Congressional Briefing on Lasers Advancing Security, Health and Justice



Angela Stark
The Optical Society

Congressional Briefing on Lasers: Advancing Security, Health and Justice

Over the last five decades, the laser has become an integral part of our everyday life and can be found everywhere from high-tech research applications to fiber optic cables that power high-speed Internet. The Optical Society (OSA), in conjunction with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Science and the Congress Project, is hosting a congressional briefing next week on new laser technologies related to a wide range of national goals, from food safety to explosives detection.

 The laser, a direct result of federally funded research, highlights the potential of the federal government and the private sector to work together to provide technologies that advance national goals. Lasers are also used to take accurate measurements and characterize materials, and new technologies are being developed for first responders in the field, forensic measurements, and methods to identify pathogens in foods and other consumer products. The briefing is free and open to the public.

WHAT: Congressional Luncheon Briefing, Lasers: Advancing Security, Health and Justice
WHERE: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
WHO: Jose Almirall
International Forensic Research Institute, Florida State University
Topic: Lasers for CBRNE Detection

Steve Rehse
Wayne State University
Topic: Lasers for Identifying/Characterizing Pathogens in Food/Beverages

Edward “Chip” Pollock
Sacramento County District Attorney Laboratory of Forensic Services
Topic: Crime Lab as an "End-User" of Lasers for Forensics

Richard Hark
Juniata College
Topic: Lasers for First Responders

Thomas Baer
Stanford Photonics Research Center
2009 OSA President


The event is being held as part of LaserFest, a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first working laser.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Reporters wishing to attend the briefing should RSVP by Nov. 29 to Angela Stark, or +1 202.416.1443.

About LaserFest
LaserFest, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser, emphasizes the laser's impact throughout history and highlights its potential for the future. Through a series of events and programs, LaserFest showcases the prominence of the laser in today's world. For more information, visit

About OSA
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (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

About ACS
The American Chemical Society is a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.