OSA members share about their work, sources of inspiration, tales from recent events, the value of OSA membership, and more.



David Shafer

Magnifying glasses had always seemed magical to me, as a child.  There are no moving parts or hidden mechanisms and yet this miracle occurs when you look through it.  By fooling around, as a kid, with some cheap assortments of small random lenses from Edmund Scientific I learned some basics of first-order optics. 1957 was the International Geophysical Year and astronomy was in the news.  I was 13 and living on a remote chicken farm (5,000 chickens, although by now I have... Continue Reading

Diaa Ahmed Mohamed Ahmedien

I remember when I graduated from the faculty of Art Education, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, and I was about to begin my master studies, I was thinking of the relationship between Art, sciences and technology. Finally I decided to begin to study Laser and its physical and chemical applications in visual arts. That was a hard decision because this specialization was so rare in Egypt. I was not able to expect that I would achieve my laser studies successfully and applying them in my art... Continue Reading

Erich Ippen, 2000 OSA President

I was very lucky.  Not just to have the honor of being a President of OSA, but because the year of my presidency, 2000, was an extraordinarily exciting year for the Society.  We had a lot of fun.  The explosive demand for optics and photonics in telecommunications and the business opportunities it created were attracting widespread attention to our profession.  The Society was becoming more international.  Our Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) attracted over 17,000... Continue Reading

Hui Wang: OSA article for LIGHT

When CIOMP extended an invitation to OSA to attend the 60th anniversary celebration, we accepted with great anticipation. From the moment our delegation arrived to the time of our departure, we experienced the kindness, enthusiasm and warmth of CIOMP’s faculty and students.  We had the opportunity to interact with these extraordinary faculty and students who welcomed us and made us feel at home. No expense was spared as we toured CIOMP’s magnificent new facilities,... Continue Reading

Jerzy Ciosek

I was interested in papers published in OSA journals since 1973 year when I went to Military University of Technology (MUT). As physicist I made a study of light interaction with matter, quantum effects, and modification methods of surfaces for application purpose.
I was affiliated with thin film subject early because I defended a thesis “Temperature effect on the spectral characteristics of narrow-band interference filters” when I was graduated on the faculty... Continue Reading

Robert Greenler: Scientific Terminology

One summer we played at blowing bubbles with a device consisting of a loop of a webbing material that can be dipped into a detergent solution and then spread to make a source of giant bubbles. With practice, we could launch bubbles a meter in diameter or, in a slight wind, could make cylindrical bubbles 10 or 12 feet long. The long bubbles are not stable but rather quickly break up into smaller bubbles. They did last long enough to be captured on film.
I have used those... Continue Reading

Michael Raymer

I was attracted to OSA as a graduate student by the high reputations of the imminent luminaries who were long-time members: people such as Emil Wolf, Leonard Mandel, Roy Glauber and Joe Eberly. My thinking then was that if I could contribute to basic science even a small fraction of what they had contributed, I would consider myself a success. From that inspiration grew my career as an optics researcher and educator. I recall as a new Assistant Professor I co-authored one of my most... Continue Reading

Judy Donnelly

Collaboration is essential to the development and dissemination of innovative educational materials and I've been fortunate to find a wonderful partner in OSA. I've worked with and been supported by OSA on several projects to bring optics/photonics to students and teachers nationwide beginning in 2000 with the New England Board of Higher Education's PHOTON and PHOTON2 projects for teacher professional development. The OSA New England Section provided critical industry support to... Continue Reading

Philip Wyant

In the very early 1970’s a (now defunct) company I had founded  introduced the first commercial light scattering photometers incorporating a laser (Argon-ion!).  Continue Reading

Move it on the fiber optics cable and forgot for problems

Edvin Skaljo: My story

The 14. Olympic Games brink a new things, new idea and it was a start of opening our communistic society to a rest of world. Four year before the war 92-95, I was in dilemma which faculty to choose. I was facing to Physics or Electrical faculty. I had chosen the last one because Bosnian wasn’t a country where you can live as someone who likes Physics. My choice led me to Banja Luka the second largest city in Bosnia and one of the... Continue Reading