Feature Articles

Air-Quality Monitoring in the Mid-Infrared

Greenhouse gases and other air pollutants have spectral signatures in the mid-infrared region. Fortunately, modern lasers provide compact, low-power, high-sensitivity beams for portable detectors of trace levels of gas in our atmosphere that could cause harm to humans and ecosystems.

by Patricia Daukantas
Rogue Waves of Light

Studies of noise and instabilities in optics are yielding new insights into the mechanisms driving extreme events in other physical systems.

by John M. Dudley, Miro Erkintalo and Goëry Genty
Environment, Wildlife and LED Illumination

The emergence of LEDs in street lamps and other exterior lighting can have unpredictable impacts, not just for humans but also for plants and animals. But adjusting the LED spectrum could allow humans and wildlife to share the night.

by Jeff Hecht

Departments and Columns

Research and Industry News

Keeping photovoltaics cool, using “slow light” to carry cargo in the living cell, optical transistors, and more.

Optics Innovations
An Industrial THz Killer Application?

Terahertz technology is mature enough for large-volume sensing applications. However, Dook van Mechelen says there are a few hurdles preventing its industrial debut.

Beyond Borders
Education and Training for the Global Optics Workforce

OPN interviews OSA Fellow K. Alan Shore and OSA Senior Member Mourad Zghal about a recent international training conference.

Light Touch
Infinitely Distant

Stephen R. Wilk figures out why his collimator optics demonstration failed to produce an inverted image.


Also in this Issue

President's Message
Optics and the Environment

Optical Feedback
Letters from OPN Readers

Member News
OSA Update

OSA Foundation
Thank You 2015 OSA Foundation Donors

The OSA Foundation would like to thank its 2015 donors for their tremendous support this year. Your contributions have a direct impact on the community. For more information on The Foundation and its impact visit www.osa.org/foundation.