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OSA News Releases

Welcome to the OSA News Releases page. This page contains news from The Optical Society, including research highlights from OSA's journals, conference news, award announcements and more. Sort releases by category below to see all the news releases in a particular area.

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Astrophysicists have long sought to detect ripples in space-time called gravitational waves since they realized Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity predicted their existence. But only some of the most massive astrophysical events, such as mergers of black holes and neutron stars, can produce gravitational waves strong enough to be detected on earth. Since the 1990s, research teams from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) have collectively tried to observe gravitational waves. Today’s announcement from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration on the confirmed detection of gravitational waves will impact the physical sciences for years to come.

In addition to appearing in nearly every consumer electronic device, liquid crystal displays have recently proliferated in automobiles too, in heads-up displays, instrument cluster displays, navigation systems and entertainment displays. Due to limitations in current display technology, the images blur and the displays are slow to respond in extreme temperatures.

The Optical Society (OSA) today presented the 2016 OSA Advocate of Optics recognition to Dr. John Holdren, director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The Advocate of Optics award recognizes Dr. Holdren’s leadership in the field of optics and photonics, especially his work on the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative and in helping to create the Integrated Photonics Innovation Manufacturing Institute (IP-IMI), now known as AIM Photonics.

Mid-infrared light, which has a wavelength longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves, has many important applications in remote sensing and communication technologies. Researchers in Japan have demonstrated the successful operation of several new photonic components that can effectively guide the passage of mid-infrared light.

The science of light improves most every facet of modern life. The United Nations-proclaimed International Year of Light (IYL2015) will be brought to an official close with a ceremony to be held in Mérida, Mexico 4-6 February 2016. Ahead of the official closing, on 2 February the United Nations will host a program on Ibn Al-Haytham’s seminal contributions to optics and light in New York, New York, USA.

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