The Optical Society Blog

Dream Frequency-comb Applications Become Reality

Beyond fiber-based frequency combs, modeling and experimental demonstrations of mode-locking and exotic modes in microresonator-based combs have made remarkable advances in the last year. In addition to showing great potential as astrocombs, these small on-chip resonators − capable of producing frequency combs with mode spacing >100 GHz − could revolutionize telecommunications by...

Added: 21 Nov 2014


Frequency combing through the noise

A detailed look at the behavior of microresonator frequency combs reveals the existence of several stable mode families, including a fully mode-locked state. Quantitative models could aim to predict exotic yet stable high-order soliton states (so-called step-phase states) of microresonator combs, operating conditions that appear ubiquitous regardless of microresonator material. In addition to a...

Added: 21 Nov 2014


Quantitative Modeling of Frequency-comb Sources

This is a major challenge for the pulsed laser community, where a large number of parameters can have a significant impact on experimentally achievable pulse stability. Over the next two days, researcher will discuss ways of advancing quantitative models of frequency-comb sources beyond the current models for ultrafast fiber lasers that rely on dated fluid dynamics equations.The Incubator is...

Added: 20 Nov 2014


Hot making cold with optics for energy

We began with a keynote talk by Shanhui Fan. He introduced the concept of radiative cooling to the universe through the atmospheric transparency window and showed that with his photonic nanostructure design, it is possible to experimentally achieve a cooling power of 40 W/m^2 even when under direct illumination from the sun. This can be used to cool buildings to reduce the energy cost of AC...

Added: 20 Nov 2014


Developments in Optics for Energy Conversion

In particular, multijunction solar cells were cited as the path forward in future PV systems due to its potential of high energy conversion efficiency relative to its cost. When considering the other costs affiliated with PV modules, a high efficiency would effectively lower all these costs whereas material reduction only addresses a portion, as argued by Ralph Nuzzo, who developed a micro-CPV...

Added: 18 Nov 2014


OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy Conversion

It is this fact that brings a top scientists to Washington, DC and the OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy! I am excited to be part of the host team which includes Svetlana V. Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Vivian Ferry, University of Minnesota; Alexander Kildishev, Purdue University; and Jurgen Michel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

Added: 13 Nov 2014


Bumper Sticker Wisdom for Optics & the Nobel Prize for Math

I also think it very neatly captures the essence of inspiration. We all aspire to something in our careers and in our lives. Many of us enter certain professions because we were inspired by someone. The desire to emulate this someone or pursue activities similar to them can be an entry into a field. Once in we find more people to look up to and we also chart our own course, perhaps inspiring...

Added: 17 Sep 2014


Final Thoughts on AIO 2014....and the Best Talk Winner!

On Day 1, Dr Brandon Redding (Yale University) presented his research on using a multimode fiber as a compact, high-resolution spectrometer. Reducing the dimensions of a spectrometer without sacrificing resolution is challenging. By increasing the length of a multimode fiber, the resolution of this instrument increases, resulting in a broad-bandwidth, low-loss system, with a small footprint (on...

Added: 17 Sep 2014


Low-Level Light in the Clinical Setting

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects millions of people around the world and recently LLLT is becoming an alternative option for the treatment. The noninvasive nature of LLLT makes it an attractive treatment option with a potentially low risk of adverse events. Michael R. Hamblin, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, developed a TBI model in mice and used a...

Added: 22 Aug 2014


Low Level Light Therapy: What Comes Next

Roberta Chow, Quantum Pain Management, kicked off the day with “Clinical Use of Low Level Light Therapy: A Focus on Pain”. In the U.S., the total incremental cost of healthcare due to pain ranges from $261BB to $300BB (Gaskin, D.J. and Richard, P.R. 2011, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, Research). Currently, the common clinical...

Added: 22 Aug 2014