Explore OSA 100

OSA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, marking a century of innovation. As part of our celebration, we have created a Centennial Exhibit that highlights 100 iconic images representing OSA and the world of optics and photonics.

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Optical Clock
A strontium-ion optical clock, National Physical Laboratory, UK.

Optical Clock

001

Bose-Einstein Condensate
The development of Bose-Einstein condensation in rubidium atoms.

Bose-Einstein Condensate

002

Richard Perkin
Richard Perkin founded Perkin-Elmer in 1937, which manufactures optical components and systems.

Richard Perkin

003

Student Chapters
OSA’s extensive network of Student Chapters reaches around the globe.

Student Chapters

004

Telescopes
The Hubble Space Telescope as seen from Space Shuttle Discovery.

Telescopes

005

Philanthropy
The OSA Foundation, launched in 2002, supports a range of activities promoting the field of optics and photonics and recognizing student excellence.

Philanthropy

006

A.A. Michelson
The first American to win a Nobel Prize for scientific research, A.A. Michelson developed precision optical instruments.

A.A. Michelson

007

LaserFest

LaserFest

008

Arthur Schawlow
Arthur Schawlow’s toy gun contains a laser tuned to pass through a transparent surface.

Arthur Schawlow

009

International Year of Light (IYL)
2015 was the International Year of Light.

International Year of Light (IYL)

010

Laser Surgery
Laser surgery is precise and can limit bleeding, pain, swelling and scarring.

Laser Surgery

011

OSA Publishing
OSA Publishing/Infobase is the largest peer-reviewed collection of optics and photonics information in the world.

OSA Publishing

012

Displays
An array of flat panel displays.

Displays

013

Fiber Optics Demonstration
Murray Ramsay demonstrates fiber-optic video communications to Queen Elizabeth II

Fiber Optics Demonstration

014

Color
Color is defined using hue, saturation and brightness.

Color

015

Imagery in Space
“Earthrise” taken from Apollo 8 in 1968.

Imagery in Space

016

 Medical Imaging
Imaging technologies now offer unprecedented views of brain activity.

Medical Imaging

017

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein’s research was integral to laser development.

Albert Einstein

018

Vision
Understanding optics of the eye, from vision technologies to color to coding and detection

Vision

019

Ultrafast Photonics
Used in communications systems to improve transmission speeds, ultrafast photonics is improving imaging of ultrafast biological and chemical processes.

Ultrafast Photonics

020

Remote Sensing
Starting in the 1940s, innovative optical designs and technologies have advanced our ability to survey the Earth remotely.

Remote Sensing

021

George Ellery Hale
One of OSA’s first honorary members, George Ellery Hale was a pioneering astronomer.

George Ellery Hale

022

Nonlinear Optics
Nonlinear optics refers to the unconventional behavior of light when it interacts with matter.

Nonlinear Optics

023

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) generate sharp, focused light.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

024

OSA Awards
OSA Awards recognize outstanding achievement in optics and photonics.

OSA Awards

025

Cell Phones
Cell phones rely heavily on optical technology.

Cell Phones

026

Lasers
Lasers deliver a tightly focused light beam enabling multiple applications.

Lasers

027

Mildred Dresselhaus
Mildred Dresselhaus was among the first to use lasers for magneto-optics experiments

Mildred Dresselhaus

028

Nobel Prize Winners
OSA is home to 34 Nobel Prize winners.

Nobel Prize Winners

029

George Eastman
Together George Eastman and Thomas Edison made movies possible.

George Eastman

030

Cameras
Eastman Kodak manufactured the Brownie Target Six-20 from 1941 to 1952.

Cameras

031

Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Maria Goeppert-Mayer predicted two-photon absorption in 1931 and received a Nobel Prize for defining an atom’s nuclear structure.

Maria Goeppert-Mayer

032

Emil Wolf
Emil Wolf served as OSA President in 1978.

Emil Wolf

033

30 Members Establish OSA - Annual Meeting
In a century, OSA has grown from 30 charter members to 20,000 members from 180 Countries

30 Members Establish OSA - Annual Meeting

034

Edwin Land
Inventor Edwin Land first demonstrated the polaroid instant camera at an OSA meeting in 1947.

Edwin Land

035

Optical Data Storage
Compact discs inexpensively store software, movies, games and data.

