The Importance of Science Communication

By Aaron Blanchard, Emory University, USA | Posted: 11 October 2017

Science communication plays an increasingly important role in our society, but today’s PhD students have few formal training opportunities. The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students, formally known as ComSciCon, was created to help fill this gap by teaching science communication skills to graduate students from across a wide variety of scientific disciplines in an intensive four-day experience. ComSciCon is nonprofit and student-run, organizing workshops on both the national and local level. At these workshops, students convene with science communication experts and learn via a combination of hands-on creative activities, panels, and small-group and one-on-one discussions. The workshop is funded by a combination of academic entities (MIT, Harvard, UC-Boulder), scholarly societies (AAS, ACS, and OSA) and media organizations (Institute of Physics publishing, Science, astrobites, and HHMI Tangled Bank studios). At the national workshop, all 50 students’ travel and housing was fully funded to promote a more inclusive representation.

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Day 2: Small Eyes & Smart Minds Incubator

By Sandra A. Gutierrez Razo, University of Maryland | Posted: 6 October 2017

Yesterday during the Small Eyes & Smart Minds “Sensors & Systems” session experts discussed novel imaging techniques and hardware. 

The remainder of the Incubator showcased some human-centric imaging applications and discussed processing solutions. 

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Day 1: OSA Small Eyes & Smart Minds Incubator

By Sandra A. Gutierrez Razo, University of Maryland | Posted: 5 October 2017

The Small Eyes & Smart Minds Incubator is all about new imaging techniques, the computational work that makes them possible and the exciting applications this work can engender.

The hosts of this Incubator, Rama Chellappa, University of Maryland; Francisco Imai, Apple, Inc.; and A
shok Veeraraghavan, Rice University are seeking fundamental advances and new solutions to problems that are moving targets as consumer and industry demand for imaging increases. 

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Creating Thought Provoking Presentations at the 2017 Siegman School

By Maria Pawliszewska, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland | Posted: 2 October 2017

Writing articles and giving presentations is the essence of scientific work. To make science is to communicate our findings to our peers and the public. But how do we do it in an efficient, understandable and friendly manner? This is a serious problem that a lot of scientists, young and old, struggle with. At the Siegman School on Lasers this year, in León, México, we had the opportunity to attend Jean-luc Doumont’s presentations on 'Structuring your Research Paper' and 'Making the Most of your Presentation'. Doumont’s presence as a speaker at the summer school was more than relevant, since he had finished his PhD under the supervision of Anthony Siegman! This made most of the audience interested even before he started his formal presentation. It is also not that common to hear a laser scientist talk about soft skills. 

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Optical Interconnects in Data Centers: What’s Next?

By Stewart Wills | Posted: 28 September 2017


As technology advances at an ever-increasing pace, the potential applications for optics continue to grow and fuel new discoveries. To highlight the breakthrough work being done in optics, the committee invited nine "Visionary Speakers" to share their knowledge. One of them, Marc Taubenblatt (above) of IBM Corp. sketched out some of those frameworks, particularly for data centers.

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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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Choosing the Right Research Group for Your PhD

By Yoshi Okawachi, 2017 Ambassador, United States | Posted: 9 August 2017

The PhD journey is incredibly rewarding but also filled with many roadblocks and frustrations along the way. Unlike undergraduate studies, where the curriculum is set, the PhD program is much less defined. You are thrown into the research group without well-defined responsibilities and expectations and you are expected to figure it out along the way. Here a few things, based on recent conversations with graduate students and professors, that could get your PhD career off to a good start. 

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The Importance of Diversity

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 28 July 2017

In today’s social climate, issues surrounding diversity and inclusion are increasingly being discussed, yet, very few people are talking about how diversity affects the workplace from an innovation standpoint. Lora Allemeier, CEO of Ocean Optics, did just that at OSA’s 2017 Innovation School.

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Traveling Your Path

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 28 July 2017

As a young professional, many career paths are available to you. From decisions about what level of education you should pursue, to whether you want to work in academia or industry, the number of options can be daunting. At OSA’s 2017 Innovation School, Amy Eskilson spoke about her path as a non-technical communications major to the CEO of Inrad Optics in “an unconventional but somewhat classic manner.” 

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Insights from a turnaround and startup guy

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 28 July 2017

In today’s world, there are hundreds of things to think about when creating a new product or technology. Martin Seifert, CEO of Nufern, provided participants of OSA’s Innovation School tips on how to be successful in a new startup. 

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Day 4: Applied Industrial Optics

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 30 June 2017

The final day of AIO 2017 kicked off with...

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Day 3: Applied Industrial Optics

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 29 June 2017

So much happened today at AIO, just some titles were “Imaging Radiation Dose and Molecules in Human Radiation Therapy for Cancer”, “A Low Cost Optical Imaging Device based on a single Moving Detector for Breast Cancer Detection”, “Spectral Imaging for Quantitative Phase Contrast”, “Adventures in Underwater Microscopy”, “Planar Beam-steering Optics for Solar Concentration”, “Thermo-optic devices based on highly absorbing optical fibers”, “Selected Applications of Fiber Optic Sensor Technology”, “Multimode Fibers for Sensing and other Non-Telecom Applications”,  “On-demand Drawing of High Aspect-ratio, Microsphere-tipped Elastomeric Micropillars”,  “Perspectives as an Entrepreneur and Investor, a View from Both Sides of the Table”, “Start-ups, Incubators, Accelerators, Oh My!”.  

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Day 2: Applied Industrial Optics

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 28 June 2017

The first session of AIO on Day 2, “Fabulous-Perot Sensing and Sources”, was opened by ...

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Day 2: Materials for Optomechanical Actuation Incubator

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 27 June 2017

OSA’s Materials for Optomechanical Actuation Incubator brought together researchers from with varying backgrounds to discuss the applications and challenges behind implementing optomechanical actuators. On day two the speakers and hosts pulled together the different perspectives presented on day to and focused on some of the high-level problems facing the optomechanical community. 

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Day 1: ​Applied Industrial Optics

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 27 June 2017

OSA’s Imaging and Applied Optics Congress kicked off with the Joint Opening Plenary Session.
Mohan Trivedi (University of California San Diego, USA) opened the conference with “Humanity, Intelligent vehicles LISA Research Agenda”, an insight into the intelligent vehicles future and the long term goal of human cohabitation with intelligent robots. Next, John Schwartzman (Director of Photography, USA) closed the session with his talk on “Advanced Imaging Photography”.

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Day 1: OSA Materials for Optomechanical Actuation Incubator

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 26 June 2017

Optomechanical actuation is the act of turning light (electro-magnetic energy) into mechanical work. This most commonly calls to mind photovoltaics and solar cells. Solar cells take the energy of the sun and converts it into electricity, which then in turn can be used to do mechanical work. For the Materials for Optomechanical Actuation Incubator, the Hosts Chris Bardeen, University of California Riverside; Antti Makinen, Office of Naval Research; Peter A. Morrison, Office of Naval Research; and Ravi Shankar, University of Pittsburgh hope to explore other ways light can do mechanical work.  

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San Francisco: what to know before going to AIO 2017

By Cushla McGoverin | Posted: 23 June 2017

10 Interesting facts about San Francisco

1. San Francisco hasn’t always been San Francisco...

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Medical Imaging Speakeasy: Revolution through Optical Technologies

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 22 June 2017

Medical imaging technologies is a powerful growing market with ample room for growth and development. Recently, OSA hosted a panel on The Medical Imaging Revolution through the Speakeasy Science Program. The program, funded by a grant from the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and in partnership with the American Physical Society (APS), strives to increase communication between scientists and the public. The panel focused on new techniques and advances in biomedical imaging and how it will affect the medical industry for years to come.

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Day 2: Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 20 June 2017

Day 2 of this Incubator kicked off with a session on Materials and Device Integration focusing on the challenges associated with creating entanglements between atoms and in materials on a larger scale. Read more about this exciting Incubator and about where the community is looking to go. 

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Day 1: Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator

By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | Posted: 19 June 2017

Day one of the Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator focused on Quantum Photonics with Solid-State Photon Sources and Spin Based Quantum Memories. 

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AIO 2017: Focus on Dr. Michael Schmidberger, OSRAM GmbH, Germany

By Cushla McGoverin | Posted: 19 June 2017

AIO Committee YP, Cushla McGoverin, interviews AIO 2017 Invited Speaker, Dr. Michael Schmidberger about his experiences in development of the world’s first broadband Infrared (IR) light emitting diode (LED) at OSRAM. Dr. Schmidberger will present at AIO on Tuesday, June 27 at 9:30am.

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Just in AIO 2017: Two panel sessions, “The View from the Ladder: Perceptions on the Future of Photonics” and “Start-ups, Incubators, Accelerators, Oh My!”

By Cushla McGoverin | Posted: 13 June 2017

AIO Committee YP, Cushla McGoverin, interviews AIO 2017 Invited Speaker and Panelist, Dr. Anna Rissanen about her experiences in development and commercialization of novel sensing applications. 
This year we will host two panel sessions. Greg Quarles (OSA Chief Scientist) will introduce the first session (“The View from the Ladder: Perceptions on the Future of Photonics” ) regarding the future of photonics.Another panel (“Start-ups, Incubators, Accelerators, Oh My!”), taps into the investor’s mindset to offer guidance for successfully pitching photonics technology. This panel will begin with an introduction by Dr. Laura Smoliar, co-founder of the Berkeley Catalyst Fund.

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“Ask Me Anything” and They Did! Top 5 Astrophysics Takeaways from Joss Bland-Hawthorn, ARC Laureate Fellow Professor of Physics and Director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIFA)

By Rebecca B. Andersen | Posted: 1 June 2017

After 15 years, the first Australian-built satellites were launched from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station. It was a uniquely proud moment for our country and my research team at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney. I was pleased to participate in this Reddit Science Ask Me Anything with The Optical Society (OSA) and share my recent experiences with space exploration. Questions during the AMA ranged from my research, to science fiction and exploration of exoplanets. 

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AIO 2017: Focus on Dr. Arsen Hajian, Hindsight Imaging Inc, USA

By Cushla McGoverin | Posted: 31 May 2017

AIO Committee YP, Cushla McGoverin, interviews AIO 2017 Invited Speaker Dr. Arsen Hajian about his experiences at optical spectroscopy as the founder and CEO of Hindsight Imaging. Dr. Hajian will present at AIO on Monday, June 26 at 11am.

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The Art of Optics Outreach

By Danuta Sampson, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Australia | Posted: 30 May 2017

Science outreach is fun, not only for the participants, but also for the educators as well. Science draws out our curiosity and we all have natural curiosity. When you design and conduct an outreach event, you have to think carefully about how to turn science, optics for example, into something interesting and understandable for others; making it a good test of how well you know a topic.

At an outreach event, sometimes you lead a team of people and at other times you follow a leader. It teaches you how to be a good leader as well as a good team member and these skills are highly important for your career and in other areas of your life.

When you are able to participating in an outreach event, it can be a very rewarding experience. You get to see the big smiles, the enthusiasm, and the joy that you cannot help but smile yourself. It makes it all worth it when you receive thanks at the end of the event and it makes you believe that what you do is important, valued, and worth continuing.

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​Just in AIO 2017: Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tish Shute, Futurewei (Huawei), USA

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 24 May 2017

AIO 2017 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tish Shute, the Director, AR/VR, Corporate Technology Strategy, Futurewei (Huawei USA) will talk about XR and the future of communications: from silicon to human photonics. Dr. Shute will present at AIO on Tuesday, June 27.

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Finding My Home at OSA

By Felipe Beltrán Mejía, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Brazil | Posted: 18 May 2017

The idea of writing this post came from an informal conversation with OSA President, Eric Mazur, during Winter Leadership Meeting this past January. This is about how my good friend Dr. Alvaro Casas Bedoya and I were able to turnaround a difficult situation and finish our physics degrees, using the advantages of OSA’s student membership. 

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AIO 2017: Focus on Dr. Brian Pogue, DoseOptics, LLC, USA

By Cushla McGoverin | Posted: 9 May 2017

Cushla McGoverin, interviews AIO 2017 Invited Speaker Dr. Brian Pogue, the president of DoseOptics, about his experience at radiation therapy imaging and Cherenkov radiotherapy dosimetry. Dr. Pogue will present at AIO on Wednesday, June 28.

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My First Trip as an OSA Ambassador

By Rim Cherif, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Tunisia | Posted: 8 May 2017

I arrived in Beijing on 20 April after a 23 hour long trip. While I was tired from the travel, I met with Aixin Zhang, PhD student at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics (IOP) and President of the OSA Student Chapter who took me to IOP. I was welcomed by Professor Ling-An Wu, Chapter Advisor, and was impressed by the huge building and hospitality of all the professors and students. I first gave my scientific talk on ‘Supercontinuum Generation in Photonic Crystal Fibers’, which was attended by students and professors from different groups. After my presentation, I had a very constructive discussion with the audience followed by a pizza party. Aixin presented on the activities of the IOP-OSA Student Chapter and the plan for the upcoming activities. This was the perfect transition to my second lecture ‘About OSA and Student Chapter Management’. We discussed various issues namely: how to maintain a chapter in a good standing and how to write chapter grants. Most of the students wanted to learn what makes an event receive grant funding or not and were looking for advice on the overall process. I discussed with them the difference between small and large impact-type events and gave them examples with very specific details such as the number of attendees, program, lecturers, etc.  Following my lectures, I had an interesting discussion with Professor Wei Ding about nonlinear optics followed by a lab tour. I was impressed with the facilities and the equipments especially the new setup for THz devices. After 7 hours spent at IOP, I had the opportunity to share a typical dinner ‘‘Hot pot’‘ with Aixin during which she introduced me to the education system in China, how to get in the PhD program, and the perspectives of jobs after graduating.

Photo credit : Rim Cherif (Left to Right : Professor Ling-An Wi, OSA Ambassador Rim Cherif, and OSA Student President Aixin Zhang)


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The Future of Transportation is Built with Optics Inside

By Rebecca Andersen | Posted: 4 May 2017

The race to develop and deploy an autonomous vehicle is fast and furious. Enabling and empowering the next-generation of transportation is optics and photonics. Optical technologies have become essential in automotive applications such as head-up and inside vehicle displays. Luminar Technologies, Inc., a new company headed by CEO Austin Russell and OSA Fellow and CTO Jason Eichenholz, have developed sensors that could make self-driving cars safer than human drivers.

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Optics Luminaries Honored at 2017 National Academy of Sciences 154th Annual Meeting

By Rebecca Andersen | Posted: 4 May 2017

Optical Society (OSA) members and guests honored the accomplishments of OSA members Stanley Whitcomb, Gabriela González and David Reitze for their contributions to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015. For their research achievements, Dr. Whitcomb received the Henry Draper Medal and Dr. González and Dr. Reitze were awarded the NAS Award for Scientific Discovery during an awards ceremony on 30 April in Washington, D.C. 

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You asked IBM Research scientist Jessie Rosenberg “anything” about silicon photonics

By IBM Research | Posted: 20 April 2017

Silicon photonics uses light, versus electricity, to send signals from a microchip. IBM engineers use these pulses of light to increase the connectivity and bandwidth between datacenters for faster data transfer over longer distances. But silicon photonics isn’t just for datacenters. IBM sees the technology helping improve everything from IoT sensors to quantum photonics.

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AIO 2017: Focus on Dr. Hod Finkelstein, TruTag Technologies, USA

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 19 April 2017

Dr. Finkelstein has over twenty years of technology development, manufacturing and operations experience.  Prior to joining TruTag Technologies, he was Director of Technology Development for Illumina, Inc., a leading genomic analysis and DNA sequencing company, where he led the development and productization of advanced sequencing products and technologies.

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Traveling Lecturer: A Technical and Professional Visit

By Yang Yue, Juniper Networks, USA | Posted: 4 April 2017

On March 22nd, I visited the Ningbo University Student Chapter of OSA in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The chapter is in the laboratory of Infrared Materials and Devices (LIMD) of Ningbo University, Key Laboratory of Photoelectric Materials and Devices of Zhejiang Province. 


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An OSA Ambassador’s Journey: How I became an OSA Ambassador

By Mariia Pashchenko, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Czech Republic | Posted: 4 April 2017

My OSA journey started 10 years ago in 2007, when I first learned about The Optical Society. It was at a workshop when someone made an “About OSA” presentation for students at my University. While I cannot remember who the speaker was, I remember very clearly my feeling: It was like a breath of fresh air. The talk was about the numerous opportunities for students and student chapters and I thought that it didn’t seem too difficult to establish an OSA Student Chapter and make a change. I had the support of several people from different Institutes and we started our long journey.


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Traveling Lecturer: A Truly Rewarding Experience

By Paolo Minzioni, Università di Pavia, Italy | Posted: 3 April 2017

After almost one year following the initial contacts with the OSA Student Chapter at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (Jaipur, India), I was finally able to take part in the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. I must say that it really was a fascinating experience, which will probably have an impact on the future of several people. The only real issues I had to face were those related to securing a visa - this is just to recommend all of you that will be participating in the program to take visa issues properly into account!

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Boston University Celebrates International Women's Day

By Michelle Sander, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Boston University, USA | Posted: 29 March 2017

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the success women have achieved by empowering each other and have an opportunity to advocate for gender parity. Especially for women in Optics and STEM fields where women are unfortunately still underrepresented, this marks a special occasion to come together and express support, encouragement and inspiration to each other. On Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at Boston University, this spirit shone through brightly as students throughout various stages in their undergraduate and graduate studies, post-doctoral fellows and faculty, female and male, all gathered together wearing something red for a picture in the Photonics Center Lobby. It was a wonderful testimony of how far we have come in our journey towards diversity and equality and reminded us that collectively we can strive towards further increasing female representation in optics. 


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Applied Industrial Optics 2017 (AIO) - Chair Dr. Arlene Smith shares her thoughts on the meeting.

