Optics Industry Luminaries Network and Learn at FiO 2007, Field's Longest-Standing Event


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Optics Industry Luminaries Network and Learn at FiO 2007,
Field's Longest-Standing Event

-- OSA Votes to Introduce Review Journal; 2008 Officers Announced --

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 1 – Frontiers in Optics 2007 (FiO), the longest-standing meeting in optics and photonics, closed Sept. 20 after a week of top-quality research presentations, symposia and special events. Consisting of 157 sessions and nearly 800 technical presentations, talks honed in on some of the most innovative research in the field. More than 1,300 attendees convened during the meeting's keynote sessions, technical talks, exhibition and networking events.  

With the leaders of the Optical Society of America (OSA) all in attendance, FiO always serves as a backdrop for a number of important announcements. One example: the OSA Publications Council approved the creation of an optics review journal. More information on this journal, including its launch date and the submission process will be available in January 2008.

"Thanks to the foresight of the OSA Publications Council, OSA will be able to act quickly to establish a new review journal," says Elizabeth A. Rogan, OSA executive director. "Our leadership agrees that as the publisher of the highest-impact optics and photonics journals, OSA’s review journal will surely capture the best research in the field. This new publication will be an important focus of our activities in 2008."

Another business announcement at the meeting identified OSA's next leaders. 2007 President Joseph Eberly reported that James Wyant of the University of Arizona was elected as the 2008 OSA vice president and Alexander Gaeta, Cornell University, USA; Masataka Nakazawa, Tohoku University, Japan; and David Welch, Infinera, USA were also elected as new directors-at-large. 

As part of the FiO technical program, the conference keynote session featured two industry luminaries discussing timely topics. Eli Yablonovitch of the University of California, Berkeley gave a keynote talk on nanophotonics and the growing role plasmonics is playing in the field, calling it "the bridge from the micro to the nano world." He also challenged the audience by talking of the need for a light source in silicon, a laser that functions as well and as efficiently as what's been done in other mediums. Nobel Laureate John Hall with JILA and the University of Colorado, also gave a provocative plenary talk on the origins and future of the optical frequency comb. Citing important research for its development, Hall spoke about all those who helped to come up with the theories that lead to the comb, as well as the comb's potential in non-invasive diagnostics. He also made a passionate entreaty for his colleagues to get out in the community and work with children in 6th through 8th grade, emphasizing the importance of inspiring passion for scientific research in young minds.

OSA's own commitment to this topic of ongoing science education was emphasized in several events at the meeting. Held in conjunction with FiO, Educators' Day brought together nearly 100 middle- and high-school science teachers for hands-on experiment training. The event was designed to give teachers the resources to bring optics alive in their classrooms. At another event, a representative from the Girl Scouts of the USA attended student sessions to encourage them to become active with their own local troops. An OSA Foundation brunch emphasized the importance of preparing tomorrow's great minds and focused on the support the Foundation provides for student education. 

On the technical side, the FiO program featured some exciting new research, including papers on an intraocular camera for retinal prostheses, a LIDAR system for planes, confocal polarimetry measurements of tissue infected with malaria, an ultrafast gigantic photo-response and a 21st century version of Young's experiment. The "Optics Overview" session on Sunday emphasized the most important developments in each sub-field of optics and photonics, providing a comprehensive look at the entire field. Post-deadline papers showcased the latest advances for the conference.

Complementing the contributed and invited technical talks in the program were the special symposia organized to reflect on some of the emerging and important developments in optics, both historical and recent. "Optics for Energy" captured interest with discussions focusing on the hot topic of energy efficiency. "Optics and the Second 'Magic Decade' of Quantum Mechanics" had a standing-room only audience as it looked at the historical evolution of the field. "(Guarded) Rational Exuberance: Renaissance after the Telecom Boom?!" drew many attendees and forecasted the future of optical communications and was a perfect topic for the location of this year's meeting.

Located in San Jose, this year's event took advantage of its Silicon Valley location to showcase innovations coming from organizations in the region. Almost 50 talks at the event featured research conducted by area academic institutions and corporations on such diverse topics as photonic crystals, fiber lasers and cellular imaging.

The exhibition further rounded out the programming at the conference, featuring 50 of the industry's leading companies. Newport, Optikos, Swamp Optics, Thorlabs and others were all on-site showcasing their latest products and generating sales.
"Three of OSA's honorary members, Emil Wolf, Charles Townes and John Hall, joined us at FiO this year," said Rogan. "Leaders in the field attend OSA's Annual Meeting because it served them as students and continues to serve their technical interests as seasoned professionals.  It gives attendees an unparalleled opportunity to learn, network and connect not only with one another, but also with some of the field's most renowned scientists and engineers. I want to thank the conference chairs, Connie Chang-Hasnain and Greg Quarles, the technical program chairs and all of the volunteers for making FiO 2007 a resounding success."

