This week's top photonics news picks--Aug. 2, 2013

Aug. 2, 2013
Check out our editors' top news picks for this week, from Laser Focus World and elsewhere.
John Wallace 720
John Wallace 720
John Wallace 720
John Wallace 720
John Wallace 720

Check out our editors' top news picks for this week, from Laser Focus World and elsewhere:

1. Birds of a feather can flock together in perfect synchrony, seemingly defying conventional theory. But this group at Princeton University used advanced computer-vision techniques to simultaneously track thousands of birds flying as one, revealing just how their movements can correlate across the entire flock.
Computer vision reveals the remarkable secret of flocking

2. An innovation cluster is a place where a confluence of smart people, available funding, and (over time) the area's reputation allows new ideas and money to bolster each other, producing more of each. These places exist around the world; this is a summary of some of their characteristics.
World innovation clusters

3. Here's something I'd like to keep in the public eye, and I'm glad the SPIE is doing so: the unjustified imprisonment of scientists around the world, sometimes because their research is at odds with a government's political leanings.
Barcelona meeting highlights plight of imprisoned SPIE student member and other scientists

4. This is an item revealing just how hard Usain Bolt had to work to achieve his record 100-meter-sprint time of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. As a man who was “less aerodynamic than the average human” while he ran the sprint, Bolt expended 81.58 kJ of energy in 9.58 seconds. (And yes, a laser device was used to measure his speed and position.)
Scientists model 'extraordinary' performance of Bolt

5. Because I'm the "decider" for today's blog, I get to inject my biases as a former optical engineer. This piece describes the unlikely revival of a long-ago-obsoleted optical design -- the Petzval camera lens, to be reproduced in all its 19th-century brass-barreled glory.
Lomography to recreate ancient Petzval camera lens for photographers



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