The photonics 'wow' factor

Oct. 12, 2017
The great thing about both the business and technology sides of photonics is that you get a lot of "wows."
Conard Holton2 5f3bf2fc39a15

Upon hearing about the recent acquisition of one small photonics company by a significantly larger one (Hamamatsu acquired Energetiq), several colleagues remarked, "wow," reflecting both the surprise and clear logic of the move. And that's a great thing about both the business and technology sides of photonics—you get a lot of "wows."

The business "wows" range from exciting new startups and funding rounds, to hot markets and applications like additive manufacturing, lidar, and augmented reality. Any given month (for example, September) can also produce notable photonics-related science news, from the plunge of the Cassini spacecraft and its optical payload into Saturn, to the newly achieved creation of terahertz light from a liquid.

This issue contains features that explore some exciting new technologies at a less breathless pace, including VCSEL arrays for 3D sensing (see article), time-stretch spectroscopy (see article), developments in laser-assisted cataract surgery (see article), and terahertz imaging for solar and semiconductor wafer analysis (see article).

For more "wows" about business and technology, I invite you to join your colleagues at our 29th Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held on January 29th during SPIE Photonics West. The full agenda is now available on the website (www.marketplaceseminar.com), and includes speakers on topics ranging from the global laser markets and the future of high-power laser diodes, to company valuations, Chinese laser policy, and the growing market for photobiomodulation.

I'll interview Chuck Mattera, CEO of II-VI Incorporated, about the markets for optics, lasers, and advanced materials; and Martin Seifert from Booz Allen Hamilton will lead a panel of senior executives including Sri Venkat from Coherent and Peter Leibinger from Trumpf. A biophotonics panel led by BioOptics World chief editor Barbara Gefvert will include leaders from Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec, and Illumina.

It's probably obvious that I'm afflicted with a feeling of "wow" myself.

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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