Optical Data Storage

036

Hilda Kingslake
OSA Fellow Hilda Kingslake was a lens designer and historian of OSA. She was the wife of Rudolf Kingslake, founder of the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics.

Hilda Kingslake

037

Optical Tweezers
An artist’s rendering of DNA held by two beads trapped in optical tweezers.

Optical Tweezers

038

OPN
OPN is OSA’s award winning news magazine. It began as Optics News in 1975.

OPN

039

Subsea Fiber Optic Communications
Undersea fiber optic cable (like this one, made by TE Connectivity SubCom) makes up the backbone of the world's international communication network.

Subsea Fiber Optic Communications

040

Rudolf Kingslake
Rudolf Kingslake, OSA President from 1947-48 and 1973 Frederic Ives medalist.

Rudolf Kingslake

041

3D Printing
3D printers generate on-demand objects using lasers and “inks” made of plastic, ceramic or metal.

3D Printing

042

Katharine Burr Blodgett
Katharine Burr Blodgett invented “invisible” or nonreflecting glass.

Katharine Burr Blodgett

043

OSA Presidents
For a 100 years, OSA has benefited from the dedicated leadership of its presidents.

OSA Presidents

044

Four-Color DNA Sequencing
Four-color DNA sequencing identifies the order of nucleotides in a DNA fragment. Red, blue, green and yellow represent one of the four DNA nucleotides.

Four-Color DNA Sequencing

045

Biometrics
Automated facial recognition and fingerprint identification are just two forms of biometrics.

Biometrics

046

Ernst Abbe
Ernst Abbe is the father of modern optics.

Ernst Abbe

047

OSA Local Sections
OSA local sections number 22 around the world. Rochester, N.Y. is home to OSA’s first Local Section founded in 1916.

OSA Local Sections

048

Optics for Kids
OSA sponsors multiple programs to promote optics and photonics among K-12 students. Legacy programs include the Optics Discovery Kit and the Optics Suitcase.

Optics for Kids

049

Mary Warga
Physicist Mary Warga became OSA’s first staff member, serving as executive secretary from 1959 to 1972. She received the first OSA Distinguished Service Award in 1973.

Mary Warga

050

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive imaging technique providing high-resolution sectioning of biological samples.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

051

Chien-Shiung Wu
Experimental physicist Chien-Shiung Wu disproved a fundamental law of nature.

Chien-Shiung Wu

052

Artificial Retina
The Argus II is the first FDA-approved retinal implant to treat adults with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of genetic conditions limit vision.

Artificial Retina

053

Anthony Siegman
Laser pioneer and renowned educator Anthony Siegman served as OSA President and was active in the OSA Foundation.

Anthony Siegman

054

Stimulated Emission
Photons (red sine wave) are involved in transitions between energy levels.

Stimulated Emission

055

Adolph Lomb
Adolph Lomb served as OSA Treasurer from 1916-1932.

Adolph Lomb

056

OSA Community
The Optical Society is the professional home to 270,000 scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs.

OSA Community

057

Perley Nutting
OSA founder Perley Nutting served as president from 1916 to 1917.

Perley Nutting

058

Laser Scanning Barcodes
Laser barcode scanners transformed inventory tracking and shopping trips.

Laser Scanning Barcodes

059

Frederic Ives and His  Medal
OSA’s highest honor, the Frederic Ives Award, recognizes overall distinction in optics.

Frederic Ives and His Medal

060

OSA Journals
OSA’s top-rated journals present the latest findings of researchers working in the field of optics and photonics.

OSA Journals

061

Elizabeth Rogan
Elizabeth Rogan has served as OSA CEO since 2002.

Elizabeth Rogan

062

Quantum Optics
Quantum optics explains how laser light interacts with matter on a quantum level.

Quantum Optics

063

Max Planck
Max Planck earned the 1918 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work describing the flow of energy in discrete packets called quanta.

Max Planck

064

Charles Townes
Charles Hard Townes with the maser, the laser’s forerunner, in 1955.

Charles Townes

065

OSA Treasurers
During the OSA century, just nine members have occupied the office of treasurer.

OSA Treasurers

066

Carl Zeiss
Carl Zeiss was a prolific optical designer, fabricator and entrepreneur.

Carl Zeiss

067

Xerography
In 1938, Chester Carlson invented electrophotography which came to be known as xerography.

