Feature Articles

Plasmonic Communications: Light on a Wire

By coupling light to the charges at metal interfaces, plasmonics enables scientists to manipulate photons in a way they never have before: at the subwavelength level. With its potential to produce ultra-compact devices that relay information almost instantaneously, plasmonics may be the next big—and small—thing in optical communications.

by Juerg Leuthold and colleagues
ICAN: The Next Laser Powerhouse

An international team of researchers is looking toward the next frontier of high-energy laser physics: building efficient, high–average-power lasers. With a revolutionary architecture that combines thousands of coherent fibers, the laser being developed under the ICAN project could transform nuclear medicine, detect nuclear waste and form the basis for the next great particle accelerator.

by Toshiki Tajima, William Brocklesby and Gérard Mourou
Light-Wave Mixing in Quantum Gases

Nonlinear optics has come a long way since the laser. This article reviews recent progress in coherent wave mixing and introduces some new concepts that will reframe future research directions.

by L. Deng, E.W. Hagley, R.Q. Wang and C.W. Clark

Departments and Columns


Headliners, policy news and industry updates.

Reflections in Diversity
Combatting Stereotype Threat

Anthony M. Johnson talks about an insidious obstacle for women and minority scientists.

Conversations in Optics
Laser Hall-of-Famer: C. Kumar N. Patel

The recent U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee will deliver a plenary talk at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO: 2013), 9-14 June in San Jose, Calif. (U.S.A.).

Career Focus
Breaking into Academia

One size doesn’t fit all.

Light Touch
Sandbow or Rainbow?

Water droplets and ice crystals create beautiful rainbows that paint the sky. Can other natural particles produce similar arcs of color?

Picoprojector Technologies: Seeing the Big Picture

Picoprojectors seem to offer the impossible: They are as small as a mobile phone with a screen at least as big as a laptop. This article compares four commercial devices.


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President's Message
President's Message