By Sogol Borjian, Ph.D | Posted: 28 March 2017

What do you think makes AIO meeting a remarkable meeting? 
The program is mostly invited talks, which enables the Committee to focus on enabling leaders in the field to share their knowledge. The Committee members display great dedication in working to make the meeting the best...

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Traveling Lecturer: Learning Beyond the Lab

By Lund University OSA Student Chapter, Sweden | Posted: 2 March 2017

Antigone presented her 'skill bill' lecture about the importance of developing additional skills during your education and career in order to further it. The reasons and the way of furthering were not the classical idea of financial gain or prestige but more about your personal best and what you as individuals would be happiest doing as well as how to further the quality of the work. 

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Traveling Lecturer: Meeting Dr. Sorger

By UArk Laserbacks Chapter, USA | Posted: 2 March 2017

The Traveling Lecturer Program through our OSA Student Chapter (UArk Laserbacks) was a great success. Dr. Sorger's visit was productive, as he was able to spend time meeting various professors and students throughout the University of Arkansas Physics Department, and his talk was very relevant and interesting to many researchers on campus. Students and faculty also benefitted from the chance to meet with Volker after the scheduled lecture in a more casual setting, as we took him out to dinner that evening. We appreciate this networking opportunity and future ones provided by OSA.

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Traveling Lecturer: Traveling to New and Unknown Places

By David Hagan, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, USA, OSA Fellow | Posted: 27 February 2017

When I was first contacted by NISER student chapter officer, Samir Kumar, to visit as a traveling lecturer, I must admit I have never even heard of NISER, or the city in which it is located, Bhubaneswar, India. I was glad that we were eventually able to find a date for me to attend.   

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Traveling Lecturer: Late Night Conversations turn to Collaboration

By Antigone Marino, Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems, Italy | Posted: 27 February 2017

A few month ago I was in Rochester, NY for FiO2016. The meeting agenda was so busy, like always it is. Although tired, the day always ended with a group of us chatting in the hotel lobby about optics, science and life. As if all of us wanted to draw as much as possible on the opportunity of being there. A few months later, I received an invitation to visit the Lund OSA Chapter in Sweden. I had to arrive in Sweden to realize that the invitation was coming up from one of this moment in FiO, in which you meet someone new, without having the possibility to deepen into a topic or a friendship.

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Traveling Lecturer: An Experience to Remember

By Anderson S L Gomes, Universidad Federal of Pernambuco, Brazil, OSA Fellow | Posted: 27 February 2017

It was my first - hopefully not the last - experience as OSA traveling lecturer, which was very enriching both scientifically, personally and from the cultural pooint of view. Although I had been in India before, this time I interacted with students in different places (Mumbai, Chandigarh and Delhi). The students were very pro-active during the talks, as well as the professors who attended (about 25 people in the audience). I visited several labs where the students showed their ongoing work, som e of which was of mutual interest. I firmly believe this is one of the most important OSA programs, together with the Students Chapters program itself, since gives the students opportunity to discuss their research with more experienced people from abroad. For the OSA members, it is very important to know their local way of life both personal and scientific, which by the way was of very high standard. It was a fantastic experience.

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Great Innovators - How they collaborate and why their teamwork leads to more creativity

By Rebecca B. Andersen | Posted: 17 February 2017

The Optical Society (OSA) continued the tradition of the Light the Future speaker series on 8 February 2017. The speaker series, which began in OSA’s centennial year, was created to shine light on the special contributions and innovations in optics and photonics. Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute, detailed great collaborative efforts and innovations in science.

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Traveling Lecturer: A Discussion with Professor David J. Hagan

By NISER Bhubaneswar OSA Student Chapter, India | Posted: 13 February 2017

From 7th Feb- 9th Feb 2017- Professor David J. Hagan of University of Central Florida, CREOL (USA) visited NISER as a part of The Optical Society (OSA) Traveling Lecturer Program for the NISER Bhubaneswar OSA Student Chapter. Professor David J Hagan was accompanied by Dr. Ritwick Das and Dr. Ashok Mohapatra to visit our research labs as well as undergraduates teaching labs. He had also made in depth discussion with our school chairperson Professor Bedangadas Mohanty.

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Traveling Lecturer: On the Trail of the Wild Hog

By Volker J. Sorger, The George Washington University, USA | Posted: 13 February 2017

They call them the fly-over states. The middle of the country (US that is). But, that such a statement is clearly wrongly placed, I experienced first hand.

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2017 Special Program Grant Recipients - Round 1

By Jennifer Mehltretter, Education Program Manager | Posted: 5 January 2017

OSA would like to congratulate the following student chapters and local sections on receiving the Special Program Grant. This grant awards up to $1,500 USD for high impact youth education/community outreach or professional development events. Chapters and sections went through a vigorous application and review process and we are thrilled with this first round of winners and their accomplishments.

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Escaping The Weather To Learn More About Optics

By University of Oregon OSA Chapter | Posted: 14 December 2016

The University of Oregon Student Chapter of the OSA lit up the University of Oregon campus on Saturday, December 3rd for the first ever Optics Holiday Bash. Student members organized an outreach event to celebrate The Optical Society’s 100th anniversary in 2016 with funding from the Centennial Special Events Grant. The purpose of the outreach activity was to engage the community by having them actively participate and learn about the applications of optics in the past 100 years. Schools in the Eugene, Springfield and Bethel districts were sent a copy of the flyer and the event was published in local community calendars. An advertisement was placed in the Register Guard to encourage folks of all backgrounds to join in. People of all ages had the opportunity to interact with several light and optics demos, enter the dark room to learn more about light, and watch a live chemistry show. All children attendees were given a raffle ticket to win one of eight optics kits and a light-up OSA 100th Anniversary pin. The primary location of this event was hosted in Willamette Hall Atrium, a stunning open space decorated with sculptures and designs representing physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. 

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Day 2 of the Future Microscopy Incubator

By Ivo Leite, University of Dundee, UK | Posted: 14 December 2016

After settling in for day two of the Future Microscopy Incubator, the participants were divided into two groups for breakout discussions. For two hours, each group discussed the challenges and strategic aims to make future techniques in microscopy either “Faster & Smaller” or “Broader & Deeper.” By the end of the morning, the participants reconvened to present their conclusions from each breakout session.

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Stereoptics: a 3D-OSA

By Universidad de Valladolid Physics League | Posted: 13 December 2016

‘Stereoptics: a 3D-OSA’ was born as an attempt to make an interactive and attractive workshop to show different ideas: stereoscopic vision, linear and circular polarization, and 3D-cinema technologies. With this main target, we developed a workshop where different notions were explained in order to build a whole story about light perception, visual optics and polarization. We divided the workshop in two parts - first was an introduction of the main notions and the second part was the construction of a 3D projection system of photo and video.

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Sir David Payne on the Power of Light

By Rebecca B. Andersen | Posted: 13 December 2016

OSA’s Centennial Light the Future speaker series concluded with Photonics India in Kanpur on 5 December 2016.  Professor Sir David Payne gave a special presentation dedicated to the Guglielmo Marconi and Charles Kao. Nobel prize winners 100 years apart, Marconi (1909) and Kao (2009) moved optical communications forward in ways yet to be imagined during their time. Payne’s Light the Future presentation sought to honor their impact on photonics and describe how the optical fiber empower the technologies of tomorrow.

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OSA Incubator Explores the Future of Microscopy at the Royal Society, Edinburgh

By Ivo Leite, University of Dundee, UK | Posted: 13 December 2016

The first international OSA Incubator - Future Microscopy: Merging Adaptive & Computational Imaging - took place today at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland, under the stern gaze of the nearby statue of James C. Maxwell. This meeting aims at discussing the future and challenges of emerging adaptive and computational imaging techniques in modern microscopy.


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Engaging CCNY with Photons

By Yang Yue, Juniper Networks | Posted: 9 December 2016

On December 5th, I visited the OSA City College of New York (CCNY) Student Chapter in New York, USA. The visit was hosted by CCNY OSA Student Chapter advisor Professor Robert Alfano, president Nicholas Proscia. Furthermore, I had the great opportunity to had 1:1 meetings with professors Robert Alfano, and Vinod Menon before and after my talk. We shared the latest academic/industrial trend during these meetings.

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"Ask Me Anything” and They Did! Light in a Twist with Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow

By Miles Padgett | Posted: 7 December 2016

I am often asked to give presentations around the world describing the work of my team on orbital angular momentum. A first for me was participating in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with The Optical Society and its members. Questions ranged from my research, to professional development and career changes. 

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Branching Out and Making Connections

By Andrea Armani, University of Southern California | Posted: 6 December 2016

One of the main reasons that I pursued an academic position is my passion for mentoring and encouraging students in engineering and science. Unfortunately, the further that I progress in my career, the less time I have to spend time with students outside of my research group. Conferences can be very rushed, making it challenging to really connect with new colleagues. While Department seminars provide a solution for new faculty members, finding a similar alternative venue to meet students and post-docs is still a challenge.

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Celebrating the OSA Centennial with the Lightwave Roadshow

By University of Southampton Chapter | Posted: 6 December 2016

The Lightwave Roadshow is the University of Southampton chapter's student-led outreach education programme. The Roadshow traces its root back to 1998 when it was established to provide hands-on optics experiments for young children under the age of 10 in classes or fairs for families. More recently, the programme has expanded its scope to work with school pupils up to the age of 18, as well as with an adult audience to engage the public on our research in photonics and optoelectronics. In parallel, more and more student members from our chapter have been actively involved in the running of the programme, growing the number of events in which we could participate. The events and venues are diverse: from the traditional classrooms, school assembly halls and exhibitions on our university campus, to the more unusual venues such as pubs, cathedrals and international scientific conferences, we are exploring many ways to engage with different audiences to inform about the fundamentals and applications of photonics. In 2016, we worked with over 1,600 members of the general public and 1,083 pupils from 38 different schools in the South of England. 

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An Push For Photonics

By Michigan Technological University (MTU) Student Chapter of OSA | Posted: 1 December 2016

On 10 November 2016, the Michigan Technological University (MTU) Student Chapter of OSA hosted a campus-wide outreach event with invited speakers representing a broad range of career paths within the field of photonics. Attending students had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with industry contacts and academic researchers across multiple disciplines. Student resumes and CVs were furnished to those who presented in exchange for their time and information regarding their respective institutions.

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OSA ITS Goes to School (OIGoS)

By Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 1 December 2016

OSA ITS Goes to School (OIGoS) is a new program from OSA ITS Student Chapter for high school students in Surabaya city. This successful program contains workshop program about some current and future development of optics/photonics that is specially designed for Senior High School student with interesting teaching ways and some optical devices experiments. We have successfully visited some schools from some targets such as Yapita Senior High School, Surabaya 20 Senior High School, IPIEMS School, Surabaya 3 Senior High School, Muhammadiyah 2 Senior High School, and Surabaya 21 Senior High School. 

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The Escaping Room

By Instituto de Óptica-CSIC Student Chapter | Posted: 1 December 2016

Instituto de Óptica-CSIC Student Chapter’s big activity this year was a new outreach workshop called “OPTICS IN THE WORLD”, which we designed and executed thanks to the OSA Centennial Special Events Grant. This was an outreach workshop consisting of a number of educational workshops and displays based in optics technology, as well as a recreational/learning activity called The Escaping Room. 


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Reaching Out to the Local Community Around Us

By London Local Section | Posted: 1 December 2016

To celebrate one hundred years of The Optical Society, the London Local Section launched an Optics Discovery Programme for London schools. Through our prior outreach work with the local community, we had identified that some schools lack resources to teach optics in an exciting and engaging way, which encouraged us to develop a new scheme to inspire teachers and students using the power of light. 


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Team Building Made Fun

By WrUST OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 1 December 2016

International Leadership Workshops was first opportunity for our chapter to start an international cooperation. We invited our friends from Riga, Latvia OSA and SPIE Student Chapter to come to our city - Wrocław to exchange ideas, experiences and strengthen partnership between our chapters. 

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Maze Runner

By Columbia University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 1 December 2016

The Columbia OSA student chapter participated in the NY MakerFaire in Flushing, NY on October 1 and 2, 2016. This was the second time our chapter presented our Laser Maze exhibit at the two-day event, where Makers—Arduino and Raspberry Pi enthusiasts—demonstrate their scientific contraptions powered by those feisty lil’ micro-controllers. Our group built a ten-foot long PVC pipe construction of the maze. Equipped with lasers on one side and detectors on the other, kids of all ages roamed through the contraption in an effort to elude the light beams. 

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Measuring the Universe with Optics

By Rebecca B. Andersen | Posted: 30 November 2016

OSA’s Centennial Light the Future speaker series traveled to China to the Asia Communications and Photonics Conference (ACP) in Wuhan on 3 November 2016.  Nobel Laureate, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and a fellow of The Optical Society, Dr. Steven Chu explained the history of gravitational discoveries and how they have been enabled by advancements in optics. 

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Day 2 of Exploring the Connections between Quantum & Classical Optics

By Tanya Malhotra, University of Rochester | Posted: 8 November 2016

The OSA Incubator Emerging Connections: Quantum and Classical Optics continued today more interesting talks and compelling discussions on understanding and challenging some of the traditionally accepted ideas associated with quantum systems.

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Latest Incubator Explores the Emerging Connections between Quantum & Classical Optics

By Tanya Malhotra, University of Rochester | Posted: 7 November 2016

The OSA Incubator Emerging Connections: Quantum & Classical Optics, 7-9 November 2016 in Washington DC, aims to identify and characterize the links and differences between the fields of classical and quantum optics. 

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From Engineer to Career: How to Become a Successful Professional

By Volker Sorger, George Washington University | Posted: 7 November 2016

Every student is concerned with one and the same detail: to get a good job and be a successful professional. The Arizona chapter invited me to not talk about my groups nanophotonic research which focuses on novel opto-electronic device physics, emerging material such as TMDs and TCOs, and plasmonics. Here, I was asked to talk about what it takes to be successful after graduation. I broke this question down into thee aspects:

  1. Knowing the Rules
  2. Knowing Yourself
  3. Starting your Path
We learn the details of physics, optics, and electronics in school. But we seldom learn rules of how-to-get-the-job, or what the other side looks for. Graduating from a top university essentially guarantees an interview, but it does not guarantee the job offer. Hence the question arises, how to get the offer? First of all, we need to recognize that all decision on hiring (after an interview) and promotions are made by humans, and not machines. In fact, 75% of hiring decisions are made based on ‘finding-a-good-match’, rather than technical skills. Interestingly, the situation is rather similar to dating; both sides find each other interesting, but are unsure whether they want to be proceed together. The job interview is therefore more likely like dating, and knowing the rules is key. 

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Lab Visits - An Investment That Is Worth It

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 2 November 2016

Dear OSA members,
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec, and OSA FiberTech in Sydney.

In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to visit our colleagues at the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Brisbane. This follows on from attending the OSA conference in Sydney.

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2nd Edition of FunOptics: Óptica Divertida

By OSA Campina Student Chapter | Posted: 1 November 2016

The 2nd Edition of FunOptics: Óptica Divertida, realized by OSA Campina Student Chapter, was held at Escola Dr. Hortêncio de Sousa Ribeiro (a state high school in our city, Campina Grande, Brazil) counting with the participation of 30 students of the 1st year of high school.

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The Next Hundred Years of Light: Seeing Far Further into the Universe

By Jeff Hecht | Posted: 31 October 2016

Theoretical physicist and futurist, Dr. Michio Kaku envisioned light carrying human consciousness across the galaxy in his Light the Future keynote talk at Frontiers in Optics, the annual meeting of The Optical Society in Rochester, New York, USA on 20 October 2016. A panel of seven Nobel Laureates followed Kaku's presentation. The Laureates looked at to a bright future on Earth as enabled by optics. Both agreed that the developers of LIGO deserve a Nobel Prize for their observation of gravitational waves, validating a prediction that made by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, in the year that OSA was born in Rochester. 

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Night of the Stars (Noche de las Estrellas)

By Chapter Interdisciplinary Optics | Posted: 28 October 2016

In August 12th, hundreds of people from our city joined the biggest astronomy event in the region, Night of the Stars - Pereira. The OSA Student Chapter of Chapter Interdisciplinary Optics participated in the LOC team and in various activities to expose the general public to science.

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Coming Back to the Down Under

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 26 October 2016

​Hey there!
This is the third in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec.
In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to attend the OSA Photonics and Fiber Technology conference in Sydney. I worked at the University of Sydney for four years, so this was a bit of a homecoming for me.

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Playing with Light

By OSA Student Chapter Torino | Posted: 7 October 2016

The OSA Student Chapter Torino, on September 30th 2016, started the TOP-LUX initiative in the framework of the European Researcher’s Night 2016. The TOP-LUX (TOrino Photonics – Leveraging YoUth eXcellence) initiative, with which the OSA Student Chapter Torino aims at creating a series of educational events among schools of the Piemonte region, followed by a contest between them for educational projects related to Optics and Science. 

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OPTO-Meeting 2016

By Gdańsk University of Technology OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 7 October 2016

The OPTO-Meeting 2016 was held at Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland, between 6th-9th July 2016. There were 84 participants from 6 countries: students, young researchers, and professors. The organizing committee consisted of: Aleksandra Wieloszyńska, Agnieszka Szreder, Aleksandra Kamińska, Wojciech Den, Anna Sękowska, Michał Trojanowski, Mateusz Ficek, Maciej Wróbel. Our sponsors were: OSA, SPIE, ASTE, OptiNav, Inntec, Olympus, Gdańsk University of Technology and others. Thanks to funding from OSA – Centennial Special Events Grant, it was possible to reduce conference fee, to organize some extra networking events, and to finance more awards for the best presentations. The program was packed tight with numerous events. 

