Nature has had millions of years to perfect the art of playing with light. Her intricate designs are providing useful fodder for our imagination.
Volume 1 Issue 2, February 2007
Out of the lab
Imaging and spectroscopy equipment that exploits terahertz waves rather than visible or infrared light is now being developed by several firms around the world. Duncan Graham-Rowe spoke to a few of them to catch up with the latest developments.
For over 50 years, Teruo Hiruma, the president of the Japanese firm Hamamatsu Photonics, has been striving to make photonics a practical technology that can benefit society and industry. Oliver Graydon spoke to him about the challenges the firm faced in its early days and his opinions on the future.
The realization of compact and reliable diode-pumped solid-state lasers that emit UV light is now opening the door to new industrial applications. Neil Savage describes the uses of the technology and a round-up of products in the area.
News & Views
Lasers are a triumph of modern optics, and mirrors play a crucial role in the coherent light produced. A hi-tech reflector could make lasers a lot smaller and lead to their inclusion in an even wider range of optical devices.
By adding a tiny hole into the solid-core of a photonic-crystal fibre, scientists have been able to beat the diffraction limit and confine and guide light in the subwavelength regime.
Advances in laser-based fabrication technology have resulted in the construction of the first three-dimensional silicon photonic quasicrystals that operate in the infrared.
A new method for slowing down light pulses while minimizing pulse distortion could help create practical photonic devices that route bits of information in optical-telecommunication systems.
Using quantum optics to process data could herald a new era of information technology. With the latest semiconductor source of photons, researchers are paving the way towards this enticing goal.
Why is General Electric Global Research so interested in the optical properties of butterfly wings? Rachel Won spoke to Radislav Potyrailo about the recent findings of his team that the wing's nanostructures act as a high-performance optical sensor for detecting vapours.