The Optical Society is 100 years old in 2016

Jan. 6, 2016
In 2016, The Optical Society (OSA) celebrates its 100th anniversary, marking a century of powering optics and photonics.

In 2016, The Optical Society ( celebrates its 100th anniversary--a milestone that it says marks a century of powering optics and photonics by inspiring the study and application of these technologies.

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"The Optical Society was created 100 years ago in an environment where scientific collaboration was a challenge," said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society. "Our founders saw the need to bring together the best scientific minds in industry and academia to share ideas in pursuit of technological breakthroughs. Today, The Optical Society serves as a global catalyst for the science of light. Many scientific and engineering advancements have been achieved by the 270,000 scientists, students and business leaders who make invaluable contributions to our society."

Over the last century, The Optical Society says that the importance of optics and photonics is seen through advances in science, technology, medicine and the quality of life. Optical equipment and technology were critical components of the U.S. Apollo program, which culminated in the first steps by humans on the moon. The laser, which placed optics at the center of a technological revolution, has become an integral part of our lives with applications in consumer electronics, communications, sensors and medicine. Throughout the Centennial, The Optical Society will honor the significance of these advancements and others while also empowering the next generation of optics and photonics leaders.

"The Centennial is not only an opportunity to capture the legacy of the Society and the optics field, but also a chance to explore the future of these exciting technologies," said Alan E. Willner, 2016 president of The Optical Society and Steven & Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering at the University of Southern California. "In the years ahead, the field of optics has tremendous potential to address challenges such as supporting health and medicine as well as the continued exponential growth of the Internet. We are only at the beginning of what optics technology can do, and The Optical Society and its members will continue to be at the forefront of advancing the science of light."

The Optical Society's Centennial Advisory Panel, chaired by Chris Dainty, professorial research associate at Institute of Ophthalomolgy, University College London, have been working with staff and OSA volunteeers to develop a year-long series of programs and products to commemorate 100 years. These include a quarterly booklet series in Optics & Photonics News (OPN), the launch of a Centennial microsite, "Century of Optics" and "OSA 100" books, and celebrations at U.S. and international meetings including FiO, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC), and Latin America Optics & Photonics Conference (LAOP). Other Centennial activities will feature the unveiling of a special exhibit, giveaways, receptions, travel grants, traveling lectures, and much more.

Throughout 2016, The Optical Society will invite visionaries, futurists, Nobel Prize winners and others in the optics and photonics fields to join the "Light the Future Speakers Series." These discussions--open to the public--will be part of several meetings in the United States and across the globe, offering an opportunity to hear directly from those that are paving the way for another century of innovation in light such as one of the world's leading futurists Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google and Trustee of MIT Corporation, and Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York (CUNY), Princeton University and New York University as well as co-creator of string field theory.

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) says it is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications, and accelerate achievements in the science of light.

The Optical Society acknowledges the generosity of our corporate sponsors and media partners: Thorlabs, Corning, Edmund Optics, Go!Foton, Hamamatsu, IDEX, Navitar, OFS, Optimax, RPC Photonics, Synopsys, Toptica, Trumpf, Business Wire, Laser Focus World, and Photonics Media.

SOURCE: The Optical Society;

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