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Running Our Own Conference

By University of Aveiro OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 7 October 2016

In July, the University of Aveiro OSA Student Chapter fully organized, for the first time, a two days’ conference. In fact, it is not the first time our Student Chapter participates in the organization of an event, but always in collaboration with other Chapters or other persons. This time, the organization was entirely our responsibility. The conference, which was called ‘OptoFusion – Conference on Optics in Industry’, took place at Instituto de Telecomunicações, in Aveiro, and was a celebration in Portugal of the 100 years of The Optical Society (OSA) and, at the same time, joined academy and industry in turn of a single objective. 

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Waves and Structured Materials

By University of North Carolina - Charlotte | Posted: 6 October 2016

On June 3rd 2016, a large number of optics faculty, students and industry leaders descended on UNC Charlotte for a special one-time workshop on “Waves and Structured Materials”. The workshop was designed to be informal and allow plenty of time for discussion and networking with those who attended.

The keynote invited speakers were Dr. Phil Russell, Max Planck Institute who spoke on “The Multi-Faceted World of Photonic Crystal Fibers”; Dr. David Smith, Duke U. “Metamaterials and Metasurfaces: Emerging Opportunities for Controlling Light with Structured Media”; Dr. Warren Warren, Duke U. “From diagnosing melanoma to saving cultural heritage: how nonlinear optical imaging transforms the world” Dr. Greg Gbur, UNC Charlotte, “PT Symmetry in Optics”; Dr. Jacob Khurgin, Johns Hopkins University, “New Plasmonic Materials”.

The workshop began with an overview of the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) by its Director, Dr. Bruce LaMattinna, and a presentation by Navid Farahi, OSA Student Chapter President, which highlighted the many events and outreach achievements this very active chapter had accomplished during the prior 12 months. Notably, the Chapter won the UNCC award for the best student organization on campus, from more than 200, because of its accomplishments and strong leadership. The student chapter and all of those attending this workshop are extremely grateful to OSA for its constant support for the student chapter and for its generosity in supporting this very rewarding event. We would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate OSA on its 100 years as a professional society promoting optics and supporting the optics community.

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A Meeting with Light

By OSA Student Chapter of Université Laval | Posted: 30 September 2016

During the 2015 International Year of Light, the OSA Student Chapter of Université Laval volunteered to create a fully autonomous exhibition presenting the basics of light to the people of Québec City. Made of two informative banners and 4 interactive modules each displaying an experiment related to both fundamental and technological aspects of light, the goal of “A Meeting with Light” was to illustrate the importance of light-related technologies and its role in daily life. 

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Light Up the Outback - Bright Lights for Bright Minds

By Macquarie OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 30 September 2016

In August, two physics PhD students from Macquarie University, Australia spent a week visiting regional and rural high schools around New South Wales. Eight different schools were visited over the course of 5 days, in a loop of almost 2000 kilometres. Over 450 students and their teachers participated in the sessions. Each visit to the schools had three parts. A short talk on optics or laser and communications was given first. The students then got the chance to interact with a range of optics experiments, including a thermal camera, Schlieren camera/mirror assembly, laser telephone, laser minigolf, laser music player, laser ray optics, diffraction grating glasses, and hand-held spectrometer. Just about every school had a different ‘favourite’ experiment, with students and teachers all getting involved. 

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Subwavelength Photonics Incubator: Day 2

By Hugh Podmore, York University, Canada | Posted: 23 September 2016

Day 2 of the subwavelength photonics Incubator featured talks focusing on photonic crystal cavities and metamaterials. The program concluded with a discussion on the exciting new possibilities and applications of subwavelength photonics and metamaterials towards the fields of bio-sensing, wearable devices, augmented reality and autonomous navigation. 

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Subwavelength Photonics Incubator Begins

By Hugh Podmore, York University, Canada | Posted: 22 September 2016

​The OSA Subwavelength Photonics Incubator, hosted by Pavel Cheben, National Research Council of Canada; Inigo Molina Fernandez, University of Malaga, Spain; David Smith, Duke University, United States and Weidong Zhou, University of Texas at Arlington, United States commenced today in Washington, DC. The Incubator features a meeting of leading minds across the fields of subwavelength photonics, photonic crystals, and metamaterials. Though closely related, these fields are often treated as separate disciplines; this Incubator seeks to create a collaborative environment wherein recent advances in each discipline can be integrated to produce new directions and new frontiers in subwavelength optics and photonics.

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An Eye on the Future of Vision

By Rebecca Andersen | Posted: 22 September 2016

During The Optical Society’s Light the Future centennial program in Medellín, Colombia on 24 August 2016, Susana Marcos, Instituto de Optica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain, presented “An Eye to the Future of Vision.” At this 25 year anniversary, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has already delivered the ability to map the entire vascular network within the retina, down to the single capillary level. Thanks to the computing power of graphical processing units (GPUs), the real power of this 3D resolution is just starting to emerge by bringing the images to the surgeon live during an operation — in real time, using a variety of display methods.

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How to become a great peer reviewer

By OSA Publishing Staff | Posted: 21 September 2016

Developing the skills necessary to provide effective reviews can take time. Fortunately, OSA has several great resources available to help you become a better peer reviewer. Here are some tips and links that will help you enhance your contributions as an OSA peer reviewer.

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OSA Celebrates Peer Review Week 2016 #RecognizeReview

By OSA Publishing Staff | Posted: 19 September 2016

This week is Peer Review Week 2016, and OSA is proud to serve as a member of the Organizing Committee for the initiative. The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week is Recognition for Review, therefore it was natural for our celebration to begin by recognizing OSA’s many hard-working reviewers.

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My Summer Trip to India

By Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, University of Waterloo | Posted: 16 September 2016

Over the summer I visited India, more specifically Kolkata, where I was a keynote speaker at the 3rd International Conference on Optoelectronics and Applied Optics (Optronix 2016). In addition, I visited with the OSA Student Chapter at the University of Engineering and Management/Institute of Engineering and Management in Kolkata.  I also visited the student chapter at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur.  This was a short, but very filled schedule.

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​OSA Science & Applications of Nanolasers Incubator: Day 2

By Shuai Sun, George Washington University | Posted: 9 September 2016

Day 2 of the Science & Applications of Nanolasers Incubator included a session on Exploring Near-Field Effects before finishing up with section Reassessing Our Motivation for Small Lasers. Following the final panel discussion, the hosts wrapped up the Incubator by leading a short discussion on general outlook for the future nanoscale light sources and discussed potential next steps for the group to ensure the presentations and discussion from this program continue to move forward.

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OSA Science & Applications of Nanolasers Incubator: Day 1

By Shuai Sun, George Washington University | Posted: 9 September 2016

The topic of the latest OSA Incubator: Science & Applications of Nanolasers has become one of the hottest topics in the optical field. The semiconductor lasers with wavelength scale or below has been applied onto many real world applications, such as photonic crystals, nanowires, metal claddings, etc. The size scaling and the energy efficiency scaling nowadays becomes the major targets in this research field. The goal of this Incubator is to forge connections between the diverse communities working on different approaches to nanolasers in order to identify fundamental goals and limits for nanolaser research, identify potential applications for nanolasers and identify a roadmap for nanolaser research that can bring the science closer to commercialization.

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Camp Rocks

By Yerevan State University & Nat'l Academy of Sciences | Posted: 7 September 2016

Camp “Physics and We: Lightning the Optics” was held on 8-12 of August in Byurakan, Armenia. More than 200 people applied for participation, and 40 of them were chosen based on their applications and online interviews. Participants were mainly students from various universities, as well as high school students of different regions of Armenia. First two days, 8th and 9th of August were focused on theoretical part of Optics and its applications in different fields: nanophysics, telecommunications, holography. Lecturers were from different institutions of Armenia: Gagik Buniatyan - director of LT-Pyrkal, Arthur Kirakosyan, Tigran Dadalyan, Ashkhen Arakelyan - Yerevan State University (YSU), Hayk Sarkisyan and David Hayrapetyan - Russian-Armenian University (RAU), Smbat Gogyan - Institute of Mathematics, NAS, as well as Vahe Tshitoyan - University of Cambridge, Tatevik Chalyan - University of Trento. In addition to the lectures, special workshop on “Mathematica” computational program and its applications in Physics, was held by Davit Hayrapetyan. During following three days, 10-12th of August, participants of the camp were divided into 6 groups based on their choices mentioned in application: Rocket engineering, CNC and 3D printing, Android applications and Physics, Robotics, Measuring equipment, Modeling of Physical Processes on Computer. Each group was supervised by a senior student. During camp, each group was working on particular project or problem. Most of the supervisors and organizers were members of OSA Armenian chapter’s. A visit to Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory was organized on 11th of August. Participants had opportunity to visit biggest telescope (2.6m diameter) of Armenia, museum of famous Armenian Astrophysicist Victor Hambardzumyan. At last but not at least, special lectures on contemporary problems of Astrophysics was held by director of observatory Hayk Harutyunyan, Tigran Magakian, Ruben Andreasyan, Abraham Mahtesyan.


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An Illuminating Experience

By Tianjin University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 7 September 2016

In July 2016, Tianjin University OSA Student Chapter held the OSA Centennial Special Events- A Series of Optical Courses on OSA's 100th Birthday. We held the activities at Tianjin University affiliated elementary school and Yixing primary school. Preparations started in May and we had a lot of meetings to discuss the form of classroom, tested the lecture course, bought the experimental and demonstrated apparatus, we also bought dolls and a lot of prizes for primary students. 

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Understanding Multi-Photon Bio-Imaging

By Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, OSKAR | Posted: 6 September 2016

On the 29th of June 2016, Optics Students Karlsruhe e.V. (OSKar) hosted an OSA Traveling Lecturer at the Light Technology Institute (LTI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The lecture program is sponsored by The Optical Society. This year we are honored to have invited the OSA Fellow, Professor Chris Xu from Cornell University, USA to fly to Karlsruhe, Germany and give a presentation on multi-photon bio-imaging to the students and professors in KIT. The professor was invited by OSKar’s president, Xiang Gao. They knew each other since 2014 summer in Peking, China and still keep in contact. Though the main focus of the talk was specialized on the improved multi-photon imaging techniques, there are many students and professors of different backgrounds and research areas who attended. Professor Xu showed us the latest achievement in his laboratory, i.e. the deep imaging down to millimeter below the surface of a living mouse’s brain by using 2 and 3-photon-absorption. In the images he showed, we could clearly see the structure and topology of the neurons, which were not yet discovered to such detailed level before. That should be attributed to the multi-photon in vivo bio-imaging methods. The audience was amazed by the excellent research work in Professor Xu’s group and attractive presentation style. 

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Going Back to the Basics

By Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (I.I.T. Delhi) | Posted: 6 September 2016

The IIT Delhi OSA Student Chapter hosted OSA Ambassador Dr. Arti Agrawal from City University, London as a Traveling Lecturer. The talk was on Finite Element Method for Photonics and Optics. She covered some of the key principles of numerical methods (for photonics) and shown some examples of different classes of methods. She explained the basics of FEM and steps involved in the method, with some examples. She also discussed the principle of writing code for such a method as well as some tips on best usage of commercial software. The talk was attended by students from different background like Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics and pure physics who belonged to all levels like BTech, Mtech, PhD etc as well as faculty members. The talk was very helpful for the students at our institute as it gave them insight into the applications of commercial software based on FEM in their respective research areas. She also interacted with the chapter members personally and gave them advice on their future research maneuvers. She also gave new and interesting ideas for our future chapter activities. Overall, the traveling lecture was a successful event for the students. Thank you to OSA for providing the Traveling Lecturer Program. 

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Highlights of the Siegman School in Barcelona

By Mohammad Tollabi Mazraehno | Posted: 30 August 2016

In July I had the opportunity to attend The Siegman International School on Lasers, held jointly by The OSA Foundation and the Technical University of Catalonia. To be more precise, the school was hosted by The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Castelldefels, a beautiful town located 25 km away from Barcelona, which borders the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. 

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Women Who Make a Difference in Optics – Every Day

By Tracy Schario, APR | Posted: 12 August 2016

The Optical Society has been home to many innovations in its 100-year history – and many bright women innovators. But what’s the future of women in optics?

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Optics Augments Reality and Brings 3D Medicine into Focus

By Rebecca B. Andersen | Posted: 12 August 2016

Live 3D imaging is one of the hottest topics in optics today, transforming medical imaging capabilities and delivering the immersive experience behind augmented and virtual reality. During The Optical Society’s Light the Future centennial program in Heidelberg, Germany on 26 July, Dr. Joseph Izatt of Duke University and Microsoft’s Bernard Kress gave an insider’s look at how these technologies are advancing medicine and changing the future of how we interact with computers.

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“Ask Me Anything” and They Did! My Dive into Reddit and Discussions on Today’s Optical Technologies

By Alan Willner | Posted: 2 August 2016

OSA President Alan Willner hosts an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit. 

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Applied Industrial Optics Day 4

By Sogol Borjian Borojeni | Posted: 29 July 2016

The final day of AIO 2016 kicked off with...

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Applied Industrial Optics Day 3

By Sogol Borjian Borojeni | Posted: 28 July 2016

Day 3 started with...

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Making the unimaginable possible.

By Sogol Borjian | Posted: 27 July 2016

AIO Young Professional, Sogol Borjian, interviews Nicole Reader about the intersection of fashion and optics. Ms Reader is an invited speaker at AIO 2016.

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Applied Industrial Optics Day 2

By Sogol Borjian Borojeni | Posted: 27 July 2016

The first session of AIO on Day 2, “ID Photonically”, was opened by...

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Applied Industrial Optics Day 1

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 25 July 2016

OSA’s Imaging and Applied Optics Congress kicked off with the...

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Successful meeting in Vancouver. Looking forward to seeing you in Advanced Photonics 2017 in New Orleans.

By Howard Lee | Posted: 25 July 2016

It is great to attend a meeting with specific focus on certain topics as Advanced Photonics, since it is... 

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Working In Optics

By Aline Dinkelaker, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Posted: 25 July 2016

The career event “Working in Optics in Berlin” took place on 15 June at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and was funded by the OSA Ambassador Program. It was organized by Aline Dinkelaker, OSA Ambassador, and the student chapter BerlinOptik. More than 80 participants registered to attend the event, with participants from each of the three universities in Berlin as well as from other cities. 

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Exposing Science to Those All Around

By Oxford Optics and Photonics Student Society (OxOPS) | Posted: 19 July 2016

The Oxford Optics and Photonics Society (OxOPS) joined forces with the Oxford Hands-on-Science (OxHOS) society to realise an unprecedented Science roadshow in the UK. A tour in Oxfordshire (first week) and South Wales (second week) visiting schools and public venues with plenty of Science experiments was carried out with massive success! Thanks to the OSA Centennial Special Events Grant, the total cost of this big event running through two weeks, several locations, with many volunteers and plenty of enthusiasm was totally fundraised; this in turn allowed the whole event to run as planned, and even better. OxHOS, also a student society at Oxford University, was leading the activity and raised most of the money. They were in charge of the administration processes and the coordination of over 80 volunteers including all the members of our OSA chapter. The whole setup included demonstrations on all the fields of science: from Kiwi DNA, fruit batteries, blood pressure, membrane vibrations, air convection, to the dynamo, conservation of angular momentum and, of course, very cool optical experiments; all together in the same rooms or street with plenty of interested public, mostly children. 

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Keeping a Tradition

By New England Section of OSA | Posted: 19 July 2016

Each year the NES/OSA participates in several outreach events to demonstrate the role optics plays in everyday life. Sharing knowledge of optics applications has been an ongoing effort since the mid-1970s evolving over time. Our current approach is to join public STEM EXPOs and Science Fairs. Massachusetts has a statewide system of science fairs split into six regions. Each region hosts middle and high school fairs with winners eligible to compete in the annual statewide fairs. The local section provides funding to each fair to cover overhead and prizes, and attended 3 fairs with optics demonstrations. 

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Capture Science

By University of Otago | Posted: 19 July 2016

We ran a community photo competition called “Capture Science - Earth, Space and Weather” as a sequel to the IYL “Luminescence” photo competition, where we asked entrants to explore the science of the incredible world around us through a photo and accompanying caption explaining the underlying scientific concept(s). Almost 200 entries were received across four age categories, coming from all over the Otago/Southland region. The winning entries were then displayed for one week in an exhibition at the Otago Museum, as part of the New Zealand Science Festival. 

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Advanced Photonics Conference in Vancouver

By Howard Lee | Posted: 19 July 2016

Advanced Photonics 2016 - Vancouver, Canada - Day 1 

I am attending Advanced Photonics in Vancouver. I was also at the past Advanced Photonics Conference in Boston 2015 but this year is really special as ....

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A Gaze at the Moon

By Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosi OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 15 July 2016

During Science Week, along with the “Instituto de Investigación en Comunicación Óptica” (IICO) and the Science Faculty we carried out various activities related to the centennial of The Optical Society.
Our OSA chapter organized an astronomical night and a telescope workshop with the participation of children, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as teachers of the Institute. The activity consisted of a conversation about astronomy and radio-astronomy by Astrophysical Hugo Jasso, which ended with the observation of the Moon and a dinner (pizza).
This activity took place on Tuesday 18 April, starting with the talk of Astronomy at 19:00 hours followed by the telescopes workshop from 20:00 to 21:30 and ending with the observation of the moon at 21:30 and dinner following, the telescopes elaborated in the workshop were used.

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Creating the Next Generation of Curious Minds

By Chapter CICESE | Posted: 15 July 2016

The CICESE OSA student chapter organized an event where the main purpose was to make science in general and optics in particular seem less intimidating and more approachable. Different local elementary schools were invited to CICESE on June 10 and June 17 and more than 75 elementary kids attended the event between these two dates. The participants received lectures given by members of the CICESE student chapter, and observed interactive experiments meant to show and explain different optics phenomena and concepts in an accessible manner for young children. The kids were curious and inquisitive throughout the event, and accompanying teachers gave very good feedback on the event in general, noting the importance of making children see the influence of science in everyday life.

