LASER -- more than an acronym

June 10, 2017
Fortunately, engineers prefer acronyms to shorten the time they spend describing technologies. Without acronyms, we would be forced to refer to a certain large trade fair in Munich this month as Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation World of PHOTONICS.
Conard Holton2 5f3bf1729f913

Fortunately, engineers prefer acronyms to shorten the time they spend describing technologies. Without acronyms, we would be forced to refer to a certain large trade fair in Munich this month as Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation World of PHOTONICS—quite a mouthful! The biannual LASER trade fair remains the largest and most international of photonics exhibitions, with over 30,000 attendees and 1300 exhibitors in five large halls, and a World of Photonics Congress technical conference that covers all the major technology and application areas (see page 33). Its great range of photonics coverage—despite the word "laser" in its title—reminds me of a certain magazine I know.

I write this in a lighthearted vein because it is always exciting to attend LASER and see all the developments underway around the world, and to re-connect with the people who are making the advances happen. Several halls reflect the importance of two of the largest application sectors: lasers and systems for production engineering, and biophotonics and medical engineering.

This issue of Laser Focus World, in turn, reflects the priority given to these themes, beginning with our cover story from researchers of the Fraunhofer IOF and colleagues who describe their work advancing the development of high-power, single-mode fiber lasers (see page 37). Researchers at KMLabs describe their work enhancing ultrafast direct diode-pumped Ti:sapphire laser systems (see page 57). And, at the University of Stuttgart, researchers have used a novel membrane design to extend the wavelength performance of a semiconductor laser (see page 70).

In biophotonics, we have two features on flow cytometry: one describing the increasing range of applications for it in the life sciences (see page 78), while another explains how it could provide insights in oceanography and climate change studies (see page 45). Finally, a story shows how the vital new technology known as CLARITY provides an unprecedented view of bones and stem cells within marrow (see page 16).

The range of technologies and applications is exciting, both in the magazine and at LASER. I hope to see you there.

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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