Editorials

  • Editorial |

    Nature Photonics pays tribute to the pioneering scientists that helped define the field of photonics in the latter part of the twentieth century with the launch of an online collection of profiles.

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    Frequency combs measure optical frequencies with an unprecedented precision, allowing myriad applications in optical metrology, high-precision spectroscopy, optical atomic clocks, attosecond science, astronomy and, recently, quantum information processing.

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    The race to develop self-driving cars means that optical LiDAR is forecast to become a US$5 billion market within 5 years. Photonics start-ups in the area are finding themselves at the centre of a frenzy of acquisition and investment.

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    The International Day of Light is an achievement that the entire photonics community can be proud of. Let’s be inspired by the celebrations to begin planning for next year’s event.

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    Progress in silicon photonics is delivering chips that can densely pack photonics and electronics together and perform multidimensional quantum information processing.

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    Scientific claims, particularly those related to devices, are often backed up by standardized characterization. In fields without accepted standards, is it beneficial to strive to establish them?

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    The exploitation of non-Hermitian quantum physics concepts in classical photonics has spawned much research activity during 2017. We conclude the year with a focus issue on parity–time symmetry and concepts with overlapping goals, in particular topological and non-reciprocal photonics.

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    The Nobel Prize-winning observation of gravitational waves has required laser interferometry to be pushed to extreme limits of sensitivity.

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    The opening of the superconducting European X-ray free-electron laser in Hamburg, Germany provides exciting opportunities for exploring a completely new world of science.

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    More than half a century after describing interference of discrete states with a continuum, Ugo Fano's work is as relevant as ever. And Fermi beat him to it.

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    The International Day of Light, which will be held on 16 May every year, is a day for celebrating and highlighting the importance of light.

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    The official opening of the SESAME synchrotron in Jordan on 16 May marked an important landmark for science in the Middle East. It is also set to become the world's first solar-powered accelerator.

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    Ronald Drever may be most famous for co-founding the LIGO project and his gravitational-wave research, but his contributions to laser stabilization have had broad impact on the photonics community.

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    Excitement over positive industry forecasts, high attendance and a quality programme was dampened by travel restrictions to the United States.

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    Lasers play a pivotal role in photonics, but claims of lasing are not always as robust and informative as they should be. A new trial policy at Nature Photonics aims to rectify this shortcoming.

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    As Nature Photonics turns 10 years old, we reflect on how times have changed and offer a message of thanks to our authors, reviewers and readers.

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    The launch of the first space-based source of entangled photons and other ambitious plans are driving satellite-based quantum communications and fundamental physics tests in space.

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    Starting a company may not be easy, but growing it into a mid-sized entity is where the challenge really lies.

  • Editorial |

    John Love, co-author of the famous book Optical Waveguide Theory, passed away on 19 June 2016. The Australian optics community has lost a founding pillar.

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    Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, we asked scientists and industrialists working in the optics sector for their reaction to the news and how it may affect photonics research in the UK.

  • Editorial |

    The origins of optical fibre communications lie with a paper published 50 years ago.

  • Editorial |

    The merger of biology and optics was the focus of new sessions at SPIE Photonics West 2016. The conference attracted over 20,000 attendees.

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    The 2016 Rank Prize for optoelectronics has been awarded to the inventors of the arrayed waveguide grating. Lord Rank's philanthropy deserves greater recognition.

  • Editorial |

    Australians call it sticky tape, English name it Sellotape, and some say Scotch tape. Whatever you call it, it is arguably responsible for the theme of this month's focus issue.

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    ORCID, a global ID scheme for researchers, which is being embraced by funders, universities and publishers, now has almost 2 million registrations and is growing all the time.

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    Designed with a laser metrology system, LISA Pathfinder is on track to demonstrate the first in-flight test of low-frequency gravitational wave detection metrology in space.

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    Advances in silicon photonics, compound III–V semiconductor technology and hybrid integration now mean that powerful, programmable optical integrated circuits could be within sight.

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    First studied more than a decade ago, the field of spin–orbit interactions of light has accelerated in recent years and is now being exploited in nanophotonics and the generation of complex optical fields.

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    US$610 million has been secured for a US initiative into high-tech manufacturing involving 20 states with the hope of leveraging the capabilities of photonics.

  • Editorial |

    Bringing plasmonics out of the lab is important. University support and communication between researchers and industry play a vital role.

  • Editorial |

    Fears of an imminent capacity crunch in optical networks may be alarmist but new more efficient technologies for transporting data will be required in the future.

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    Nikola Tesla is known for his work on alternating current power systems, induction motors and wireless transmission but he is also an unsung hero of research into X-rays and light sources.

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    New synchrotron sources are being commissioned and built around the globe, with an emphasis on developing countries. Given the obvious benefits, the trend is encouraging.

  • Editorial |

    Are true theorists a dying breed? Does more need to be done to support and encourage young scientists to devote themselves to inventing new theoretical concepts and models?

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    The option of 'double-blind' peer review, transfer consultations, shareable article links and online Methods are all being introduced for authors.

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    2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Maxwell's formulation of his theory of electromagnetism and a year-long celebration of the importance of optics.

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    'Nanophotonics' is no longer just the realm of plasmonics researchers. Fields like metamaterials and 'flat' two-dimensional systems based on atomically thin materials are expanding the boundaries of nanophotonics.

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    The abstract mathematics of topology is generating excitement in photonics.

  • Editorial |

    Smartphones that have been cleverly 'accessorized' are starting to offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to conventional laboratory-based imaging and sensing equipment.

  • Editorial |

    The pressure to publish results claiming organic solar cells with high efficiencies is leading to pervasive problems of false reporting within the community.

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    Twenty years ago, researchers at Bell Labs in the USA stunned the optics world by reporting a new type of semiconductor laser — the quantum cascade laser. This laser transformed mid- and far-infrared photonics.

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    When tackling complex research challenges, photonics researchers often benefit by joining forces with scientists from other countries.

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    A networking convention for photonics start-ups seeking funding will hold its fourth event in October 2014 at Bordeaux, France.

  • Editorial |

    It is not an overstatement to say that the future of optics and photonics lies in the hands of students. Every little investment, be it intellectual or financial, can potentially yield immeasurable returns.