Advancing at an ultrafast pace

Aug. 10, 2016
Each issue of this magazine and online, we seem to cover ever-more news about advances in ultrafast science and technology.
Conard Holton2 5f3c04c465535

Each issue of this magazine and online, we seem to cover ever-more news about advances in ultrafast science and technology—more stories about breakthroughs and many more stories about applications of ultrafast laser technology in fields ranging from biomedicine to industrial materials processing. Ultrafast pioneer Margaret Murnane, who is interviewed in our OSA Future Optics series this issue (see page 25), describes how intellectually stimulating her early work with Ti:sapphire lasers had been, and how it has led to both commercial opportunities and new ultrafast sources and applications.

Chunlei Guo, director of the Center for Laser Material Processing at the University of Rochester, and his colleagues provide us with another view of the ultrafast world by describing a few of the fast-growing repertoire of commercial femtosecond fiber lasers (see page 35). These lasers are used in diverse applications in the life sciences, attoscience, ophthalmology, and industrial materials processing. And engineers from industrial laser maker Trumpf narrow the applications focus in their article on how beam shaping with wave optics enables the precise delivery of ultrafast laser beams for brazing of hot-dipped galvanized material and separating synthetic sapphire and glass (see page 52).

A date that will soon be here for us is for the launch of our new Optical Engineering Exchange, which will focus on providing engineers and end-users with a new technical resource for solving challenges in the design, fabrication, tolerancing, and manufacture of optical components and systems. The multimedia platform will contain how-to articles, webcasts, and videos, and a true community discussion forum in the Cloud. If you are attending SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego (August 28 – September 1), please stop by Booth #322 for our "soft" rollout. Senior editor John Wallace, an optical engineer himself, will be on hand to show you the new platform. Our official rollout will be during OSA's Frontiers in Optics in Rochester (October 17-21)—a fitting place for an optics celebration, and coming up fast.

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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