September

Quantum Technology: The Business Side

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

One of the meeting’s three “Visionary Speakers” keynote talks on Wednesday included plenty of interesting science, but also focused on the business and political issues emerging as quantum technology drives toward real applications. The speaker was OSA Fellow Wilhelm Kaenders, the cofounder of TOPTICA Photonics AG, Germany, and he stressed that he intended to provide a “small-company perspective” on what’s happening worldwide in the quantum business arena.

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The Dilemmas of a “Post-fact” World

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

Given what seems an ever more polarized and uncertain political environment, scientists increasingly grapple with the need to persuade policymakers and the public about the importance of the work that science does. In a morning session at the 2017 Frontiers in Optics meeting, Rush Holt, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), suggested that scientists trying to make that case often end up “communicating the wrong thing.”

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Prospecting the Coming Automotive Revolution

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

In his plenary talk, Jason Eichenholz, the cofounder and CTO of Luminar Technologies, USA, took audience members on a tour of the advanced lidar technologies necessary to make the autonomous-vehicle dream a reality.

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Keys to Successful Proposals for Research

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

Program officers and senior officials with four major funding agencies in the United States and Europe gave FiO 2017 attendees an inside look at their programs, and at some of the keys to putting in a successful proposal for optics and photonics research.

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From VR and AR to "Mixed Reality"

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

Right now, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) largely occupy different domains: VR seeks to immerse users in an entirely separate world, while AR overlays additional data, images and experiences onto the real one. But Scott McEldowney of Oculus Research, USA, sees a future in which those strands will come together. Devices almost as lightweight as an ordinary pair of eyeglasses will someday “offer AR, and VR, and everything in-between,” said McEldowney. “And we’re going to wear them all day long.”

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Self-Driving Cars: A Complex Photonic Supply Chain

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

In addition to the formidable technical requirements for autonomous vehicles, the self-driving-car revolution will create new and highly complex supply chains and new educational and workforce needs. Ira Moskowitz, the director of advanced-manufacturing programs with the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, USA, believes these developments will present huge challenges.

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OSA Headquarters Gets a New Nameplate

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

OSA marked the first day of Frontiers in Optics 2017 in a particularly meaningful way: By formally dedicating its newly renovated headquarters building in Washington, D.C., in honor of Jarus W. Quinn, who served as the society’s first executive director from 1972 to 1994.

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Fixing the Leaky Pipeline

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 20 September 2017

Dozens of industry leaders, researchers, students and other optics professionals came together at OSA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the second “Global Women of Light” symposium. The all-day event, co-sponsored by the OSA Foundation and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship (WiSTEE Connect), focused on the best ways to boost the presence of women in leadership positions in science and engineering.

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An Opportunity I'll Never Forget

By Nicholas Kochan, University of Rochester, USA | Posted: 13 September 2017

Traveling to Centro de Investigaciones en Optica (CIO) in Leon, Guanajuato for the 2017 Siegman School on Lasers this August was a great experience.  There were about 70 of us from 20+ countries, and 11 luminaries sharing with us a wide range of applications and phenomena of lasers.  I arrived with a need to apply lasers for measurement and I left with new views on lasers, great experiences, and many friends.

We started the school with Dr. Luis Orozco’s lecture on nanofiber optics, looking at both quantum and classical perspectives.  I remember distinctly his point that polarization has a component in a third dimension.  I think most of us had not thought of this idea in experimental optics because we think only of practically dealing with planar waves.  But on the level he cares about in sensing or manipulating single atoms, these perspectives matter.  This simple (what I would call fundamental) point is something I would have not considered before attending the school.


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Ask ‘Dear Abbie’ Anything on Digital Holography – A Reddit Science “Ask Me Anything” with the Naval Research Laboratory’s Dr. Abbie Watnik

By Abbie Watnik | Posted: 8 September 2017

Every day I work on the cutting edge of science and technology and I love it. Our team at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, works specifically with advanced optical imaging technologies which work to help map the ocean floor. It is my passion for the science and for mentoring others to help to navigating the maze of challenges, opportunities and achievements in the field. Have a question on the latest in active imaging research? Are you looking to make your own impact on the science community?

We’ve highlighted five key professional development take-aways from this captivating AMA!

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