Xerography

068

Quantum Encryption
Quantum encryption uses photons to secure messages, data and other sensitive information.

Quantum Encryption

069

OFC
OFC grew out of a topical meeting on optical fiber transmission. The first OFC meeting was held in Washington, D.C. in 1979.

OFC

070

Theodore Maiman
Theodore Maiman demonstrated the world’s first laser in May 1960.

Theodore Maiman

071

Spectroscopy
Spectroscopy maps the unique spectral signatures of materials.

Spectroscopy

072

Optical Lithography
Optical lithography uses light to pattern integrated circuits for microelectronic applications.

Optical Lithography

073

Frequency Combs
Optical frequency combs precisely measure different colors of light.

Frequency Combs

074

OSA Fellows
OSA Fellows are OSA members who have distinguished themselves by advancing the field.

OSA Fellows

075

Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Willard Boyle (left) and George Smith, inventors of the charge coupled device sensor.

Charge Coupled Device (CCD)

076

Willis Lamb
Willis Lamb received the Nobel Prize in 1955 for revealing the fine structure of optical radiation from hydrogen. His work laid the foundation for quantum electrodynamics.

Willis Lamb

077

Laser Fusion
Laser fusion replicates the energy produced by the sun and stars.

Laser Fusion

078

Advocacy
OSA is working to grow and sustain global science funding.

Advocacy

079

Robotics
Optical sensors and lasers are just two light-based technologies advancing robotics.

Robotics

080

Neon Signs
OSA founder Perley G. Nutting designed one of the first neon gas signs.

Neon Signs

081

Gisela Eckhardt
Gisela Eckhardt was an early pioneer in laser physics.

Gisela Eckhardt

082

Solar Panels
Energy farm with solar panel battery field.

Solar Panels

083

OSA Honorary Members
This distinguished group includes honorary members Charles Townes, Gerhard Herzberg, Dennis Gabor and Art Schawlow.

OSA Honorary Members

084

Jean Bennett
Jean Bennett was OSA’s first female president.

Jean Bennett

085

Night Vision
Night vision enhances the available light to make a dark scene visible.

Night Vision

086

Microscopy
Microscope objectives magnify objects too small to view with the human eye alone.

Microscopy

087

James G. Baker
James G. Baker, OSA President and winner of multiple OSA awards.

James G. Baker

088

Bell Laboratories
Critical advances in telecommunications such as the laser and optical amplifiers were developed at Bell Laboratories.

Bell Laboratories

089

Max Born
Max Born’s mathematical calculations were the underpinning of quantum mechanics.

Max Born

090

High Speed Photography
Taken in 1964, this is Harold Edgerton’s most famous picture. His knack for invention created the electronic flash--- allowing even the incredible speed of a bullet to be frozen in place.

High Speed Photography

091

CLEO
CLEO/IQEC grew out of a strong tradition of providing forums for the optics community to share information on the latest basic and applied laser research.

CLEO

092

Jarus Quinn
OSA’s first Executive Director, Jarus Quinn, guided society activities from 1969 to 1994. guided society activities as OSA's first Executive Director

Jarus Quinn

093

Metamaterials
Metamaterials possess unusual but useful properties.

Metamaterials

094

CV Raman
CV Raman received the 1930 Nobel Prize for his research on light scattering.

CV Raman

095

OIDA
Formerly known as the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association, OIDA is now known as OSA Industry Development Associates.

OIDA

096

Holography
Holography, developed by Dennis Gabor in the 1940s, became practical after the laser’s invention in 1960.

Holography

097

Otto Schott
Otto Schott is the father of glass science and the specialized glass industry.

Otto Schott

098

JOSA
JOSA, OSA’s first journal, was published between 1917 and 1983. In 1984, JOSA split into JOSA A and B.

JOSA

099

C.E.K. Mees
OSA honorary member C.E.K. Mees was director of Kodak Research Laboratories.

C.E.K. Mees

100

A strontium-ion optical clock, National Physical Laboratory, UK.

001

Optical Clock

Atomic clocks based on the elements strontium and ytterbium may prove even more precise than cesium clocks, considered the most accurate time-keepers.
Precise time is especially important for GPS, radio astronomy, financial transactions and identifying changes in fundamental constants. (Photo: National Physical Laboratory)
(Courtesy of National Physical Laboratory)