Consistent with the strength of the FiO technical program, the annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science, collocated with FiO, was a strong feature of the week. The APS Arthur Schawlow Prize in Laser Science was awarded during the joint FiO/APS conference plenary session to Szymon Suckewer for pioneering contributions to the generation of ultra-short wavelength and femtosecond lasers and X-ray microscopy. Suckewer gave a short acceptance speech and a technical overview of his work at the meeting.

Next year’s conference will take place Oct. 19 – 23 in Rochester, N.Y. For more information throughout the year, visit www.frontiersinoptics.org.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org



Optical Communications Innovators to Deliver Keynote Presentations at OFC 2018

The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC), the world’s leading conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals, is pleased to announce the outstanding lineup of keynote speakers for OFC 2018. Marcus Weldon, Nokia Bell Labs, USA, John C. Doyle, California Institute of Technology (CalTech), USA, and Chengliang Zhang, China Telecom, China, will take the stage to discuss future innovations in optics-based communication technologies.

Added: 19 Oct 2017

David J. Wineland and Amnon Yariv Named 2017 Honorary Members of The Optical Society

The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name the recently elected, 2017 Honorary Members. The recipients are David Jeffrey Wineland, 2012 Physics Nobel Laureate, University of Oregon, USA, and Amnon Yariv, California Institute of Technology (CalTech), USA. The 2017 Honorable Members were approved unanimously by the OSA Board of Directors. Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all OSA Member categories and is awarded to individuals who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics.

Added: 18 Oct 2017

New Imaging Approach Maps Whole-Brain Changes from Alzheimer’s Disease in Mice

An estimated 5.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Although treatments can slow the worsening of symptoms, scientists are still working to better understand the neurodegenerative disease so that curative and preventative medicines can be developed. A new imaging system could help speed new drug development by offering a better way to monitor the brain changes indicative of Alzheimer’s in mouse models of the disease.

Added: 17 Oct 2017

The Optical Society Announces 2018 Fellows Class

The Optical Society (OSA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that 101 OSA members, representing 19 countries, have been elected to the 2018 OSA Fellows Class. Fellows are selected based on several factors, including specific scientific, engineering, and technological contributions, technical or industry leadership in the field as well as service to OSA and the global optics community.

Added: 13 Oct 2017

In a first for wearable optics, researchers develop stretchy fiber to capture body motion

The exciting applications of wearable sensors have sparked a tremendous amount of research and business investment in recent years. Sensors attached to the body or integrated into clothing could allow athletes and physical therapists to monitor their progress, provide a more detailed level of motion capture for computer games or animation, help engineers build robots with a lighter touch or form the basis for new types of real-time health monitors.

Added: 12 Oct 2017

Freeze Frame Microscopy for 3D Biological Images Captures 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

“The Nobel Committee’s recognition of yet another type of biomedical imaging underscores just how important, and enabling imaging and microscopy techniques are to all areas of science and medicine,” stated Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, professor of Biomedical Engineering at Radiology, Columbia University, and general chair of the upcoming 2018 OSA BioPhotonics Congress.

Added: 04 Oct 2017

Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe; LIGO Team Awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Astrophysicists have long sought to detect ripples in space-time, called gravitational waves, since Albert Einstein’s 1916 prediction of General Relativity. But only some of the most massive astrophysical events, such as mergers of black holes and neutron stars, can produce gravitational waves strong enough to be detected on earth. Today, the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne, California Institute of Technology, USA and Rainer Weiss, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves."

Added: 03 Oct 2017

DNA: The next hot material in photonics?

Using DNA from salmon, researchers in South Korea hope to make better biomedical and other photonic devices based on organic thin films. Often used in cancer treatments and health monitoring, thin films have all the capabilities of silicon-based devices with the possible added advantage of being more compatible with living tissue.

Added: 02 Oct 2017

Circadian Rhythms, the Body's Natural Time-Keeping System, Awarded 2017 Nobel Prize

Most of the processes that occur in the mind and body follow natural rhythms. Those with a cycle length of about one day are named circadian rhythms. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded today to Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash of Brandeis University, USA and Michael W. Young, Rockefeller University, USA, "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm."

Added: 02 Oct 2017

The Optical Society Congratulates the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration for Fourth Gravitation

Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity was validated for a fourth time according a joint announcement between the international LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaborations. Only some of the most massive astrophysical events, such as mergers of black holes and neutron stars, can produce gravitational waves strong enough to be detected on earth. On August 14, the Virgo Collaboration, along with the U.S. LIGO observatories, detected its first gravitational wave signal from a pair of black holes violently merging over a billion light-years away. LIGO’s previous detections have stemmed from merging black holes but this is the first time a merger has been witnessed by three observatories at one time.

Added: 28 Sep 2017

OSA Laser Congress Highlights Latest Advances in Solid State Lasers, Free-space Laser Communication,

The 2017 OSA Laser Congress will offer a comprehensive view of the latest advancements in solid state lasers and other related technology. The conference program is comprised of a global audience of laser leaders and a comprehensive, peer-reviewed presentations. Market-focused sessions describe the needed technological and engineering advancements required to move these laser technologies into commercial products.

Added: 26 Sep 2017