Feature Articles

Recollections of the First Continuous Visible Laser

Alan White worked as a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs during its heyday for industrial research. Here, he recalls his work with Dane Rigden to develop the first continuous visible helium-neon laser in 1962—and how the project evolved from covert weekend tinkering to the talk of the lab.

by Alan D. White
Using Scattering to Identify Bacterial Pathogens

New advances in elastic light scattering technology allow for faster and more accurate identification of bacteria. By using globally networked libraries of unique scattering patterns produced by bacterial colonies, researchers have developed an efficient method of identifying pathogens that has potential applications in food and water safety, health care and biodefense.

by J.P. Robinson, B.P. Rajwa, E. Bae, V. Patsekin, A.M. Roumani, A.K. Bhunia, J.E. Dietz, V.J. Davisson, M.M. Dundar, J. Thomas and E.D. Hirleman
Tilted Fiber Bragg Gratings as Multi-Sensors

The tilted fiber Bragg grating is a new kind of sensor that possesses all the advantages of well-established Bragg grating technology in addition to being able to excite cladding modes resonantly. This device opens up a multitude of opportunities for single-point sensing in hard-to-reach spaces.

by Jacques Albert
Light in Flight: Optical Applications in Civilian Aviation

Optical technologies such as head-up displays, fiber sensors and quantum dots will help build 21st century airplanes, connect pilots to crucial information and ensure the structural health of aircraft.

by Patricia Daukantas

Departments and Columns

Light Touch
Britain's Acoustic Mirrors

Just as lenses reflect and concentrate light, dish-like structures called acoustic mirrors can amplify sound. These odd-looking devices have played a key role in the military history of Great Britain—and are now getting a second life as works of art.

Optical Engineering
Approximated Scatter Models for Stray Light Analysis

In the absence of measured data, stray light estimates can be daunting for engineers who do not regularly make scatter calculations. Here’s how to make reasonable approximations.

Career Focus
Making the Leap from Grad Student to Professor

Doing a teaching stint right out of graduate school is an often overlooked alternative to carrying out a postdoc that can allow you to explore new topics, interact with students and keep your options open.

Conversations in Optics
OPN Talks with Ferenc Krausz

Our conversations with Ferenc Krausz, attosecond aficionado and FiO plenary speaker.

Controlling Animal Behavior with Light

Scientists used optogenetics—a combination of genetic engineering and laser technology—to study the pathways between two parts of the brain involved in feeling reward.

The History of OSA
Missing Links in OSA’s Archives

As OSA approaches it centennial in 2016, its staff and volunteers are working to compile a comprehensive history of the organization. While we are gathering much information, there are still a few elusive missing photos and biographies.

Conversations in Optics
OPN Talks with Jorge Rocca

Our conversations with Jorge Rocca, compact X-ray laser luminary.

Exploring Mechanochromatic Dyes

Researchers can tune the optical properties of their boron-based reversible mechanochromic dyes with simple changes to the dye's chemical makeup.

Scientists Image Rods in the Living Eye

New research demonstrates a way to image tiny but important light receptors in the living eye.

Nanoscale Waveguide Steers Photonic Possibilities

Recent experiments demonstrate a new technique for confining light in nanoscale waveguides.


Also in this Issue

In Memory
In Memory

OSA Today
OSA Today

President's Message
President’s Message

Book Reviews
Book Reviews