Feature Articles

Is Nothing Better Than Something?

The idea of guiding light through hollow pipes dates to the 19th century, but solid-core fibers made much better optical waveguides. Now the emerging technology of hollow-core fibers has resurrected an old idea.

by Jeff Hecht
Silicon Carbide: From Abrasives to Quantum Photonics

Traditionally used for abrasives, LEDs and transistors, the material may enable scalable quantum and nonlinear photonics through direct integration of solid-state qubits into photonic circuits.

by Daniil M. Lukin, Melissa A. Guidry and Jelena Vučković
Tim’s Vermeer, Reconsidered

A recent documentary feature film, Tim’s Vermeer, proposes that Johannes Vermeer secretly used a catadioptric telescope and novel mirror–comparator procedure to create his sublime paintings of domestic interiors. How well does that bold hypothesis stand up to analysis?

by David G. Stork

Departments and Columns

Research and Industry News

Efficient photon pairs / Imaging at atomic scales / QKD in fiber and space / Cephalopod skin / Spicy PSCs / Seven-octave light source / Lumentum seeks to buy Coherent / European photonic roadmap / Steam-powered CubeSats / Historical parchment

Meeting the Future: Fiber

A widely cited 2018 paper in Optics Express considered how well optical transmission systems would meet the challenges ahead. Recently reported advances show that fiber is on track to meet those challenges. (For a look at advances in hollow-core fibers, see this month’s cover story.)

Spotlight on SciComm

A science-communications thought leader stresses the importance of listening to and understanding your audience.

Career Focus
Course-Correcting a Career in Optics

An optical engineer at a lidar startup relates career advice he learned while navigating from academia to industry.

Then and Now
Lenses Go Liquid

The discovery of electrowetting nearly 150 years ago set the stage for manipulating liquid to act as a tunable lens, mimicking the crystalline lenses of the human eye.


Also in this Issue

Looking Back
30, 20, and 10 Years Ago in OPN

Ultrashort pulse generation; wavelength-division multiplexing; first fibered city

OSA Update
News from the Society

QE Prize for Engineering / Honors to Ferguson and Zheludev / OSA Fellow stories / Capasso receives 2021 Ives Award / WeAreOSA / U.S. science policy / Ippen is OSA Honorary Member / Bennet becomes Applied Optics EiC / Deutsch Fellow / Remembering Kapany and Harris / Thanks, editors and volunteers

After Image
Aliasing Artifact