We would like to OSA for awarding us a Centennial Special Events Grant to make this event possible.

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AIO Co-Founder and 2016 Program Chair, Dr Jess V. Ford, shares his thoughts on the AIO meeting.

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 14 July 2016

AIO will stretch your mind about photonics applications and help you develop a network of friends that will help you overcome any hurdle in taking your technology from the lab bench to the marketplace.  We also have the best after conference parties and discussions.

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Life after ICFO: A PhD is Not Enough

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | Posted: 5 July 2016

On June 2nd 2016, the ICONS student chapter hosted Prof.Giovanni Volpe (Assistant Professor, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey) a former ICFOnian as a part of OSA´s Ambassador and Traveling Lecturer Programs. The visit of Professor Volpe was beneficial in multiple ways. Being a former ICFOnian, Professor Volpe was able to gives us first-hand experience about life after a PhD in photonics from our institute. His talk titled: 'Life after ICFO: A PhD is Not Enough’ gave us a detailed account of his career after ICFO and how a career does not always have to be a perfectly predictable sequence and how sometimes changing fields can be fruitful. It was encouraging to know that his involvement in outreach and other student chapter activities has helped him in the long run.

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Traveling Around India

By Arti Agrawal, City University | Posted: 5 July 2016

I had the opportunity to travel to India as a travelling lecturer in April. In visiting 3 cities and several chapters (holding joint events) I had some amazing experiences. 

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Going Back Where It All Began

By Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg | Posted: 5 July 2016

On June 2-3 2016, I have visited the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO - the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. I was hosted by the Vice-President of the Student, Kavitha Kalavoor, and I had the opportunity to meet several of the other Officers of the Student Chapter.

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AIO 2016: Focus on Dr. Garrett Cole, Crystalline Mirror Solutions LLC, US

By Dr. Garrett Cole | Posted: 29 June 2016

What do you think people will learn from your talk as a take-home lesson?
I aim to give an overview of...

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Light Beyond the Lab: Putting Your Research Skills to Work

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 29 June 2016

This is the second in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. In case you missed my last post, you can find it here.
In this blog post I will discuss a recent trip across the border to Canada to attend the IONS-Quebec conference and to visit INRS-Montreal.
I’ll also give you a glimpse into some professional development pointers I’ve been sharing with the OSA community. In each new post I will comment on different aspects that appear in the live presentation. Today the topic will be ‘Communication skills.’ This is certainly à propos as this specifically came up in the talk of Jean Luc-Dumont (Principiae) at IONS-Quebec.

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A New Force of Awakening

By Harbin Institute of Technology OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 29 June 2016

At May 30th, Doctor Yue Yang from Jupiter Networks, United States arrived at Harbin Institute of Technology and presented to the HIT OSA Student Chapter and the national key laboratory of tunable laser a great report about his research direction: High-speed optical systems and networking functions using orbital-angular-momentum multiplexing. Dr. Yue got his bachelor degree and master degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, after that he continued his research in University of Southern California, and got his doctor degree from there. He focused his research direction to integrated electronics, free-space and fiber optics, optical communication and optical network. After his graduation, he has worked for several companies and now he works in Jupiter Networks, which is a network equipment company. It is a great honor for our HIT OSA Student Chapter to have the choice to invite such a famous researcher with rich work experience in his research direction.

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Putting Your PhD to Work

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 21 June 2016

The OSA Ambassador program
I’m excited to volunteer in the inaugural year of the OSA Ambassador program. Our goal is to further the professional development skills of our student and Young Professional members.

‘Putting your PhD to work’
To this end, I am focusing on the topic of ‘Putting your PhD to work.’
In brief, the skills learned during an optics degree in are in high demand in many areas outside of optics. My goal is to communicate to optical scientists and engineers about these tremendous opportunities outside academic and industrial career paths and how to seek them out. The following is a summary of the talk.

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The Cities of Lights: A Century of Optics in LEDs, NEON and Light

By Tracy Schario | Posted: 20 June 2016

Think about the world’s greatest travel destinations – London. Dubai. New York City. Tokyo. Now picture them dark. Would any of these places be the same without light? The Optical Society (OSA), a global association of scientists and engineers who make lasers, sensors, cameras, LED, virtual reality and many other technologies possible, is celebrating its 100th birthday. One of the most common applications of the science of light (aka optics and photonics) is – well – light.

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Machines Can Learn Ethics and Other Predictions for AI

By Julia Majors, Ph.D. | Posted: 17 June 2016

Futurist Ray Kurzweil and Nobel laureate Steven Chu discuss artificial intelligence and accelerating technology at The Optical Society’s “Light the Future” program at CLEO.

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Curious Minds Learn About Optics and Photonics

By SUSTC OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 16 June 2016

SUSTC OSA Student Chapter organized interactive lectures about optics for little kids in Jinxiu Elementary School (11 May), SUSTC Experimental 2nd Elementary School (18 May) and Qianhai Harbor Elementary School (20 May). In these three interactive lectures, 16 members from SUSTC OSA Student Chapter attended and organized the interactive lectures and more than 340 elementary kids participated in the lectures. The headmasters of the elementary school, professors and the college president from SUSTC thought highly of the activities and also attended each of the lectures. The activities guided the kid’s thought to optical knowledge embedded in our daily life. Students from SUSTC transferred the optical knowledge into simple and clear expression to make sure little kids could understand. 

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Discussing the Future

By Technical University of Denmark - Copenhagen Optic DTU | Posted: 16 June 2016

Photonics in 2048 workshop was organized on 13 May 2016 in Copenhagen successfully. The workshop was held under the supervision of DTU Fotonik Innovation agent Monika Luniewska Jensen and the presentations were judged by DTU Fotonik’s Director Lars–Ulrik Aaen Andersen. 

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Touring Labs

By Tel-Aviv University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 14 June 2016

On Thursday, May 19th 2016, the Tel-Aviv University OSA student chapter conducted a one and a half hour event starting with tours in two optical labs followed by a social gathering, the second in a series called “OptiBEER”. The event included snacks, beer and hot drinks. As we did on the previous event, 16 participants were divided into two groups that toured both of the following labs:
1. The Nanoscale Electro Optics lab, Dr. Tal Ellenbogen’s group.
2.The Biomedical Optical Microscopy, Nanoscopy and Interferometry Research Group, Prof. Nathan Shaked’s group.
Each tour took about ~20 minutes, in which we saw how a metamaterial lens can correct for chromatic aberrations (in Dr. Ellenbogen’s lab), and how off-axis holography can be used for measuring the fitness of single sperm cells, which allows for higher success rate in In vitro fertilisation (in Prof. Nathan Shaked’s lab). The following social gathering was attended by about 30 students, we got some requests to join the mailing lists and the chapter, and saw familiar faces along with some new ones. Alongside the “regular” beer, we brought some home-brewed beer, which we branded “OSA student chapter”.

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AIO 2016: Focus on Dr. Torsten Frosch, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Germany

By Sogol Borjian | Posted: 10 June 2016

Dr. Torsten Frosch, who was recently awarded the Bunsen-Kirchhoff award for Analytical Spectroscopy, will talk about Raman Spectroscopic Gas Sensing at AIO 2016. In the following interview, AIO Young Professional, Sogol Borjian, asks Dr Frosch about his work and his upcoming talk at AIO 2016. 

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Mencap-Lightwave: Outreach with Young Adults with Learning Disabilities

By University of Southampton Chapter and Rebecca Bellworthy | Posted: 2 June 2016

On Tuesday 17th May 2016, members of the University of Southampton’s Optics and Photonics Society (OPSoc) teamed up with Mencap Southampton for an Outreach event for 8 young adults with learning disabilities.

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A Full Lecturer Experience

By OSA Student Chapter "hbar OMEGA" | Posted: 2 June 2016

On April 13, our student chapter was very pleased to welcome OSA Traveling Lecturer Professor Malvin Carl Teich, professor emeritus at Boston University and Columbia University. He is well known for his seminal book “Fundamentals of Photonics”, co-authored by Bahaa E. A. Saleh. We were very impressed by his curriculum vitae that includes everything from fractal stochastic processes to the study of the information transmission in biological systems.

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Imaging and Applied Optics in Heidelberg?

By Sogol Borjian Borojeni | Posted: 25 May 2016

The Imaging and Applied Optics Congress is 25 - 28 July 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany. We hope you’ll join us there. Here are some Interesting Facts about this wonderful place: 

(1)The first evidence of human life in Europe was found in Heidelberg. A jaw-bone which is the earliest evidence found of human life in Europe, known today as the “Heidelberg Man”, was discovered in a gravel pit in Heidelberg in 1907.
(2)Heidelberg University is the oldest in Germany, founded in 1386.
(3)The first bicycle was invented by...

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Day 2: Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence Incubator

By George Nehmetallah | Posted: 20 May 2016

The OSA Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence: From Space-based Observations to Networked, Ground-based Point Sensors successfully brought researchers from industry, military, and national labs working in different application areas but sharing the same goals which are to mitigate, quantify, model, and predict pollution. The researchers discussed the viable and future techniques on how to develop high precision, high sensitivity, low cost, and portable sensors to quantify pollution caused by deteriorating air quality whether from GHGs, wildfires, anthropogenic and natural aerosols, and the myriad particulate air pollutants which drastically have a negative effect on the human well-being and the quality of life. They also laid out some recommendations on next steps for this community. 

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An Ongoing Success - UMD OSA Student Chapter Hosts Annual Poster Competition

By UMD OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

On April 8th, 2016 the University of Maryland hosted its sixth annual Poster Competition in Optics and Photonics. The event is sponsored by the UMD OSA Student Chapter, the National Capitol Section of OSA, IEEE-Baltimore, and IEEE-Washington/Northern Virginia. We were very excited to host Dr. John Gillaspy, program director from the National Science Foundation as our guest speaker. He gave a talk titled, From Farm to Foundation: A Personal Journey through Optical Research, which described his career in optics and journey to his position at NSF. The students found the talk so informative and interesting that it was requested the slides from the talk be distributed online. We invite students from UMD and surrounding universities, including John’s Hopkins and UMBC. Students present their research in all areas of optics and photonics. Some of this year’s poster topics include; “Solitons and Cnoidal Waves in Microresonators,” “Subterawatt Laser Plasma Acceleration of Electrons,” and “Real-Time Image Compression Based on All-Optical Haar Wavelet Transform.” Professionals from surrounding National Labs and local companies judge the competition, providing a great way for students to present their research to the local professional community. As this year is the 100th anniversary of OSA we wanted to make this year our best and most exciting competition to date. As always first place comes with a $300 cash prize and increased our 2nd and 3rd place prizes to $200 and $100, respectively. We had 17 submissions this year and the judges all said that it was very difficult to choose to the top posters as there were so many excellent presenters. Posters are judged on technical significance, quality of work, innovation/originality, poster design and composition, and oral presentation. This year’s winners are: 1st place, Fatholah Salehi (UMD); 2nd place, Nihal Jhajj (UMD); 3rd place, David Somers (UMD); and Honorable Mention, Brian Grubel (John’s Hopkins).

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A Forum to Celebrate and Exchange Ideas

By XIOPM OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

The XIOPM Student Chapter of The Optical Society held an event on April 27-29 titled, “National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics,” to commemorate The Optical Society’s Centennial. To join the celebration, professors at University of Auckland, University of Science and Technology of China, National Tsing Hua University and students from around 30 universities and institutes were invited to participate in the National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics, as well as in other key activities, such as: lab tours, group photos, awards for best presentations, a Centennial celebration of OSA, and so on.

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A Mini-Congress in Partnership with Alfa Foundation

By UANL OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

One of the OSA UANL Student Chapter main compromises and objectives is to develop and invite young minds into the science world. This time we took lead and looked forward to organize an Educational Congress for talented high school students. As the last event organized by the Officers Board 2015-2017 this was the main event of the season.

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A Lecture Series Filled with Opportunity

By QUT OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

The graduate students in the school of Optometry and Vision Science at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have an immense passion in exploring the application of optics in their research activities. With this passion, The Optical Society (OSA) QUT Student Chapter was established in the year 2012. This year QUT OSA Student Chapter organized their first ever OSA lecture series to mark the Centennial year of OSA. This event was a joint collaboration between QUT OSA student chapter and QUT school of Optometry and Vision Science. The objective of the event was to educate and spread the awareness of a wide field of application of optics and light based technologies in science, engineering and other health research. In addition to that, we also wanted to highlight the achievements of our team and the challenges faced by the chapter. These were made clear to the audience in the Chapter President’s welcome speech. 

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Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence Incubator: Day 1

By George Nehmetallah | Posted: 20 May 2016

Yesterday, kicked off the start of the OSA Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence: From Space-based Observations to Networked, Ground-based Point Sensors, hosted by the Environmental Sensing Technical Group: Adam J. Fleisher, National Institute of Standards & Technology, United States; Partha Banerjee, University of Dayton, United States; and Jorge E. Pezoa, Universidad de Concepción, Chile. The goal of this meeting is to share information among the different researchers that have common interests, to foster future collaboration, to identify areas in need of further research, improve and miniaturize novel sensor technologies, and to develop strategies to incorporate computer models in monitoring, predicting, and measuring pollution and its effect on population. Another goal for this meeting is to bring together researchers from the defense, industry, national labs, and academia, to share their knowledge and their technologies and how to move towards future directions for developing robust simulation tools, low cost and portable pollution sensors.

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OSA Incubator Takes on Precision Measurements in Air Quality

By ​Partha P. Banerjee | Posted: 18 May 2016

According to the United Nations Environment Program, more than 1 billion people are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually. Urban air pollution is linked to up to 1 million premature deaths and 1 million pre-native deaths each year. Urban air pollution is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries. By organizing this Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence, the leadership of the Environmental Sensing Technical Group hope to open the door to innovative and aggressive monitoring of air quality and predictions, leading to worldwide improvement of the quality of life.


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Starting a New Tradition

By Purdue University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

Our chapter organized the 1st annual conference on Micro & Nano-scale Science for Addressing Grand Challenges: Advancing Technology with Light at Purdue University. The conference featured talks by graduate students and postdocs working in the broad field of nanotechnology. The talks covered several topics including: quantum photonics, thermal science, life science, sustainable energy and advanced laser-based nanomanufacturing. Over 80 students and researchers registered to attend the conference. The speakers discussed their contributions to the field and what grand challenges are still being based in that research field. 

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An Ambassador to Inspire Us All

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

On April 1st it was raining… it was raining a lot! But nothing stops an OSA Ambassadors. From Argonne National Laboratory (US), Dr. Chad Husko came in Barcelona early in the morning to visit the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) in Castelldefels. It was a long day for the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO, named ICONS since Dr. Anne l'Hullier (from Lund University) was giving a plenary talk about her research and ICONS was organizing a round table with her about her scientific experience. We were able to arrange everything and Chad was able to visit some labs during the day thanks to Dr. Niek Van Hulst (Molecular Nanophotonics), Dr. Darrick Chang (Theoretical Quantum-Nano Photonics Group) and Dr. Jens Biegert (Attoscience and Ultrafast Photonics Group and OSA Advisor at ICFO). All visits were enriching for everybody and (we hope) Chad had the opportunity to see how new ICFO is and the potential that our Centre has to develop and host lots of different social and skill-improving activities.

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Leading PhD Students to the Path of Industry

By Washington State University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

According to a study by The Royal Society, less than 1% of current PhD graduates will become tenured professors. Moreover, approximately 30% of PhD graduates will be unemployed upon graduation. To combat a more competitive job market and fewer academic jobs, Washington State University’s OSA/SPIE student chapter focuses on professional development. Through OSA’s Traveling Lecturer Program, WSU OSA/SPIE hosted Phillip J. Wyatt, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wyatt Technology Corporation. As an industry professional, Dr. Wyatt spoke to transferable skills, job hunting in industry, and what a career in industry really entails.

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What is Applied Industrial Optics?

By Gary Miller, US Naval Research Laboratory, USA | Posted: 5 May 2016

Applied Industrial Optics (AIO) is a unique conference where industrial professionals are asked to speak about their work, which typically is never published, unless as a patent. While many industrial societies have conferences that approach this format, the Optics and Photonics industry typically only has trade shows, such as CLEO and Photonics West. For industrial participants, these events are focused on the exhibition floor and the technical program is ancillary. AIO, this 25 - 28 July 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany as part of the Imaging and Applied Optics Congress, shifts that paradigm focusing instead on the technical program.

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Interacting with the Next Generation of Scientists

By Martijn De Sterke, University of Sydney | Posted: 2 May 2016

Since it is a long flight from Sydney to India I decided to combine visits to two different student chapters in a single trip. Arriving in Kolkata late on a Wednesday evening, I spent the Thursday morning at the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) in Kolkata, a very impressive organization,  and then on by train to Dhanbad, the location of the Indian School of Mines (ISM). Here I spent all of Friday, and then was at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur on the Monday and the Tuesday morning. Over the weekend the students at ISM showed me around in Gaya, one of the holy sites of Buddhism, and on the Sunday it took us most of the day to drive from Dhanbad to Kharagpur. The entire visit was very enjoyable with the students looking after me very well at every stage. 

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Enthusiastic Young Minds Create an Ecosystem of Learning

By OSA Student Chapter of Vilnius University | Posted: 28 April 2016

59th international conference for students of physics and natural sciences “Open Readings 2016” gathered more than 300 enthusiastic young minds in order to create an ecosystem of learning and sharing the experience. The conference took place on 15-18th of March in Vilnius, Lithuania and connected students from all over Europe working in a variety of thrilling topics: from optics and laser physics to the latest applications in biomedicine.

