Turbulent times

Jan. 28, 2020
Editor in Chief John Lewis invites you to enjoy Laser Focus World's January 2020 issue, which includes trends in photonics technologies, applications, and markets, along with the annual Laser Market Review & Forecast and SPIE Photonics West preview.
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Despite navigating through turbulent times and contending with a manufacturing slowdown, the overall global laser market has continued to grow. While some laser application areas or laser types struggled, others prospered. Our annual Laser Market Review & Forecast article in this issue helps sort it all out for you and estimates overall annual revenue growth at 1.3% for 2019 with total global laser sales increasing to about $15 billion (see article). Also, the global photonics community will be kicking off the next decade in a big way at SPIE Photonics West 2020 in San Francisco (February 1-6). With numerous events and 5000 technical presentations to choose from, it may be tough deciding which to take in. If you want some help, our Photonics West preview (see article) highlights the sessions of most interest to Laser Focus World editors.

Next, we have a lineup of feature articles covering trends in photonics technology and application development. First, Contributing Editor Jeff Hecht covers the application of machine learning in the modeling of inertial-confinement fusion (see article). Then, we discuss the scaling of ultrashort-pulsed laser sources with kilowatt power for industrial applications (see article), the advantages and tradeoffs of numerous 3D imaging products (see article), the future of vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (see article), and how high-power LED emitters enable flexible illumination for scientific applications (see article).

This month’s optical fabrication feature details how a newly developed 10 mm magnetorheological finishing wheel enables shorter-radius concave surfaces (see article). We also address the question of whether single-photon avalanche photodiodes offer a possible photodetection solution for time-of-flight lidar applications (see article), present an article that details techniques for achieving the highest possible detection efficiency in bio-Raman spectroscopy applications (see article), and discuss haze removal techniques for improving image contrast (see article). As always, I hope you enjoy this issue.

About the Author

John Lewis | Editor in Chief (2018-2021)

John Lewis served as Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World from August 2018 through October 2021, after having served as the Editor in Chief of Vision Systems Design from 2016 to 2018. He has technical, industry, and journalistic qualifications, with more than 13 years of progressive content development experience working at Cognex Corporation. Prior to Cognex where his articles on machine vision were published in dozens of trade journals, he was a technical editor for Design News, covering automation, machine vision, and other engineering topics, for over six years.

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