Although large research facilities are sometimes criticized for the colossal amounts of funding they consume, the lessons that are learnt from the 'extreme' science that they perform benefit labs of all sizes.
Photonics at NPG
What would you do if you owned the world's most powerful laser? The US government is hoping to use it to achieve the ignition of thermonuclear fusion in the lab for the first time. Nature Photonics spoke to Edward Moses of the National Ignition Facility to find out more.
News and Views
A re-examination of firefly bioluminescence has revealed that the efficiency of light generation in fireflies is actually less than half the widely accepted value. The study also casts doubts over the mechanism that determines the colour of the emission.
Defect engineering is crucial for realizing all-optical integrated circuits from self-assembled photonic crystals. A two-photon polymerization strategy paves the way towards incorporation of arbitrary defects in silicon inverse opal photonic crystals.
The regeneration of weak and distorted optical signals is vital in long-haul optical communication systems. Now scientists at Cornell University have developed an all-optical scheme that performs the task and is small enough to fit on a chip.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed a highly sensitive microscope that can image the mechanical properties of living tissues.
Flexibility, speed of processing and maintenance-free operation are now rapidly making fibre lasers the technology of choice for marking plastics and metals.
The fibre laser brings many advantages to many industrial markets, be it welding large car parts or micromachining tiny medical devices.
Fibre-laser technology is enabling the creation of new types of compact light sources with unique ultrabroad or ultranarrow spectral characteristics. These lasers are now finding applications in diverse fields ranging from biotechnology to test and measurement apparatus.
Many of the advances in fibre-laser technology are thanks to work by Andreas Tünnermann, now head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, Germany. Nadya Anscombe spoke to him about developments in the area and his views on its future.
The ability of living organisms to generate light by bioluminescence is a fascinating phenomenon. Nature Photonics spoke to Yoriko Ando from the University of Tokyo about her recent quantitative analysis of the effect in fireflies.