Looking in two directions

Dec. 1, 2011
As 2011 ends, this issue finds us studying the past year for innovations and changes, and hoping to anticipate important technology developments in 2012. These developments will probably take place amid continuing volatility in economic markets, making prediction difficult.
Conard Holton2 5f3bf114cfdf8

As 2011 ends, this issue finds us studying the past year for innovations and changes, and hoping to anticipate important technology developments in 2012. These developments will probably take place amid continuing volatility in economic markets, making prediction difficult.

Beginning with a look back, senior editor John Wallace writes his Annual Technology Review (see page 40), which describes some of the year’s significant achievements—especially those that have in some way appealed to the general public, including laser lighting, motion capture, and high-resolution displays. He also notes more esoteric research that has potential practical uses such as a photonic time cloak, a high-speed video endoscope for the larynx, improvements in quantum-dot lasers, and promising uses of graphene in lenses, fiber lasers, and photodetectors.

Other articles in this issue capture more of the current state of the art in, for example, fiber lasers (cover story; see page 31), hybrid optics (see page 68), and optical amplifiers (see page 61). Photonic Frontiers, by contributing editor Jeff Hecht, brings us up to date on optical coherence tomography (see page 74), an imaging technology that will be much discussed at Photonics West (January 21–26 in San Francisco).

Window ahead

Photonics West, with close to 1200 exhibiting companies and 19,000 attendees, will provide the clearest evidence of technology and market trends in 2012; you will find a guide to the technical conferences and show on the Laser Focus World web site (see http://bit.ly/roQmGB). Our Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held in conjunction with Photonics West on January 23, presents the laser market data from 2011, along with analysis and forecasts for 2012, and market insights into many other areas of photonics. I hope to see you in San Francisco.

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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