News Releases

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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The Optical Society Congratulates the 2018 OSA Members Elected to U.S. National Academy of Engineer

The Optical Society (OSA) congratulates four members elected to the 2018 class of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE membership honors those who have made noteworthy contributions to engineering research and development. New members elected will be inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on 30 September 2018.

Added: 20 Feb 2018

The Optical Society Launches Updated Optics4Kids Website

Today, The Optical Society (OSA) has launched its redesigned youth education website,, which seeks to provide comprehensive optics and photonics resources for kids, pre-college students, educators and parents. has numerous activities and features such as an optics timeline, optical illusions, a career assessment tool, experiments for children of all ages and much more. The latest website updates include a fresh design and an “Ask A Scientist” feature.

Added: 14 Feb 2018

Powerful LED-Based Train Headlight Optimized for Energy Savings

Researchers have designed a new LED-based train headlight that uses a tenth of the energy required for headlights using conventional light sources. If operated 8 hours every day, the electricity savings of the new design would reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by about 152 kilograms per year.

Added: 13 Feb 2018

Statement from The Optical Society on the FY 2019 Budget Proposal from the Trump Administration

The Optical Society (OSA) issued the following statement on the release of President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget. Proposed cuts to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Department of Energy (ARPA-E) and other agencies would negatively impact the United States’ role as a leader in scientific innovation. The funding for certain science-related agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Science at the Department of Energy (DOE), wouldn’t increase but be held at current levels.

Added: 12 Feb 2018

The Optical Society Mourns the Loss of Frances Hildreth Townes

In 1951, Charles Townes conceived the idea of the maser, a laser precursor, while sitting in a park one sunny morning in Washington D.C., and a few months later he began building it, using ammonia gas as the active medium. Townes and his colleagues coined the word "maser" for this device, which is an acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. OSA Fellow Charles Townes received the Nobel Prize in 1964 for discovering the principles behind the laser, the practical applications of which altered the way we communicate daily.

Added: 06 Feb 2018

The Optical Society Announces Rod Alferness as 2018 Recipient of the Frederic Ives Medal/ Jarus W. Q

The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional association in optics and photonics, today announced that the 2018 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize will be presented to Rod Alferness, University of California Santa Barbara, USA. The award was given to Alferness ‘for basic contributions and leadership in the development of integrated optics, high-speed optical modulation and switching, and configurable WDM networks that have provided significant economic and societal impact.’’

Added: 06 Feb 2018

Researchers Create Fiber Optic Sensors that Dissolve in the Body

For the first time, researchers have fabricated sensing elements known as fiber Bragg gratings inside optical fibers designed to dissolve completely inside the body. The bioresorbable fiber Bragg gratings could be used for in-body monitoring of bone fracture healing and for safer exploration of sensitive organs such as the brain.

Added: 05 Feb 2018

New Use for Telecommunications Networks: Helping Scientists Peer into Deep Space

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that a stable frequency reference can be reliably transmitted more than 300 kilometers over a standard fiber optic telecommunications network and used to synchronize two radio telescopes. Stable frequency references, which are used to calibrate clocks and instruments that make ultraprecise measurements, are usually only accessible at facilities that generate them using expensive atomic clocks.

Added: 01 Feb 2018

The Optical Society Stresses the Importance of Optics and Photonics in Career Training Programs and

In response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society, issued the following statement:

Added: 31 Jan 2018

OIDA Workshop on Scalable Integrated Photonics for 5G and Sensor

Fifth generation (5G) wireless and the Internet of Things (IoT) are introducing a wide range of new applications that will depend on performance enhancements across multiple dimensions, including low latency, high capacity, and enhanced resilience. The OIDA Workshop at OFC will be held 11 March in San Diego, California. This workshop will examine this opportunity for integrated photonics to provide capacity and latency that can meet the demanding requirements of 5G and IoT applications through plenary and invited talks by leading experts in the field.

Added: 29 Jan 2018

OSA Fellow and Nobel Laureate, Stefan Hell, to Deliver “Super-resolution post Nobel” presentation

Stefan Hell, 2014 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and OSA Fellow, will deliver the keynote plenary presentation during the 2018 Photonics West BiOS Conference on Sunday, 28 January in San Francisco, California.

Added: 25 Jan 2018

Biomechanical Mapping Method Aids Development of Therapies for Damaged Heart Tissue

Researchers have developed a new way to capture the detailed biomechanical properties of heart tissue. The high-resolution optical technique fills an important technology gap necessary to develop and test therapies that might eventually be used to heal heart damage after a heart attack.

Added: 23 Jan 2018