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Optical Enrichment Activity at Alomim School

By OSA TAU Student Chapter | Posted: 28 April 2016

The optical enrichment activity was conducted on 8 April 2016 as part of an open day at school to expose the students to different fields of interest. The students that attended the optical activity chose this activity out of other options available to them that day.
In this activity, we exposed the class to the white light wonders using the OSA Optics Suitcase and explained the motivation of our visit, to revel and to expose our attention to daily phenomena and to understand how it relates to the science and technology. We started with a short introduction on what is light, what we know about it, the students actively participated in the discussion and offered different types of light sources. We summarized this part by stating that light is an energy that has a source and that travels in space.

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Spark Your Dream - Celebrating OSA's Centennial

By Ningbo University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 28 April 2016

Our chapter decided to organize a series of youth education activities named “Spark Your Dream” to celebrate the OSA’s 100th birthday. We wanted to impart our knowledge to help younger students in order to foster their interests in optics and science in general to broaden their horizon. We wanted to make the younger students understand what OSA has to offer through these activities.

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Awarding New Ideas

By OSA Student Chapter of Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur | Posted: 27 April 2016

OSA Student Chapter of Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur conducted a student oriented conference titled, 'OSA Young Student Congress on Photonic Technologies' on April 16-17, 2016. It was a one and a half day event which began in the afternoon of April 16 and ended in the evening of April 17. We received around 30 papers from students at our institute as well as from other institutions. The reviewing committee consisted of esteemed professors where they selected 15 papers for oral presentation and other 15 for poster presentation. The event started with a 30 minutes presentation on OSA and our student chapter, given by Mr. Abhishek Godbole, President of OSA Student Chapter, MNIT Jaipur. Then we had a Skype session with Mr. Sripadaraja of Sridutt Technologies who explained to the attendees about the Lumerical Simulation tool which is widely used for simulation and modeling of optical devices. Following the session, we had a poster presentation competition among the participants. Out of the 15 posters we received, two of them were awarded best posters and received a prize. On the second day, we began with a welcome note from our faculty advisor Dr. Ghanshyam Singh. Then we had four expert lectures each of 45 minutes. The lectures were on varied topics such as Optics/Photonics, document preparation using LaTeX, Optical Wireless Communication and Art of manuscript preparation and submission in reputed journals. It was a great learning experience for the participants as they got exposed to such varied and important topics. After that we organized a quiz competition for the participants. The questions were based on fiber optic communication and photonic devices. Around 40 students took part in the quiz and the top three were awarded a prize. Then we had oral presentations from the participants which were judged by esteemed Professors of MNIT Jaipur. Two of the top presenters were awarded a prize. This event was well received by the participants and was a great learning process for the organizers. Members of our student chapter gained a lot from organizing this event and we look forward to conduct such activities in future also. We are grateful to OSA for providing us the Centennial Special Events Grants which helped us to organize this event without any inconvenience.

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Cultivating Success with Other Student Chapters

By OSA Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) Student Chapter | Posted: 27 April 2016

Beijing Jiaotong University OSA Student Chapter held a series of events from April 21st to April 22nd, titled "Biomedical Sensing and Optical Fiber Sensing Seminar" as well as the "BJTU OSA/SPIE Student Chapter Symposium", to commemorate The Optical Society’s 100th anniversary. We invited Professor Alex Vitkin (University of Toronto, Fellow of OSA and SPIE, the SPIE Visiting Lecturer), who has expertise in medical physics and applications of lasers in medicine, to attend these celebrations.

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2016 USA Science and Engineering Festival

By Jen Tedeschi | Posted: 26 April 2016

On 15-17 April 2016, The Optical Society (OSA) participated in the 2016 USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. This festival is a bi-annual event to advance STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. There were 1,000 participating organizations with over 3,000 hands-on activities for attendees to learn more about science. We partnered with our sister societies under the name of Big Top Physics to help attendees learn more about the general field of physics. OSA featured our Centennial Exhibit, the Explore Optics Kit, as well as a Light Paint Booth where attendees received a picture of their creation.

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Visiting the Kansas Optical Society

By Tso Yee Fan, MIT Lincoln Laboratory | Posted: 26 April 2016

The Kansas Optical Society student chapter, based at Kansas State University, is active in running events such as arranging for and hosting OSA Traveling Lecturer and putting together outreach at the University Open House. The chapter has around 20 members and hosted me on a very full day in Manhattan, Kansas. Some of the research activities included ultrafast molecular dynamics, laser development, and ultrafast x-ray science. These activities centered around the J. R. Macdonald Laboratory, which houses multiple short-pulse, Ti-sapphire-based laser systems along with ion sources and accelerators. This is a shared facility for the one of the larger U. S. university AMO physics communities.

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A Lecturer Down Under

By San Francisco State University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 26 April 2016

On Thursday March 17th 2016, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Yuri Kivshar, from the Nonlinear Physics Center at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, through the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. Dr. Kivshar works for the physics and astronomy department at San Francisco State University in San Francisco California. 

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Developments in Optics and Communications 2016

By OSA Student Chapter of University of Latvia | Posted: 26 April 2016

From the 21st to 23rd of March, the 12th International student and young scientist conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2016” (DOC 2016) was held in Riga, Latvia. Many brilliant young scientists gathered from different countries to share their scientific work, insights and experiences in various fields related to optics: vision science, optical materials, biophotonics, laser physics and spectroscopy.

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The 11th Annual Materials and Optics Poster Competition

By Clemson University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 26 April 2016

This year the Clemson University OSA Student Chapter held a poster competition for undergraduate and graduate students for Clemson University and surrounding universities. The event was held on campus at the Madren Conference Center and co-sponsored by the Clemson University Student Chapter of Materials Research Society. This year we had 43 posters and 30 judges in attendance. Each poster was judged by three people who consisted of faculty of Clemson and other universities, staff members, members of industry, and national lab members. We also invited alumni of the College of Engineering and Science to come back and see what students are doing on campus. The event was well received and we had a large turnout from our alumni. 


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The computational modeling conversation continues…

By By Yansong Zhu, Johns Hopkins University | Posted: 15 April 2016

The final session from Day 1 of the Incubator was Performance Metrics/Task-based Assessment. Andrew Watson, from NASA Ames Research Center focused on visual performance metrics for imaging systems. He analyzed the problems of traditional models and discussed improvements that could be made using new approaches. His used examples of letters, aircraft, and watercraft to further illustrate his improvements. Next, Meredith Kupinski, from the University of Arizona, discussed model observation for image quality evaluation. She mentioned that image quality is statistical and can never be defined with a single image. The optimal observer for detection and estimation requires a full characterization of image statistics and characterizing image statistics usually requires an unrealistic quantity of sample images. She also gave some examples to show the performance of her model. After she concluded her discussion, the first day of Computational Modeling Incubator came to the end.

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​OSA Incubator on Computational Modeling & Performance Metrics for Imaging System Design & Evaluation – Day 1

By Yansong Zhu, Johns Hopkins University | Posted: 14 April 2016

During the OSA Incubator on Computational Modeling & Performance Metrics for Imaging System Design & Evaluation hosts Joseph Reynolds, from the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate of the U.S. Army, and Christian Graff, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, gave the overview of what they wanted to accomplish. The goal of this meeting is to share information among researchers in different fields with common problems, to foster future collaborations, to identify areas in need of further research, and to develop strategies for incorporating computer simulations in imaging device performance evaluation. Their hope was to bring together defense and medical imaging science communities to share methods, lessons learned, issues, and future directions for modeling and simulation of complex imaging systems. After the overview presentations, 

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An Exchange of Diverse Topics and New Ideas

By UCLA OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 13 April 2016

Big Data Photonics Workshop 2016: “Trends Shaping the Future of Photonics” was organized at Carnesale Commons in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on 25 March 2016 by Jalali-Lab at UCLA jointly with Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The workshop drew 85 participants from USA, Denmark, and around the globe. The workshop was sponsored by Innovation Center Denmark – Silicon Valley with support from The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE. Prof. Bahram Jalali, the Northrop Grumman Opto-Electronic Chair in Electrical Engineering at UCLA, co-led the event with DTU Professor of Photonics Engineering Professor Idelfonso Tafur Monroy and Mr. Mikkel Bülow Skovborg from Innovation Center Denmark, Silicon Valley. 

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Symposium on Optics

By OSA KULeuven Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

On February 8th and 9th 2016, the KU Leuven OSA student chapter organized a broad symposium on optics. With invited speakers from several European countries, we were able to address a large variety in audience. This was clear from the diverse backgrounds of the students that attended the symposium, ranging from biomedical sciences and (bio)chemistry, to optical engineering. However, all speakers gave a very clear and interesting talk, which could be followed by all of our attendants, master and PhD students alike. The chapter was able to provide participants and speakers with several coffee breaks and delicious lunches, for which we are very grateful to OSA for the grants we received. 

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Motivating to Pursue Your Dreams

By International School of Photonics Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

Professor Kishan Dholakia’s visit was really a great experience for the students of International School of Photonics. His lectures were really informative and impressive speaking on the scale of his presentation skills. There were three illuminating lectures, each of them being interesting in its own ways as the titles: 1. Lights, Camera, Action: Optics in Healthcare, 2. Shaped Beams and Applications for Biomedical Imaging, 3. Let Light Move You: Optical Manipulation.

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Husband and Wife Team

By Technion OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

On the 25th of January 2016, the Technion OSA chapter hosted Professor Margaret Murnane and Professor Henry Keptyn, ultrafast science pioneers and it was a huge success and all thanks to the Traveling Lecturer Program. 

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An Impactful Experience

By Oxford OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

It was a great pleasure for the Oxford OSA student chapter to host Professor Sanders. He was a most experienced OSA ambassador, open to engaging with all of our chapter members as well as other students from the Department and very keen to support the activities of our society. We have been a chapter for 3 years and are still trying to find ways to increase our membership base and expand our activities. We have so far focused on local outreach events in museums and the university, and also hosted a number of talks from local speakers. However, this was the first time that we have taken part in the OSA travelling lecturer program. We feel like the event was a great success and has raised the profile of our chapter within the department.

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Discussing Thin Films

By University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

We invited Dr. George Atanasoff who is a recognized professional in the field of Optical Engineering and a member of Optical Society of America for over 20 years. Dr. Atanasoff started his career as university professor in Physics. Later he gradually transitioned his career into the industry, managing large industrial R&D departments and federal programs for variety of applications, such as optical communications, semiconductors, X-ray, solar and LED. The lecture is a part of The Optical Society’s Traveling Lecturer Program. The lecture was directed towards professionals and scholars in Physics, Material Science and Photonics who wish to expand their practical understanding of optics of surfaces and layered structures. It provided us with valuable information about thin films which are critical element of almost every Photonics application and frequently define the operational limits of the contemporary optical devices and systems. This lecture offered a broader and practical understanding of optics of thin films and multi-layer coatings and their characterization. It began with a general overview of some current problems in Photonics associated with the latest advancement of ultrashort laser pulses and entangled photon applications. It also focused on some theoretical and practical aspects of thin films used in Photonics. A special emphasis was made on the evolution of the optical properties during the film growth and the spectroscopic techniques for monitoring and characterization of thin films and surfaces. A variety of coherency phenomena in thin films and coatings was discussed with some practical ideas on how to use them to deduct physical parameters of the layered structure as it is being made. The lecture ended with a review of several aspects of the physical, statistical and phenomenological modeling of processes for deposition of thin films and multi-layer coatings.
This lecture enabled us to spread the word about The Optical Society and to attract new members to join our chapter.

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Recruiting the Future

By OSA UANL Student Chapter | Posted: 8 April 2016

During the first week of the Spring Semester, OSA UANL Student Chapter organized an Invitational Session on the UANL Physics building main Hall. Officers and Student members offered an attractive talk about the experience, benefits and responsibilities of being an OSA member in order to invite graduate and undergraduate students to join the OSA UANL Student Chapter as an OSA Student member. 

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Learning From Our Peer

By State University of Aerospace Instrumentation | Posted: 1 April 2016

The lecture started with an introduction from St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation OSA chapter president, Vasily Kazakov. He talked about the research group from the department of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Communications and their outreach activities. Then he gave the floor to Arseny Zhdanov, PhD student of University of South Florida, who started his presentation with overview of OSA, membership benefits, published journals and organized conferences. The main part of his lecture covered his experience as a PhD student in the United States, trending research topics, and innovative approaches. He also pointed out that a student membership from OSA can definitely professional help students early in their career.

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Sharing My Experience With Others

By Enkeleda Balliu, Mid Sweden University | Posted: 25 March 2016

Amazed from the flow of students on bicycle and the majesty of Thermotechnical Institute immerse into the Arenberg park … this was the start of the marvelous experience as a Traveling Lecturer at OSA/SPIE Student Chapter at KU Leuven.

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OIDA Workshop on Integrated Photonics High Volume Packaging

By Rebecca Andersen | Posted: 20 March 2016

Progress continues on the design and clean room fabrication of integrated photonics, and companies have commercialized products based on integrated photonics on both the InP and silicon platforms.  There is growing awareness that the chip fabrication is less of a barrier to commercialization, and attention is increasingly turning to the cost of the overall package. This cost includes the bill of materials of the package itself, the amortized cost of assembly tools, and labor. Addressing the cost requires an examination of the entire ecosystem, from the chip design and fabrication to the assembly and surrounding electronics.

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Enrich Your Understanding of Science & the Light

By OSA Student Chapter at Zhejiang University | Posted: 16 March 2016

After long-term exploration and unremitting efforts, we have built cooperation with the local school, Hangzhou Changhe High School. In order to expand our chapter's influence and bring benefits to more students, this year, we established contact with two new partners, Chaoshan Central Primary School and local Youth Homes. During these activities, we taught the students some knowledge of optics and shared the optical applications in our daily life by slides and experiments with optics suitcase. Students were positive to participate in the experiments with the help of our members. Books of optics stories were carefully chosen for these students as gifts. Competitions of optical knowledge were hold aiming to encourage more students to learn more by themselves. More than 40 members of our chapter participate in the Youth education activities and more than 800 students are impacted. 

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OSA Optical Computing Incubator: Day 2

By Shuai Sun | Posted: 11 December 2015

Optical Computing Incubator
Day 1 continued…

The afternoon session on day 1 addressed optical computing algorithms and was presided over by Dr. Mark Neifeld, from the University of Arizona.  The focus of the session was on the identification of computational primitives and how their optical implementation is realized.  The central challenges in this area are:

  1. The identification of computationally meaningful primitives and their optical realization;
  2. The impact of error propagation in multistage architectures designed to solve challenging problems in computing and signal processing.

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OSA Optical Computing Incubator: Day 1

By Shuai Sun | Posted: 10 December 2015

Optical Computing Incubator

Welcome to Day 1 of the OSA Optical Computing Incubator, held at OSA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. 9-11 Dec 2015. The topic of this meeting, optical computing, is a merging computing technology uses photons generated by lasers or other light source for higher bandwidth and energy efficiency computation. For the past 60 years, Optical Computing has been a very attractive issue inspired by many related new technologies and nanophotonic devices. The goal for this Incubator is to bring together experts from nanophotonics, physics, computer architecture, computer science and mathematics to explore the current status and the problems that Optical Computing is currently facing, and the prospects of the future for this topic.

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OSA Levitated Optomechanics Incubator Part 2

By James Millen | Posted: 4 December 2015

Levitated Optomechanics Incubator Part 2

Day one continued…

To round out the earlier post, the final session from day 1 focussed on novel levitated systems. One of the hot developments in optomechanics is the coupling of atomic spin to mechanical motion, and Levi Neukirch from the University of Rochester, USA, introduced us to progress in controlling levitated nanodiamonds. Another way of coupling optomechanics to quantum systems is by using quantum dots, and we were introduced to a novel levitating quantum dot experiment by Yosuke Minowa, from Osaka University in Japan. Both of these systems are limited by absorbing the light which is used to levitate, and Bruce Kane from the University of Maryland USA proposed a solution, in his experiment levitating flakes of graphene in an electric trap.

We were all inspired by these new developments, and it’s very exciting to see levitated optomechanics moving away from optically levitated silica spheres.

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OSA Levitated Optomechanics Incubator

By James Millen | Posted: 3 December 2015

Manipulating Objects with Light
Welcome to day one of the OSA Levitated Optomechanics Incubator. Optomechanics is the study of the interaction of light with the mechanical motion of objects. Amazingly, mechanical resonators tens of microns in size have been cooled to their motional quantum ground state using light, and have even been placed in quantum superpositions of vibrational motion. By levitating mechanical oscillators, we can push optomechanics beyond the state-of-the-art.

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Adaptive Structured Illumination Incubator

By Marcia Lesky | Posted: 19 November 2015

  • What are the barriers for super-resolution at depth?
  • What are the fundamental limits in fibre imaging (resolution, correction, speed)?
  • What are the challenges of using structured illumination for in vivo imaging?

These are just a few of the questions that were explored at last week’s Adaptive Structured Illumination Incubator. Hosted by Meng Cui from Purdue University, US, and Kishan Dholakia and Michael Mazilu from the University of St. Andrews, UK, this Incubator used invited talks and moderated group discussion to allow experts to cross-fertilize ideas in applications of structured illumination throughout photonics.

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Optical Biosensors Incubator Meeting Day 2

By John Goertz | Posted: 11 November 2015

The second half of the Optical Biosensors Incubator deviated somewhat from the highly technical nature of the prior discussions. While several members did discuss progress in various scientific efforts, focus shifted to the broader topic of bringing biosensing technologies to market, and several discussions challenged all those in attendance to think critically on how the status quo relates to the practical, realistic future of the field.

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Optical Biosensors Incubator Meeting

By John Goertz | Posted: 10 November 2015

The OSA Optical Biosensors Incubator brings together the leading minds in the field to critically discuss key topics of central importance to this community: “labeled” as compared to “label-free” sensing, digital or single-molecule analyte detection, point-of-care applications, as well as commercialization of optical biosensors. As the Incubator got underway, opening remarks recalled the historical progress in the field starting with the light microscope to today’s optical gene chips to the potential of the liquid biopsy in the future. David Nolte, of Purdue University, gave the day’s first keynote presentation on biointerferometry. He discussed the various manufacturing techniques and optical techniques amenable to different styles of interferometry such as speckle, fringe analysis, phase-contrast, in-line and micro-diffraction interferometry.

