Optics Industry Report

The Nobel Prize in Physics was recently awarded to three scientists in the field of optics: Roy Glauber of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA); John Hall of JILA, University of Colorado, and National Institute of Standards and Technology; Boulder, CO); and Theodor Hansch of Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, (Garching, Germany) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (Munich, Germany).

Dec 1st, 2005

Three optics scientists win Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Physics was recently awarded to three scientists in the field of optics: Roy Glauber of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA); John Hall of JILA, University of Colorado, and National Institute of Standards and Technology; Boulder, CO); and Theodor Hansch of Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, (Garching, Germany) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (Munich, Germany).

Glauber was recognized for showing how quantum theory must be formulated to describe the detection of electromagnetic radiation. Glauber’s theoretical formulation uses the formalism of quantum electrodynamics to describe the absorption of a photon in a detector. By correlating several such detectors, one can obtain higher-order correlations, which can display clearly the characteristic features of quantum radiation.

Hall and Hansch were jointly recognized for contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the so-called optical-frequency-comb technique. In addition to important practical applications, these methods make it possible to determine the quantum structure of matter with ever-increasing accuracy and to test fundamental theories, said the Royal Swedish Academy statement.

LightPath opens facility in China

To increase overall production capacity and enable them to compete for larger production volumes of optical components and assemblies, LightPath (Orlando, FL) is opening a 17,000-sq-ft wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary, LightPath Optical Instrumentation in Jiading, China. Besides larger-volume manufacturing in this location, it will house Asia/Pacific sales, marketing, and engineering, and is projected to employ 30 workers by January 2006. The China operation will enable the Orlando headquarters to concentrate on quick-turn domestic manufacturing and new optical product development.

Large Binocular Telescope sees first light

The two mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) have produced their first scientific images of space. Led by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (Heidelberg, Germany), five German institutes participated, garnering a total of 25% of the observation time. Among them were the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy, Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.

The Large Binocular Telescope, positioned on the 3190-m-high Mount Graham in Arizona, has two giant mirrors, each with a diameter of 8.4 m. They are mounted onto the same surface and focused, like field glasses, at the same time on distant space objects. By combining the optical paths of the two individual mirrors, the LBT collects as much light as a telescope whose mirrors have a diameter of 11.8 m. This is a factor of 24 larger than the 2.4-m mirrors of the Hubble Space Telescope. LBT is a joint American-German-Italian project.

Rochester gets $10M more for photonics

New York Gov. George E. Pataki, joined by members of the state senate and local officials announced $10 million in new state support for the expansion of the Greater Rochester Area Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems, bringing the level of public and private investment committed to the facility to a total of $150 million.

Lehigh University opens new optics lab

The Center for Optical Technologies (COT) at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) has opened a new laboratory that will enable researchers to fabricate advanced optical devices with potential use in biomedical, military, pharmaceutical, and other applications. The Smith Family Laboratory for Optical Technologies was made possible in part by a generous gift from Daniel E. Smith, president and CEO of Sycamore Networks (Chelmsford, MA).

Tom Koch, director of the COT, said the new lab would help optics researchers continue to expand the focus of their investigations beyond telecommunications to a host of new applications in a wide variety of fields. The lab, which includes a 3000-sq-ft clean room, was constructed over the past 18 months at a cost of $6 million.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Ealing Catalog (Rocklin, CA), manufacturer of optics and optomechanics/laser accessories, has opened Ealing Catalogue (North Wales, England) to serve as its central hub for continued expansion into the European market. . . . The semiautomated pilot production line of Varioptic (Lyon, France) is now producing prototype liquid lenses used in consumer products such as cell phones. . . . Raylase (Wessling, Germany), developer of optical components for deflection and modulation of laser beams, closed a distribution contract with Azpect (Södertälje, Sweden) for exclusive selling of Raylase products in Scandinavia and the Baltic states. . . . CIBA Vision (Duluth, GA) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives, which gave final approval to legislation that ends the unregulated sale of plano decorative contact lenses by requiring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to classify these lenses as medical devices.

More in Optics
Lasers & Sources
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Inspiring