and Brian R. Kimball

Departments and Columns

Chilean Children Take a Voyage of Light

In 2008, an optics professor at the University of Chile and ten pedagogy students began work on a program to educate elementary school children about light and optics. A marvelous voyage had begun.

Global Optics
Optics in India

From antiquity to C.V. Raman’s time to today, India has evolved to become a leader in optical research and industry.

Light Touch
A Popular History of the Laser

Long before Ted Maiman made the first ruby laser work, the concept of directed light had already entered the public consciousness—through all manner of sci-fi ray guns, “blasters,” and hand-held beams.

Flat Lens Zooms Fast

An adaptive liquid crystal (LC) diffractive lens developed at the University of Arizona (U.S.A.) focuses with high efficiency and zooms with millisecond-fast switching times.

Conversations in Optics
OPN Talks with Philippe Keryer

Our conversation with Philippe Keryer, executive VP at Alcatel-Lucent and OFC/NFOEC plenary speaker.

The History of OSA
Brace, Skinner and Tuckerman: Optics in the Heartland

In the late 1800s, the University of Nebraska became the first school west of the Mississippi to award a doctoral degree. It also gave optics three bright stars and early leaders.

Conversations in Optics
OPN Talks with Hideo Myahara

Our conversation with Hideo Myahara, president, National Institute of Information & Communications Technology and OFC/NFOEC plenary session keynote.

Filming Freezing Flies

To investigate why some insects can survive freezing, while others can’t, researchers filmed the formation and spread of ice in real time as fly larvae froze using high-energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source (APS).

Did You Know?

Using standard CMOS tools to fabricate a tiny map of the world.


Also in this Issue

Book Reviews
Book Reviews


OSA Today
OSA Today

President's Message
President’s Message

In Memory
In Memory