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Compact EUV & X-ray Light Sources Workshop

By Marcia Lesky | Posted: 9 October 2015

This year’s International Workshop on Compact EUV & X-ray Light Sources located in lovely Maastricht, Netherlands has come to a successful conclusion with the attendees anxiously anticipating next year’s brand new Topical meeting.

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Next Steps for Label-free Optical Techniques in Diagnostics & Imaging

By Marcia Lesky | Posted: 22 September 2015

Last week’s Incubator on Label-free Optical Techniques for Biomedical Diagnostics & Imaging participants identified opportunities and challenges for label-free optical techniques and concluded with a clear call to continue the conversation. The hosts will continue to work with the participants to produce a white paper that will outline a prioritized list of recommendations to address the existing challenges and accelerate the translation of label-free optical techniques for clinical practice.

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Exploring the Challenges & Opportunities for Label-free Optical Imaging

By Marcia Lesky | Posted: 17 September 2015

This morning, OSA’s latest Incubator – the Incubator on Label-free Optical Techniques for Biomedical Diagnostics & Imaging: Challenges and Opportunities for Clinical Translation kicked-off. This meeting is hosted by Paul French, Imperial College, United Kingdom; Laura Marcu, University of California - Davis, USA; Robert J. Nordstrom, National Institute of Health, USA; Juergen Popp, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena, Germany; and Brian Wilson, University Health Network, Canada.

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Photobiomodulation – Next Steps

By Johnathan George | Posted: 2 September 2015

Photobiomodulation group shot



The second day of the OSA’s Incubator on Photobiomodulation (PBM) began with a panel discussing the use of PBM in sports medicine. Ernesto Leal-Junior Ph.D., Professor, Nove Julho University, Sao Paulo, Brazil, talked about his lab’s attempt to systematically examine the modalities and mechanisms of PBM in sports rehabilitation. Edward Ryan, currently serving as a consultant to USA Basketball, and formerly Director of Sports Medicine at the U.S. Olympic Committee, described how his perception of PBM changed from the negative results he saw when he was first exposed to PBM in the early 90s to today when PBM is one of his preferred therapeutic modalities. He attributes the early challenges with PBM to a poor understanding of mechanisms and the inability to control treatment parameters with early devices – a topic that would be revisited later with a discussion of the need for clearer standards and regulatory guidance.

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Photobiomodulation – Overcoming the Hurdles

By Johnathan George | Posted: 1 September 2015

Group discussion


After a morning discussing how the technology, and community, have developed over the years, the afternoon of the Photobiomodulation Incubator began with a panel discussion on overcoming the hurdles facing Photobiomodulation (PBM). Panelists David Ozar Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago, Gail Siminovsky, CAE, Academy of Laser Dentistry, and Scot Faulkner, Kinexum Pharmaceuticals, discussed the ethical, organizational and leadership issues facing PBM. Their talks led to an open-ended brain storming session in which participants collected their ideas for the future of PBM and scored them by implementation difficulty and return on investment (ROI).

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Photobiomodulation – where it started and where is it going?

By Johnathan George | Posted: 31 August 2015

Juanita-Anders speaks on Photobiomodulation



Today’s kick-off of the OSA’s second Photobiomodulation (PBM) Incubator brings together scientists, practitioners, and industry to discuss the latest research, future, and hurdles for PBM’s acceptance as a mainstream medical therapy.

The day began with hosts Michael Hamblin Ph.D. and Donald Patthoff DDS introducing the goal of the Incubator: to come together to bring a coherent message about the scientific validity and potential for PBM. They said there will be an expectation of no spectators and an “all hands on deck” attitude at the Incubator, where all attendees are expected to participate.

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Cool Materials: Day 4 of AIO 2015

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 17 June 2015

Chauncey Graetzel presents


The final day of AIO 2015 kicked off with the 'Cool Materials' session. Chauncey Graetzel (Optotune Switzerland AG, USA) presented the technology behind 'Tunable Lenses, Miniature Laser Speckle Reducers and their Applications to Innovative Optical Systems'. The Optotune approach provides compact zoom and focus at high speeds and low dispersion compared to electrowetting tunable technologies. Chauncey described applications of this technology, such as the use of tunable lens for laser engraving, 3D marking, for axial focusing in microscopy and in opthalmology.

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Optics in detecting threats, patents and more: AIO Day 3

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 11 June 2015

Derryck Reid presents


Derryck Reid (Heriot-Watt University, UK) opened Day 3 at the Joint Session with LS&C and AIO with a presentation on his work in the area of 'Chemical Sensing Using Broadband Mid-IR Femtosecond OPOs'. Femtosecond OPOs offer high spatial and spectral brightness, good spatial coherence, and are efficient and robust. Derryck described the application of these sources in Fourier Transform IR (FTIR) Spectroscopy for single-point stand-off chemical sensing.

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What you can do with spectroscopy and more - AIO Day 2

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 10 June 2015

Thomas Tague presents


Thomas Tague (Brucker Optics Inc, USA) opened the first Applied Industrial Optics session on Day 2 - Dr Photon to the Rescue - with a talk on 'Novel Applications of Molecular Spectroscopy to Heritage and Biomedical Fields of Study'. Thomas described the in-situ analyses of graffiti pigments in rock paintings at Hueco Tanks State Park using Raman and X-Ray Fluorescence techniques, and the application of Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (SERRS) for single molecule detection, a technique which is ~1000 times more sensitive than standard fluorescence techniques.

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Applied Industrial Optics Day 1

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 9 June 2015

Dominic Murphy opening remarks

The first session of AIO 2015 - 'Flutonics Palooza' - was opened by Dominic Murphy (Pie Photonics Ltd, Ireland) with a talk titled 'Optical Wavefront Interferometry - Evolution, Challenges and Opportunities'. Dominic spoke on the challenges facing detection systems regarding information (throughput, sensitivity) and form (simplicity, size), and the advantages, such as robustness, stability and verstility, offered by Pie's optical wavefront interferometry solution.

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11 Reasons to Love the Applied Industrial Optics Meeting

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 4 June 2015

The countdown to the meeting begins!

 Countdown to applied industrial optics

Eleven – Actually there are twelve sessions scheduled during AIO 2015, featuring 22 invited and 9 contributed talks. Short videos from AIO 2015 industrial sponsors will be shown in the meeting room before and after each session. The Congress Joint Poster Session with over 40 posters is on Tuesday, 19:00 - 20:30.

Ten – Stops from the nearest subway station (Crystal City) to the Smithsonian on the Blue Line. If you have a few hours to spare, immerse yourself in Washington DC’s wealth of museums. Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex. Best of all: Smithsonian Museums are free.

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Solutions and Approaches to Break Opto-electronic Device Limitations

By Ke Liu | Posted: 15 May 2015

Starting from the first talk on general opto-electronic device limit and integration for silicon-based devices, presented by Thomas Koch here at the Nanophotonic Devices Incubator, the potential solutions for both the length minimization and power minimization were addressed. For example, Si photonics with high-index contrast and precision fabrication allow energy per bit to be further reduced using optical resonance enhancement for lower capacitance. Combining both resonant optical transition and resonant electronic transition (i.e. Q dot in a ring or nano-cavity), we may simply compound these effects (provided we remain outside strong coupling regime). However, some issues we still need to consider in the future, for instance, if a single-electron modulator is actually feasible, what are the statistical implications?

Electro-optic modulator (EOM) has been identified as one of the key drivers for optical communications. Because of the weak non-linear electro-optical properties of Silicon, such EOM require large footprints and higher power consumption. A dual cavity modulator device that uses a coupling modulation scheme breaks the energy-bandwidth limit, presented by Juejun Hu. The combination of 0.26 aJ energy per bit and >200 GHz optical 3 dB bandwidth positions the dual cavity EOM well beyond the performance domains attainable in classical intra-cavity EO modulators.

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Emerging Applied Imaging Technologies at AIO

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 14 May 2015

The sessions at this year's AIO meeting feature emerging technologies.

New this year, AIO is hosting Joint Sessions with two topical meetings: Adaptive Optics (AO) and Application of Lasers for Sensing and Free Space Communication (LS&C).

At the time of writing, two invited speakers are confirmed for the AIO-AO Joint Session. Jaeyoun Kim (Iowa State University) will present on "The Promise of Highly Deformable Soft Optics". Soft, MEMS-based, deformable optical devices are catching up with more traditional rigid materials, in both precision and repeatability of manufacturing. Their dynamic reconfigurability has immense potential in previously challenging optical applications. Anthony Grbic (University of Michigan) will speak about "Wavefront and Polarization Control with Metasurfaces". Metasurfaces, aka two-dimensional, less-lossy metamaterials, have a wide range of potential applications in electromagnetics, including beam manipulation and polarization control.

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A Conversation with Dr. Michele Ostraat, AIO 2015 Keynote

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 4 May 2015

Dr. Michele Ostraat


Dr. Michele Ostraat is the Downstream Research Center Leader for Aramco Research Center-Boston and the Applied Industrial Optics 2015 Keynote Speaker. She will present on "Optical Materials and Systems for Nondestructive Testing in the Oil and Gas Industry."


Dr Ostraat, thank you for participating in this interview. To start, can you give me a brief history of your background, and how you arrived at Aramco? 

I earned my B.S. degree in Chemistry from Trinity University and then my Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Following graduate school, I was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Agere Systems where I examined the synthesis of rare-earth doped aerosol nanoparticles and investigated the behavior of chalcogenide phase change materials. I then moved to DuPont’s Experimental Station where I worked in aerosol synthesis and characterization of sub-micron and nanoparticles for advanced electronic applications. More recently, I was Senior Director of the Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterials Engineering at RTI International where I led scientific teams developing products and applications for aerosols and nanomaterials for energy and health-related technologies.

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The lowdown on emerging technologies at Applied Industrial Optics 2015

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 2 April 2015

Applied Industrial Optics (AIO) 2015 is set to take place June 7-11, 2015 in Arlington, VA. I’m excited to be back blogging my experience as an AIO attendee and also, for the first time, as a Program Chair.

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The Hierarchy of Network Connections

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 22 March 2015

I’ve often seen at conferences how well known scientists and people who deliver keynote addresses, plenary, and invited talks are surrounded by eager interlocutors. The people who are perceived as powerful (directors of research centres, heads ofdepartments, presidents of organisations and such like) have a powerful pull on the throng of attendees.

These important figures are in great demand for any number of reasons: people want to ask more about their work, tell them about their own work, get opinions from them, ask them for jobs, advise, etc.; the list is long.

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Summary and outlook for Light, Energy and the Environment Congress

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 15 December 2014

As a researcher working in the photonics field, I found this Congress was extremely useful. I attended many solar energy related conferences before and I had been always struggling to understand the technique jargons in solar cell research. And I wouldn’t bother to record so many details on thin-film deposition, which are highly equipment dependent. This time I am very glad to find that the two communities, namely the solar cell and the photonics people started to talk the same language. To my mind, having the right language of communication can lead to the identification of the challenges, which has already pushed more than halfway through towards solving the problem.

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Day Four: Nobel Laureate addressed Solar Energy in a Sustainable World

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 15 December 2014

In the first plenary session of the Congress today, the Nobel Laureate, Professor Steven Chu presented a talk on “Solar Energy in a Sustainable World”. He reminded the audience that almost all energy formats including fossil fuel, wind, fission, geothermal energy are ultimately derived from the sun. He also raised the very important but often neglected point that from system point of view the overall up-take of the solar energy depends not only on the efficiency and cost of the solar cells, as we normally concerned in the academic world. Rather, the reliability of the energy source plays a significant role. If the energy fluctuation is larger than 5%, it is unlikely for the suppliers to choose this source. This is why the current research on the highly efficient batteries is crucial for pushing solar energy as a stable main stream energy source.

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Day Three: Panel Discussion-the Future of Energy with Light

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 15 December 2014

Day three of the Congress started with a very fascinating talk given by Toshihiko Iwasaki, Konica Minolta, Japan. He reviewed comprehensively the status of OLED lighting activities at KONICA MINOLTA as well as the advancements in OLED materials and systems. He also presented the latest development on all-phosphorescent white OLED device, progress on solution-processed OLED technologies and the prospects for future development.

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Highlights for Day Two: Light, Energy and Environment Congress

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 3 December 2014

On the second day of the Congress, a number of talks attracted my attention. I would like to share some of them.

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Things you can’t miss on Day Two

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 3 December 2014

On the second day of the Congress, there are a few interesting talks that I will recommend. The first series of invited talks are about advances in highly efficient organic light emitting devices (OLED) that will be in the morning session. Using different nanostructure designs the lightening efficiency can be improved significantly. The second series of invited talks are about the surface textures and light management in solar cells. New ideas/concepts on nanostructure design and fabrication will be presented on how to improve the solar cell performance using the photonic strategies. This session will be from 2-4pm.

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Day One of the Light, Energy and Environment Congress

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 2 December 2014

Day one was a busy and exciting day. There were so many things happening. Four parallel sessions were up running. Many interesting talks were given from government officials, vice chancellor of Australian National University, famous professors and early career researchers about the energy issues and using the advanced photonics technology in solving the energy and environment challenges. I met lots of old friends, who previously worked in other sectors of photonics but now moved to the renewable energy sector. I also met lots of new friends and found a couple of researchers working in the very interesting complementary areas that I was planning to move to. After a few chats during the Congress reception a number of collaboration projects were already being planned.

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Things you can’t miss on Day One: OSA PV conference

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 1 December 2014

Now we are on business here in Canberra. After a few thunderstorms last night, today’s weather is sunny and warm. It is perfect for the Conference!

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Starting Now: OSA Light, Energy and the Environment Congress

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 1 December 2014

The Congress is starting today! With four featured topical meetings, the Congress is going to provide you the most comprehensive and advanced frontiers of optical technologies for energy production, transport, and usage. It’s going to be a feast for photonics lovers, who are longing to see the great impact of optics and photonics in the energy sector. As a researcher in the photonics field, my excitement also lies in the great potential to find niche opportunities to collaborate with people from different fields to accomplish this great energy challenge. The Congress plays the first horn of the International Year of Light.

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Dream Frequency-comb Applications Become Reality

By Adam J. Fleisher | Posted: 21 November 2014

It’s been 15 years since the seminal papers demonstrating phase-stable self-referenced frequency combs invigorated the fields of optical metrology and precision molecular spectroscopy, from which numerous fundamental measurements in atomic, molecular, and optical physics have evolved. This achievement was recognized for its significance in 2005 when Theodor Hänsch, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany, and John Hall, JILA, NIST and University of Colorado, USA were awarded half the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Since then, several dream frequency comb applications have recently become a reality. As summarized in the morning of day two by Ronald Holzwarth, Max Plank Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany, fiber-based optically flat frequency combs that span almost the entire visible spectrum with large mode spacing (~25 GHz) make fantastic astrocombs: calibration devices that when installed on-site at the world’s most powerful telescopes aid in the hunt for exoplanets similar in size and composition to Earth.

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Frequency combing through the noise

By Adam J. Fleisher | Posted: 21 November 2014

Following a full day of discussions at the OSA Incubator Meeting on Quantitative Modeling of Frequency-comb Sources, a few keys areas where theoretical models could aid in instrument design have been identified. Can global models beginning from first principles identify performance limits of frequency comb systems? Is there truly a need to move beyond current analytical models followed by brute-force numerical modeling using an application-dependent set of user-defined parameters to predict laser performance?

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Quantitative Modeling of Frequency-comb Sources

By Adam J. Fleisher | Posted: 20 November 2014

At their headquarters in Washington, DC The Optical Society is hosting another intimate Incubator bringing together experts in industry, academia, and federal research sectors to discuss relevant and emerging topics in optics and photonics. The focus of this Incubator meeting, running November 20-21, is on Quantitative Modeling of Frequency-comb Sources. As defined by meeting host Cutis Menyuk, University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), quantitative modeling of pulsed lasers should reproduce, or, better yet, actually predict experimental observations at the level of precision provided by the measurements themselves.

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Hot making cold with optics for energy

By Jonathan Tong | Posted: 20 November 2014

On the second day of the OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy Conversion the discussion shifted towards control and use of thermal radiation for power generation and cooling.

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Developments in Optics for Energy Conversion

By Jonathan Tong | Posted: 18 November 2014

The first day of the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy Conversion Incubator as full of intriguing talks on a myriad of topics related to optical energy conversion.

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OSA Incubator on the Fundamental Limits of Optical Energy Conversion

By Jonathan Tong | Posted: 13 November 2014

The conversion of light to electricity or heat is a crucial process towards developing more sustainable, environmentally friendly technologies that will offset our reliance on traditional fossil fuels. Indeed, the rapid growth in the photovoltaics industry in recent years is just one example that points towards the ever increasing role of light-based energy conversion technologies in the future landscape. However, current devices fall well short of true fundamental limits (Carnot, Landsberg); thus, there are still many aspects of optical energy conversion that need further exploration in order to develop higher performing, more efficient technologies.

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Bumper Sticker Wisdom for Optics & the Nobel Prize for Math

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 17 September 2014

"When I grow up I want to be a Mercedes"

I read this on a bumper sticker of a small Maruti Suzuki car in India way back in the ‘80s. I thought it was cute and hilarious. I still do.

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

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 17 September 2014

Some time has passed since another successful AIO, with 2014 seeing the meeting’s highest attendance to date.  Looking back over three and half days of sessioning, I have tried to select my favorite talks. I have narrowed the longlist down to two – the committee-voted Best Talk at AIO 2014, and a personal favorite.

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Low-Level Light in the Clinical Setting

By Elieza Tang | Posted: 22 August 2014

As the Low-Level Light Incubator continued, the focus turned to pre-clinical and laboratory studies that demonstrate the biostimulatory effects of photobiomodulation (PBM) and the possibility of LLLT to be used as a standard treatment modality in the clinical setting.

