Beyond listicles, the best of photonics

Although digital marketers can be accused of transforming "listicles" -- web articles in the form of lists -- into a simplistic tool for generating clicks, Laser Focus World has long had a more meaningful December tradition of listing the most important and influential stories of the past year.

Although digital marketers can be accused of transforming "listicles"—web articles in the form of lists—into a simplistic tool for generating clicks, Laser Focus World has long had a more meaningful December tradition of listing the most important and influential stories of the past year. Grouped by theme, not ranked, we think our top 20 technologies of 2017 (see article) gives you a valuable review of the past year, with insights into significant future developments impacting the science, engineering, and products related to photonics.

Chosen by senior editor John Wallace, the list includes specific developments in headline-making technologies such as VR/AR, lidar, quantum technology, 3D sensing, and LIGO; choices from the worlds of industrial processing, including additive manufacturing, silicon photonics, and EUV lithography; and a taste from the leading edge of biomedicine, including bone CLARITY, laser surgery, and in vivo subcellular imaging.

This December issue also shows off our new digital magazine format, which has improved readability on both mobile devices and computer screens. Now, as a subscriber or on the homepage, you can choose between reading the article in a PDF view, or a more familiar HTML view that moves swiftly between pages. This new view will bring you the most compelling stories in this issue on microring laser diodes for ultrafast data transmission (see article), materials for different additive manufacturing processes (see article), and light-enabled tissue repair, also known as photobiomodulation (see article)—not to overlook our fascinating cover story on luminescent solar concentrators that spur plant growth and harvest power (see article).

As the year ends, our analysis confirms that 2017 was a banner year for global laser markets, with growth rising 18% from the previous year, and that 2018 looks even more promising. To hear the full market analysis and discussions with executives from many of the leading public and private companies in the field, please join your colleagues at our 30th annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held on January 29th, during SPIE Photonics West. The full agenda is now available on the website (www.marketplaceseminar.com).

Best wishes for the New Year.

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