LASER -- more than an acronym

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.

Conardmug 2011c

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.

Conardmug 2011cW. Conard Holton
Associate Publisher/
Editor in Chief

cholton@pennwell.com

More in Lasers & Sources