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Low Level Light Therapy: What Comes Next

By Elieza Tang | Posted: 22 August 2014

The agenda of this Low Level Light Incubator has taken a bottom up approach to light therapy. We began by establishing the foundation through explaining the basic mechanism and science of LLLT, then moving on to preclinical data and research and finally day two brought us to the application of LLLT in the clinical setting. Today the current use of LLLT for pain management, improving cognitive function in chronic traumatic brain injury and treatment of oral mucositis were addressed. In addition, a social and ethical session addressed the need to on develop a consensus on professional commitments for a new collaborative initiative in health care in order to bring LLLT to the forefront of clinical care.

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Low Level Light Therapy: the Path Forward

By Elieza Tang | Posted: 21 August 2014

OSA’s 15th Incubator, focusing on Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) is up and running. LLLT/PBM describes the use of light therapy in the visible and near-infrared spectrum for stimulating biological responses. Extensive laboratory experiments and clinical trials have demonstrated PBM to be efficacious in tissue regeneration including the skin, muscle, nerves, bone, spinal PBM has been shown to produce an analgesic effect, anti-inflammatory effect and promote angiogenesis. The results from these controlled clinical trials and laboratory studies provides exciting and convincing evidence for the use of PBM as an efficacious, noninvasive treatment modality in the clinical setting. Many of these studies have demonstrated improved results and recovery with conditions such as traumatic brain injury, chronic wounds, spinal cord injury and many other injury models.

However, PBM has yet to be adopted by mainstream medicine. Why you ask? There are different answers based on who you ask.

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The OSA Photovoltaics Meeting - Optics and Energy Needs

By Baohua Jia | Posted: 13 August 2014

I have worked at Swinburne University of Technolgy in Australia as a senior scientist in the field of nanophotoncs solar cell since 2010. For people who are not familar with this field, basically we design nanostructures and nanomaterials to allow more light going into solar cells and help the light to be trapped inside the cells. This way, more electricity can be harvested from solar cells. 

Some estimate that we'll deplete our fossil fuel in 60-70 years. Sounds like a long time - but it's not. The matter is urgent right now.

Optics plays a critical role in securing the global energy future, and I believe solar energy is the best hope to meet future energy challenges. We have enough. It's clean. Everyone can enjoy it without extra effort. But it is not cheap. However, with the joint efforts from experts in optics and PV, this problem might be tackled soon.

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Awesome Optics at AIO

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 24 July 2014

The morning session of Day 4 - Awesome Optical Materials - was opened by Dr. Tigran Galstian (Universite Laval & LensVector). Tigran presented a liquid crystal-based motion-less adaptive optical system. This cost-effective approach has been successfully applied to mobile phone camera technology to enable autofocus, with future applications in LED lighting and ophthalmic products (contact lenses and intraocular lenses). Dr. Alexandre Brolo (University of Victoria) spoke about tailoring metallic nanostructures for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Alexandre also discussed various potential applications for SERS probes, such as in designing customized cancer treatment by imaging the protein expression in dysplastic cells.

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Day 3 at Applied Industrial Optics 2014

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 17 July 2014

Day 3 of AIO 2014 was action-packed with two panel sessions and a joint session with the Imaging Systems and Applications meeting, in addition to three 'regular' AIO sessions.

Dr Steven Dodge (Simon Fraser University) opened the first session of the day - 'Meaurement Makes Success' - with a presentation on Time-Domain Terahertz spectroscopy. Steven has used this technique to determine the thickness, moisture and basis weight of paper, and, in theory, this can be applied to other composites. Continuing the theme, Dr Rene Beigang (University of Kaiserslautern) discussed his work on Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy to analyse multi-layer structures. By adjusting the imaging frequency, different features can be isolated. Dr Balaji Gopalan (West Virginia University Research Corp) presented his research in using HSPIV (High Speed Particle Image Velocimetry) to measure particle velocity at very high sample rates, and Dr Christoph Leithold (University of Technology, Dresden) described a low-cost, fluid-membrane, adaptive lens for measurements through a dynamic gas-liquid interface.

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Applied Industrial Optics 2014: Summary of Day 1

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 15 July 2014

Day 1 of AIO 2014 kicked off at 8:30am with the first session - 'Far and Away We See You'.  We heard from Dr Stewart Hager (Hager Environmental and Atmospheric Techno) about his work in replacing manned, single-line, Non-Dispersive IR systems, which are currently used for measurement of vehicle emission fumes, with EDAR (Emission Detecting and Reporting) technology. Similar to satellite-based detection systems, EDAR scans the vehicle from above, and a 3-D image of the emission plume can be reconstructed. Next, Dr Pietro Ferraro (INO, Italy) presented new applications of digital holography to detect survivors in fire scenes. By moving to IR wavelengths, the numerical aperture, and hence the size of ths scene which can be captured, increases 20-fold. Dr Steve Buckley (TSI Inc) rounded out the first session with the challenges of taking LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) out of the lab and into the field. The performance and characteristics of LIBS give the method unique advantages for real-time industrial measurements.

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Applied Industrial Optics 2014: Highlights from Day 2

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 15 July 2014

Day 2 of AIO 2014 opened with the Joint Plenary Session, featuring speakers from Applied Industrial Optics (AIO), Imaging Systems and Applications (IS), and Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA). Dr Bernard Kress (Optics Lead at Google Glass, Google [X] Labs and AIO Plenary speaker), addressed a packed room about see-through optics for Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), current market offerings, and the requirements for the various HMD market segments. Dr Kress noted,"Today's fragmented HMD/smart glass markets require the development of a wide range of optical architectures to fit constantly evolving requirements. The perfect see-through optical technology for the consumer market has yet to be discovered." Dr Ramesh Raskar (MIT, IS Plenary Speaker) followed with a presentation on his work in cutting-edge computational imaging applied to inverse problems. Imaging with ultrafast sources - "Femto-Photography" - enables us to record what lies beyond the line of sight. In other words, we can look around corners! The third speaker of the session, Christof Schulz (University of Duisburg Essen, LACSEA Plenary Speaker), described his heroic efforts in flame control and the manufacture of nanoparticles.

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Light Enables Tomorrow’s Technologies

By Elizabeth Rogan | Posted: 14 July 2014

Living in a high-tech world, we don’t always stop to think about what enables us to video chat across the globe, detect cancer or even play an interactive video game. In all of these cases, a key enabler is photonics—applying light (photons) to advance technologies.

The Optical Society (OSA) has been a leader in the science of light for almost 100 years. As we approach the International Year of Light, our members are well positioned to create awareness of the importance light and light-based technologies. As a founding partner of IYL2015, OSA supports the IYL goal of “highlighting to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.”

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How To Make the Most of AIO 2014

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 10 July 2014

Before you leave for AIO, use OSA’s online itinerary planner to manage your schedule during the meeting. AIO 2014 is part of the Imaging and Applied Optics Congress, which means sessions from all six topical meetings run concurrently during the week. Don’t miss out on the talks you want to attend!

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The Body Optic - Molecular Probes Save Lives

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 1 July 2014

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world; in fact, the American Cancer Society estimates 96,830 new cases of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2014 alone. Barratt’s Esophagus, which is strongly associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma, affects up to 10% of patients suffering from long-term acid reflux.


Diseased areas can be difficult to detect, even with a high-resolution imaging tool. I work in optical modelling of imaging systems for early cancer detection. I am a member of a multidisciplinary research group comprising electrical and mechanical engineers (and me, the physicist!) and molecular biologists. The biology team develop molecular probes, which, when excited with light of a certain wavelength, fluoresce, and act as a guide as to whether areas of tissue are normal (cancer-free) or pre-malignant mucosa (dysplasia). This fluorescence property is particularly useful when cancer is at an early stage when it is most likely to respond to treatment.  The molecular probe can highlight dysplastic regions during routine endoscopic procedures, increasing the likelihood of a correct diagnosis.

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Nanophotonics at CLEO: 2014 - Two Important Talks

By Liu Yuxiang | Posted: 16 June 2014

So much went on a CLEO:14! Here are two higlights.

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Three Simple Steps to Networking Sucess at AIO 2014

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 16 June 2014

Behind-the-scenes preparations for AIO 2014 are well underway.  As I obsessively check the Seattle weather forecast and celebrate the end of sessioning (a committee member benefit!), I’m reminded what makes this meeting unique. In this blogpost, I want to raise a topic that is near-essential for career progression, but can strike fear into the hearts of the introverted. I want to talk about networking. I fear rejection just like you.

If the thought of speaking with your optics idol or asking a question makes you queasy, I hope the following approach opens up a world of conversations for you. Try it out at AIO.

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CLEO:2014 -- The fractal conference

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 11 June 2014

The CLEO conference is this week and this time I presented a short course: SC410, Finite Element Modelling Methods for Photonics and Optics. However, as always, there is more than a presentation to make. There are several talks I am looking forward to hearing (not including the ones I haven’t yet marked out in the conference planner):

David Payne’s plenary on “Fibers and the future”; Thomas Moore’s invited talk on Artificial Photosynthesis, M . Segev’s invited talk on Photonic Topological Insulators and the 2 entire sessions on Photovolatic Sciences and Novel Anisotropic Structures. There are talks on photonic hyper crystals!!

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Nanophotonics at CLEO:2014

By Howard Lee | Posted: 10 June 2014

Some sessions of interest to nanophotonics at CLEO:2014.

Sensing for chiral molecule using metasurface
Dr. Yang Zhao (FM3K.6) have an interesting talk. As there is serious demand to determine the chirality of molecules for achieving enantiomer-pure chiral drugs, many researches have been carried out to use optical chirality for sensing chiral molecules. However, when the amount of molecules is small, using optical chirality for sensing is normally not efficient. Zhao discussed in her talk how they use a near field chiral enhancement in a metallic metasurface to detect those molecules through circular dichroism (CD). The multilayer metasurface is made of gold by multiple e-beam lithography steps. The second layer of patterns is twisted with certain angle with respect to the first layer (see figure below), which leads to the origin of the CD. Using an analytical approach together with the design and fabrication of the metastructure, they demonstrated CD signal measurements for monolayer of protein. They also showed the metasurface provides an ultra-sensitive probe to enhance CD measurements which can not be achieved in typical optical materials and structures.


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Focus on Google Glass at Applied Industrial Optics

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 28 May 2014

I love my smartphone.

When I started university, mobile phones were relatively new. I turned 18 and got my first phone – a Nokia with both calling and texting capabilities.  A few years later, I upgraded to a newer model. This one had a built-in FM radio and the keypad had a blue backlight. It was the high-tech wave! But I think we all know how technology has progressed since then.

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Perspective views from Industry & Government on Nanophotonics

By Ke Liu | Posted: 16 May 2014

Similar to the success of dense electronic component integration towards creating VLSI circuits, the photonic and optoelectronic industry is following similar integration schemes, terming the name “photonic integrated circuits” (PIC). However, all-Silicon PIC cannot currently complete all the functions. Alternatively, III-V platform, such as InP material system, still occupies a good position in the future. What are the viewpoints of industry and government to guide future research towards faster time-to-market?

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Fundamental and Physical Limitations of Opto-electronic Devices

By Ke Liu | Posted: 15 May 2014

Greetings from Washington, DC, and the OSA Nanophotonic Devices Incubator* meeting! Hosted by Volker J. Sorger, The George Washington University, United States; Jung Park, Intel Corporation, United States; Pablo A. Postigo, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain; Fengnian Xia, Yale University, United States, this two-day event gathers leading researchers from academia with the fields of integrated opto-electronic components & circuits, nanotechnology and nascent materials together with partners from industry and government for an open discussion regarding their research. Sponsors include the George Washington University, National Science Foundation and Thorlabs, Inc.

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Some counterintuitive lessons learned from the OSA BIOMED meeting

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 6 May 2014

With the conclusion of another BIOMED meeting, I once again left Miami impressed by the many excellent talks, clever imaging solutions, and novel biological insights.  I’ve appreciated the opportunity to share my thoughts about the conference through this blog, and in conclusion, I thought I would highlight three things that I was rather surprised to learn.

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What’s New in Applied Optics Research? AIO 2014

By Arlene Smith, Ph.D. | Posted: 5 May 2014

Applied Industrial Optics (AIO), now in its 5th year, focuses on research which utilizes optics and photonics technology to solve real-world problems. This year, speakers and attendees who are engaged in applied research will descend on Seattle in mid-July, to get a taste of what’s new in applied optics research. or the next three months, I will be blogging about the topics and speakers of this year’s meeting.

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Seeing the blood flow that helps us see

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 30 April 2014

The quality of the posters at the the OSA biomedical optics conference this year has been exceptionally high and over the last three days I came across a number of projects that warranted highlighting in the blog. Some of these include the work of Jessica Kishimoto and Prof. Keith St. Lawrence at Western University on the application of diffuse correlation spectroscopy and ultrasound imaging to monitor blood flow changes in preterm infants with post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus,1 and the work of William Rice and Prof. Anand Kumar at Massachusetts General Hospital on separating fluorescence from multiple similar fluorescent proteins and autofluorescence based on some elegant lifetime analysis.2 However, some of the work that stuck with me the most were some developments in the use of optical coherence microscopy to measure mean blood flow.

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Optical Tomographers Beware!

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 30 April 2014

To all of you optical tomography researchers reading this: admit it, you’re a bit of a gadget geek. The last thing you want is to let your expensive, fancy equipment come into contact with your imaging subjects, especially animals. That’s the real reason why you keep building all of your systems in “non-contact” geometries. Well, according to Shelley Taylor from Prof. Hamid Dehghani’s lab at the University of Birmingham your OCD may finally be coming back to bite you in the a...*cough*…back.

It turns out that if you have your system in a non-contact geometry and you aren’t carrying out the appropriate free-space modeling (incorporating the orientation of the surface of the imaging subject at each detection position into your reconstruction model), you could be opening yourself up to errors in approximately 25%. Don’t take my word for it; Dr. James Guggenheim has recently published a very nice demonstration of this effect in his recent manuscript published in JOSA A.1

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The integration of optical technologies to manipulate and monitor biological samples

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 29 April 2014

This morning at the BIOMED meeting, there were back-to-back talks in the Optical Molecular Biophysics / Neurophotonics session that highlighted the unique insights that can be obtained by integrating different optical technologies. Anna-Karin Gustavsson from Dr. Caroline Adiels group gave an interesting talk that integrated multifluidics, optical trapping, and NADH autofluorescence measurements to monitor glycolytic oscillations in individual yeast cells. Optical trapping was used to maintain and calibrate specific cell-cell distances, while a microfluidic flow chamber provided the influx of different concentrations of glucose, cyanide, and acetaldehyde to the cells. Glycolytic oscillations could then be monitored through NADH autofluorescence fluctuations measured by an EM-CCD. Using this controlled environment, fundamental studies to understand cell-cell communication and cell coupling are being explored.

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Speeding up multi-photon microscopy

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 29 April 2014

As someone with strong research interests in multiphoton microscopy (MPM), I was excited to hear Dr. Peter So’s plenary talk on Day 3 of the BIOMED meeting. Dr. So provided an overview of the development of his multiphoton tissue cytometry equipment over the years, and its applications in neurobiology. MPM has emerged as key tool in neuroscience to non-invasively image deeper within the brain. Although multiphoton microscopy is well-positioned to provide high content information throughout the cortex of rodents and other smaller species, his work has primarily been motivated by efforts to maximize the throughput of this technology. By imaging faster and over a wider field of view, important questions regarding the functional and structural plasticity of neurons can be addressed.

Traditionally MPM involves raster scanning to produce an image one pixel at a time, but Dr. So’s work has involved the development of wide-field MPM techniques that utilize a CCD or multi-anode PMTs for the simultaneous collection of points. There are a number of technical challenges associated with the different approaches to wide-field MPM imaging, and Dr. So provided insight into the different solutions to these problems (e.g. temporal focusing, eliminating issues of dead space between PMTs, non-descanned detection) and the many iterations of his microscopes. In addition to imaging faster through these wide-field techniques, his group can take advantage of the inherent high content of microscopy techniques to acquire spectral data, such as fluorescence lifetime and phosphorescence lifetime imaging. Phosphorescence lifetime imaging is typically challenging because it requires very long image acquisition times, but his temporal-focusing wide-field MPM approaches can substantially reduce imaging times to enable relatively fast, high resolution imaging of oxygen distributions in the brain.

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The OSA BIOMED Meeting Day 1: Things are heating up in Miami

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 28 April 2014

Greetings from Miami! BIOMED has gotten off to great start with a pair of plenary talks by Dr. Xingde Li and Dr. Adam Wax. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dr. Li has been developing and refining endomicroscopic probes to facilitate non-linear optical microscopy in hard to reach places such as the kidney, intestine, and cervix. Dr. Wax, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to delivering and detecting photons from deeper within the body through the use of low coherence interferometry (LCI).

