What's in a picture?

Oct. 1, 1998
If it`s true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," it should come as no surprise that imaging--by which I mean acquisition, processing, and display of images--constitutes an increasingly significant part of the regular content of Laser Focus World.

If it`s true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," it should come as no surprise that imaging--by which I mean acquisition, processing, and display of images--constitutes an increasingly significant part of the regular content of Laser Focus World. Imaging includes optoelectronic applications ranging from the creation and projection of pictures for entertainment to visual representations of complex data sets--sometimes called visualization. In the life sciences the complexity of samples for analysis--because they may contain cells and biological molecules--means that scientists must find new ways to handle spectral information from multiple sources. Combining imaging techniques with more- established methods such as fluorescence spectroscopy has yielded some powerful analytical tools. Hyperspectral imaging spectroscopy, which can identify and quantify the relationships between biologically active molecules, is one such tool (see p. 89).

From a current practical point of view, however, the downside of the increased use of imaging is that a picture requires a significantly larger data file than does the proverbial thousand words--so the demand for more storage space and higher network bandwidths to keep and transmit these images looks to continue unabated. Wavelength-division multiplexing has opened up the capacity of existing fiberoptic networks to keep pace with these requirements and has spurred a host of research into the design and fabrication of specialized sources, such as vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs; see p. 75). Wavelength-division multiplexing has also placed additional demands on the performance of the test equipment used to keep these fiberoptic networks functioning (see p. 161).

Optical telescopes represent a much older form of imaging. Next-generation instruments will be located in space--on the moon, perhaps, or on-board a satellite--to take advantage, among other factors, of being outside the effects of Earth`s atmosphere. But getting these systems into space economically is a challenge; large mirrors are heavy! A new technique for fabricating telescope mirrors could result in mirrors substantially lighter than those made by conventional means and make larger space-based optical telescopes a reality by reducing the overall size of the related payload (see p. 69).

A warm welcome

This month we introduce a new face to our technical editorial staff--John Wallace joins us as senior editor. His background includes an M.S. in optics from the University of Rochester and several years of experience designing equipment for photolithography--a combination that should serve him well at Laser Focus World.

About the Author

Stephen G. Anderson | Director, Industry Development - SPIE

 Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.    

Sponsored Recommendations

Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series

March 19, 2024
IDEX Health & Science sets a new standard with our Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series fluorescence microscope imaging systems. Access superior-quality optics with off-the-shelf...

Spatial Biology

March 19, 2024
Spatial Biology refers to the field that integrates spatial information into biological research, allowing for the study of biological systems in their native spatial context....

Fluorescent Protein Optical Imaging Considerations

March 19, 2024
What factors should you consider when your incorporate fluorescent proteins in an optical imaging application? Learn more.

Custom-Engineered Optical Solutions for Your Application

March 19, 2024
We combine advanced optical design and manufacturing technology, with decades of experience in critical applications, to take you from first designs to ongoing marketplace success...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!