Feature Articles

Optical Innovations in the James Webb Space Telescope

The team building the next big space observatory is using a surprising number of optical innovations—including the technique that helped fix the Hubble Space Telescope.

by Patricia Daukantas
Keeping It Together with Laser Welding

Laser welding is faster and cheaper than conventional joining technology, and it may even lead to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. Although laser welding is by no means easy to do, technological advances are making it an increasingly viable option within various industries, including transportation, electronics and sensing.

by Breck Hitz
Spontaneous Parametric Processes in Modern Optics

Spontaneous parametric processes have proved to be integral to the advancement of quantum information science. Their incredible versatility, in terms of the emission properties of entangled photons, allows for nearly unimaginable applications in the transmission and processing of quantum information.

by Hector Cruz-Ramirez, Roberto Ramirez-Alarcon, Maria Corona, Karina Garay-Palmett and Alfred B. U’Ren
Ludwig Boltzmann A Pioneer in Atomic Theory

Ludwig Boltzmann’s pioneering work in atomic-molecular kinetics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics bridged the gap between Maxwell’s classical physics of the 19th century and the quantum era ushered in by Planck and Einstein.

by Barry R. Masters

Departments and Columns

Imaging Living Organisms with Sheets of Light

Caltech researchers developed a type of microscopy that simultaneously achieves high resolution, penetration depth and imaging speed, filling biologists’ need for fast 3-D imaging methods of organisms that don’t perturb the sample.

Optical Engineering
Fabricating Aspherical Lenses

Although aspherical lenses are essential to many optical systems, their manufacture is notoriously complicated. Here, Oliver Fähnle from FISBA OPTIK AG shares his views on aspherical lens fabrication and the methods his lab applies in order to achieve optimum results with minimal slope and shape errors.

Policy Matters
Australian Senator Advocates National Broadband Plan

Australian Senator Stephen Conroy was recently named as OSA’s 2011 Advocate of Optics. He was chosen for his work in championing a National Broadband Network for Australia that will establish fiber optic communications directly to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools and businesses.

Light Touch
The Violet Ray: A Handful of Lightning to Cure What Ails You

Promoters of the first Civil War-era medical electrical generators claimed that applying an electric current to the body would fix whatever ailed you. Although most health benefits have been dismissed as quackery, the technology has a legitimate yet minor role in scientific research.

The Art of Seeing: Educating Kids with Partial Vision

Educating young children with partial vision presents a special set of challenges. The Nicolaus Copernicus University OSA student chapter in Poland rose to the occasion by developing a national contest to design optical toys geared toward kids with significant visual impairment.

Photo Contest
Winning Images

Results from OPN’s sixth annual After Image photo contest.

“Cakes” of Carbon Nanotubes Could Measure Terahertz Power

NIST researchers created arrays of extra-long carbon nanotubes that absorb virtually all radiation at these wavelengths—an important step in designing appropriate radiometric detectors.

Making Materials with No Phase Delay

By stacking alternating layers of an engineered negative-refractive-index photonic crystal and positive-index material, researchers built a structure with an average refractive index of zero in the near infrared.

Tiny Camera Captures Images without Lenses

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a tiny electronic camera that captures images without using lenses to focus the incoming light.


Also in this Issue

President's Message
President's Message


OSA Today
OSA Today

In Memory
In Memory

Book Reviews
Book Reviews