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The Binding Finding of a Fluorescence Lifetime

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 27 April 2014

In this afternoon’s session on Luminescence and Absorption on Cellular and Tissue Levels, Prof. Victor Chernomordik gave an overview of the extensive work he and his colleagues have been undertaking to make fluorescence molecular imaging more quantitative. Much of their work has focused specifically on how to quantify human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) concentrations (a key receptor of interest in breast cancer) using kinetic models, and they have a number of publications in this area that I urge you to check out;1-5 however, what I was most intrigued by was there recent results demonstrating a dependence of fluorescence lifetime on the binding state of a targeted fluorescent tracer. In simpler terms, what they found was that the timing characteristics of fluorescence emission was significantly different depending on whether their fluorescent tracer was bound to the target of interest or not.6,7

This offers their group a window into separating non-specific uptake of a tracer, a major problem in conventional molecular imaging of tumors, from the more interesting bound fraction of the targeted tracer. Moreover, for reversible binding tracers (tracers that can dissociate from there targeted molecule), the ratio of the bound fraction of a tracer to the unbound fraction of tracer is directly proportional to the concentration of the targeted biomolecule.8 Therefore, as Prof. Chernomordik and his colleagues unearth the exact relationship between bound fraction and fluorescence lifetime, there is a clear pathway forward to using this approach to directly quantify HER2 concentration, something that is impossible to do with other conventional single tracer approaches in tumors.9

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The Early Photon Gets the Worm

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 25 April 2014

One of the biggest problems with using light to analyze biological tissue is that photons in the visible and near-visible spectrum have a very high probability of scattering multiple times as they propagate through the tissue. This is a well-known problem that restricts high-resolution optical microscopy to tissue thicknesses of only a few microns. It has also led researchers to develop complicated iterative reconstruction algorithms that incorporate models of scattering light propagation as a means of achieving usable image resolution in thicker tissue samples or in small animals. Even so, the ultimate resolution of these reconstruction algorithms is on the order of millimeters, far from the impressive micron and sub-micron scale resolution achievable by microscopy.

So the question is, what if we could tell the difference between photons that took a direct route through the tissue (non-scattering photons) and photons that took a more roundabout route (scattering photons)?

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Are You Being Heard in the Optics and Photonics Community?

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 21 April 2014

In case you missed it - International Women’s Day comes about in March every year, and much like many years there was bit of hype around it. The occasion is used by various women’s organisations, policymakers and governments to raise awareness of issues connected to women. The media is an important component in this ever-growing to-do. And commerce is never far behind in exploiting every possible opportunity (behold the offers to women in shops: shop for more than x amount and get 10% discount)!

For the scientific community, does this day have relevance?

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Incubator meeting, Honest meeting

By Miaochan Zhi | Posted: 11 April 2014

The essence of this Incubator, as one host Mark Neifeld put it, is: honest effort to solve practical problems. The hosts repeatedly called on all attendees to have honest and candid discussions. The purpose of this meeting was truly to look for opportunities within CS and was cleverly structured to give pro and con views of those opportunities.  This lead to open and frank discussions which the attendees really took advantage of those discussion opportunities.

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Collaboration is the Key

By Miaochan Zhi | Posted: 11 April 2014

A major part of the meeting are the breakout group discussions. Participants were assigned to one of five potential application areas: Commercial Security Cameras for use in Homes, Businesses, Stadiums or Airports; UAV Surveillance Imaging; Near IR Imaging for Intra-cranial Bleeding Detection and Localization; Soldier-scale Situational Awareness; and Astronomical Imaging Applications.

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OSA Incubator: Implications of Compressive Sensing Concepts to Imaging Systems

By Miaochan Zhi | Posted: 10 April 2014

While the hot topic of DC in general might be the Cherry Blossom Festival, here at OSA headquarters we’re focusing on compressive processing.

First, what is an Incubator?  The OSA Incubator Program began in 2011 and this week’s OSA Incubator Implications of Compressive Sensing Concepts to Imaging Systems is the 13th Incubator to date. Each Incubator differs not only in topic but in program design and outcome. The hosts work with OSA to design a program that will best achieve their goals for the Incubator. Similarly, there are a variety of outcomes, these Incubators have been covered in OPN, have fueled authorship of a whitepaper (Scaling Terabit Networks) and one meeting – Freeform Optics – has already become an OSA Topical Meeting.

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The Role of Chance in Biomedical Imaging

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 7 April 2014

Much of my work as a postdoctoral trainee at Tufts University has focused on utilizing endogenous sources of optical contrast to assess tissue development and disease. To this end, our lab has utilized non-linear optical microscopy to non-destructively characterize tissue organization and metabolic function with an emphasis on understanding and detecting stem cell differentiation and precancerous transformations. As I think about all the researchers, past and present, that have provided fundamental contributions to my area of research, no one looms larger than Dr. Britton Chance. (Article continues below.)

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OSA Topological Order with Photons Incubator: Facilitating Discussion of this Nascent Field

By Sean Kelley | Posted: 4 April 2014

Greetings from the 12th installment of OSA Incubator meetings, the OSA Topological Order with Photons Incubator! Hosted by Steven Girvin, Yale University, United States; Mohammad Hafezi, Joint Quantum Institute, United States; Karyn Le Hur, Ecole Polytechnique, France; Jacob Taylor, National Institute of Standards & Technology, United States; the meeting will span two days, involving formal talks, informal discussion, and impressive coffee consumption. Sponsors include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, Joint Quantum Institute and the Physics Frontier Center.

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How do you make a topologically interesting system with light?

By Sean Kelley | Posted: 4 April 2014

Quantum superposition states are immensely delicate things - any interaction with the environment can cause them to decohere. This poses a significant problem for quantum computing, where information would need to be stored within quantum states for relatively long periods of time. A promising way to isolate a system exploits the topology of the system, known as 'topological protection'. A state that is topologically isolated from its environment would be perfectly shielded from the sort of noise and environmental imperfections that creep into quantum systems now.

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What lies ahead for topological photonic systems?

By Sean Kelley | Posted: 4 April 2014

The final day of the Topological Order with Photons Incubator saw several more proposals for systems that could support topological edge states. Metamaterials are a promising environment, and talks were given by Alex Kanikaev and Gennady Shvets on fabricating bianistropic metamaterials to emulate electron spins and topological insulators. Na Young Kim and Alberto Ano laid different schemes for creating lattices of exiton-polariton microcavities, as well as roadmaps for potentially seeing topological effects in these systems.

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The recent evolution of biomedical optics in one graphic*

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 27 March 2014


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Salt and Pepper (Noise): Key Ingredients for Imaging Blood Flow

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 25 March 2014

We’ve all experienced that “salt-and-pepper”, or white noise when our favorite television show cuts out on us. Well it turns out that similar “speckle” patterns are also seen when projecting laser light onto biological tissue, owing to interference patterns of the monochromatic light source. Now you might say, “so what!” and that’s probably what most would say. However, in the early 1980’s Fercher and Brier realized that movement of blood could disturb the laser speckle pattern, and this disturbance could be used to estimate blood flow [1].

In the decades following this breakthrough, Laser Speckle Imaging has been employed to visualize blood flow in the skin [2], the retina [3], and brain [4]. To date there are over 600 published articles that have included biomedical applications of Speckle Imaging. Why so popular? There are certainly many other approaches available for monitoring blood flow such as Doppler ultrasound, laser Doppler, and a slew of dynamic contrast enhanced imaging modalities. However, none of these approaches can offer the exquisite temporal resolution (milliseconds), and spatial resolution (10s of microns) that can be attained by Laser Speckle Imaging. And nowhere have these advantages been used to greater benefit than in the study of “neurovascular coupling”, which necessitates the ability to resolve the interplay between neuronal activity and blood delivery in the brain at the millisecond and micron resolution scales only offered by Speckle Imaging.

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A Woman's Place is in the Lab

By Johnathan George | Posted: 24 March 2014

As a female engineer, one becomes accustomed to being a minority: in the lecture theatre, in the graduate lab and in the workplace.  We have come a long way from the days when women scientists were an anomaly, but the number of women choosing STEM courses and careers at the undergraduate and graduate level still lags behind our male counterparts.  But to grow female representation in STEM, from the classroom through to leadership roles, relies upon on increased support not just within the research and education communities, but also from hiring managers in industry. Perhaps most importantly, it relies on sustained commitment to active community engagement and a commitment to make a difference.

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Day 1 continued: Learning to See Through Walls

By David Norris | Posted: 7 March 2014

Is it possible to look inside an object using only light reflected off the front?  Can you transmit more light through an attenuating medium by making it even thicker?  Could a bank verify your identity using the pattern of light scattered off your teeth? 

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Day 2: Propagating Further

By David Norris | Posted: 7 March 2014

After a final session of talks on new developments in 3D imaging methods and funding opportunities, our host Jerome Mertz presented a timely summary of outstanding problems and possible solutions identified during this week's Incubator meeting:

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Day 1: Seeing Order in Disorder

By David Norris | Posted: 6 March 2014

Greetings from Washington, DC, and the OSA Controlled Light Propagation Incubator meeting! Hosted by Tom Bifano and Jerome Mertz, Boston University, USA; Sylvain Gigan, Institut Langevin, France; and Allard Mosk, University of Twente, Netherlands; today’s event brings leading researchers from the fields of biological imaging and adaptive optics together with partners from industry and government for a candid discussion of the technological breakthroughs, challenges, and goals that have materialized in the past few years.  This is the eleventh meeting in the OSA’s Incubator series, which was established in 2009 as a way to promote the growth and development of nascent fields within the broader optics and photonics research community.

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Reducing Drug Trial Costs with Imaging Technology

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 4 March 2014

95% of new cancer therapeutics fail to make it past Phase II clinical trials. This means that while it should only cost about $50 million per drug for FDA approval, incorporating the cost of failures leads to an estimated cost of $1 billion per drug (1), with a recent Forbes article suggesting that this number is considerably higher (2).So why are so many drugs failing in clinical trials?

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Rydberg Atoms: Two’s Company, Three’s Still Company

By David Norris | Posted: 28 February 2014

Once relegated to the margins of atomic physics research as basically tunable microwave antennas (albeit with enviable success), highly excited “Rydberg” atomic states have experienced a resurgence of interest in the past decade at the hands of the quantum information community, owing to their giant polarizability and long natural lifetime.  In particular, the strong long-range interactions between excited Rydberg atoms can give rise to a “blockade” effect, in which one optically excited Rydberg atom inhibits the excitation of its neighbors, paving the way for new developments in such fields as single-photon nonlinear optics, quantum networks, and novel many-body quantum states.  

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How to fit a laser-scanning microscope into a 2mm diameter tube

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 28 February 2014

Optical microscopy can provide high-resolution images of cellular morphology and matrix organization, which can be utilized to diagnose disease or trauma. However, achieving an adequate signal-to-noise ratio at imaging depths exceeding 1mm is very challenging.  As a result, the initial clinical applications for optical microscopy techniques have largely focused on skin pathology.  One approach to unlocking a wider spectrum of clinical applications for biomedical optics is miniaturizing the distal end of microscopes into endoscopic probes.

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Pushing the limits of imaging resolution and penetration depth

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 28 February 2014

The development of labeling techniques capable of providing customizable molecular specificity has made optical microscopy a fundamental technique in the biomedical research, and the standard compound microscope remains a fixture in just about any clinic or biomedical lab. The popularity of optical microscopy was also driven by the ability to provide resolution at the cellular level that traditional clinical imaging modalities (e.g. ultrasound, x-ray CT, and MRI) simply cannot meet. The finer structural details of biological tissues were further elucidated through the development of transmission electron microscopy, which enabled unparalleled views at the scale of proteins and molecules. However, like all imaging technologies, there is a tradeoff between imaging resolution and penetration depth, and electron microscopy has extremely limited penetration depth.

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It takes blood, sweat, and SERS to image single cells

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 20 February 2014

Throw out those old dusty fluorescent molecules and welcome in the next generation of optical contrast agents. SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering/Spectroscopy) nanoparticles are sophisticated new contrast agents that offer some distinct advantages over conventional fluorescent molecules for investigating molecular biology.

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Will the future be crowd-sourced? Open Source Appropriate Technology

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 19 February 2014

I recently came across an article on Open Source Appropriate Technology (OSAT). How did I never think of this myself? Why have I never heard or read about it before? OSAT is all about developing technology in an open source environment (similar to Free and Open Source Software – or FOSS) keeping in mind the social, economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural needs of the society for which it is developed. What this really translates to is developing technology that is.

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Where would biomedicine be without optics?

By Kyle Quinn | Posted: 10 February 2014

Much of the emphasis in biomedical optics research has been placed on the clinical translation of our technologies -- and rightfully so!  As my fellow blogger Dr. Ken Tichauer indicates, the potential impact in the clinic is great and the future remains bright.  But as we gear up for OSA BIOMED 2014 in Miami, I will be excited to learn about some of the latest applications in basic science research where biomedical optics continues to play a key role. The field of optics has provided researchers advanced tools that are needed in a variety of other disciplines to optimize complex laboratory protocols, to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of disease, and to speed the preclinical development of novel therapies. Optogenetics


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Quantum Information Goes Splat on Causality's Windshield

By David Norris | Posted: 6 February 2014

Physicists sleep well at night comforted in the fact that information can’t travel faster than light, but determining where exactly the causality police write the speeding ticket in various systems can be tricky to pin down.  In an invited talk at QIM 2014, my colleague Paul Lett from NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute will present new measurements showing just how this speed limit is enforced for information contained in bipartite quantum entangled states, despite superluminal arrival of correlations shared between the two parts.

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Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) busts open the doors for drug delivery

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 6 February 2014

Over the last decade alone, it is estimated that over $200 billion has been spent just by governments to fund cancer research [1]. Despite this enormous investment, the recently released 2014 World Heath Organization (WHO) Cancer Report suggests that cancer incidence rates and deaths from cancer are on the rise, both in more developed and less developed nations.

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5 Reasons We Can’t Wait for Quantum Information & Measurement (QIM) 2014

By David Norris | Posted: 30 January 2014

Greetings from Washington, DC, home of OSA headquarters, NIST, and the Joint Quantum Institute!  In less than two short months we’ll be converging on Berlin like a swarm of photon-hungry locusts for the 2014 Quantum Information and Measurement (QIM) meeting, the latest in the OSA’s conference series for all things quantum and measurable.  But ahead of that time, I look forward to whetting your collective appetite with a series of posts featuring commentary about the upcoming talks.

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Beginning of a new era? Recent advances in biomedical optics light the way to long-awaited clinical translation

By Ken Tichauer | Posted: 29 January 2014

For decades biomedical optics has been touted as an ideal tool for diagnosing, monitoring and/or treating a vast array of health conditions owing to low-cost instrumentation, use of non-ionizing radiation, and incomparable sensitivity. All great characteristics; nonetheless, adoptions of optical devices in the clinic have been few and far-between. One could blame regulations, the high cost of clinical trials, and provider inertia; but these hurdles would be behind us if the optical approaches on health and healthcare costs made more more significant impact. We're not there yet.

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Silicon Photonics: Present & Future Perspective at IPR

By Shamsul Arafin | Posted: 28 June 2013

III-V/silicon hybrid lasers, silicon-itself lasers and III-V/silicon photonic integrated circuits (PIC) - in general, silicon photonics is the research area moving forward at a great speed over the last couple of years. Why such a great speed? Because a number of ever-demanding applications like optical interconnects, long haul communication systems, and conventional CMOS technology need added bandwidth, which could be easily realized by this growing research area. In addition, currently researchers are thinking about the integration of the silicon laser into chips that could be used for medical and security applications.

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Photonics Integration and its future at Advanced Photonics 2013

By Shamsul Arafin | Posted: 19 March 2013

At the time of peak in technological development, isn’t it frustrating to hear that most of the computers used in our daily lives do nothing more than wait for the data? It is sad, but true, that your Intel® Core™ i5 Processor with high-speed RAM or state of the art liquid cooling system will not help you much to overcome this problem. This is because our computer speed is primarily set not by the processing power we have, but by the connections between the processor and the data it waits for. Photonics integration into the electronic circuits can resolve this problem easily because such photonic-electronic hybrid configuration can provide size weight and power reduction together with better system performance, e.g. speed, bandwidth and reliability. Not clear?

The point is that data transfer from module-to-module or chip-to-chip could be accomplished in a much efficient way with light or photons. This well-established fact motivates researchers worldwide to replace the existing old-fashioned copper wire technology to move the electronic signal by the photonics integration technique. Taking the fact – photons are much faster than electrons – into account and then developing an optical data transfer system, we’ll soon unveil computer systems 100 times (or even more!) faster than anything available today. If you cannot rely on me, I would request all of you to participate in Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano-photonics (IPR) 2013 meeting in OSA's Advanced Photonics Congress. Why?

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Label-free imaging: What is it good for? Absolutely most things!

By Craig Goergen | Posted: 14 March 2013

Say it again! And while one of the plenary talks in the Opening General Session given by Sunny Xie (Monday, April 15th, 8:00 to 9:45am in the Ali’Ii Ballroom) titled "Label-Free Vibrational Imaging for Medicine" might be a little less funky, I am sure it will be equally as entertaining.

Dr. Xie is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and is considered by many to be a founding father of the field of single-molecule enzymology. His group has also made significant contributions to the development of Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS - a dye-free method in which image structures are characterized by intrinsic vibrational contrast of their molecules). The advantage of this method is that it does not require labeling and the sample remains mostly unaffected.

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Silk or Polyester? How Optics Can Help Determine an Answer

By Miaochan Zhi | Posted: 29 January 2013

I love silk.  Many clothes in my wardrobe are made of 100% silk.  This is an extension of my love of all things natural. Also, it is due to the fact that I lived in Hangzhou, China which is very famous for silk.

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"Harnessing Light" at Nonlinear Optics

By Miaochan Zhi | Posted: 14 December 2012

After I gave a seminar at UT Austin, Professor Mike Downer said to me during the dinner: "I would like to give you an advice. When you give a talk, you should start with a grand challenge question."

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Photonics and Numerical Modeling: A look at Maxwell's Equations

By Arti Agrawal | Posted: 22 October 2012

Thinking of photonics often conjures up pretty pictures of experiments with laser light and lab-coat clad scientists working with protective goggles on. The mental images usually in some way involve multi-million dollar equipment being used to produce exciting, cutting-edge results.

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Harnessing Light Report: Findings and Interpretations

By Lia Moore | Posted: 28 September 2012

The National Research Council (NRC) of the U.S. National Academies of Science released a much-awaited draft report on optics in August to much fanfare.  OSA issued a statement supporting the work, as did its sibling societies.  (You can download a free copy of the report here and see OSA’s roundtable discussion of it here.)

 Now, what does it mean?

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