The leading edge

Sept. 1, 2011
Since its founding in 1958, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has sponsored photonics research, from fundamental science to laser weapons.
Conard Holton2 5f3bf0b074f60

Since its founding in 1958, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has sponsored photonics research, from fundamental science to laser weapons. It continues this tradition today with a multitude of projects that include compact high-energy lasers, real-time 3D holographic displays, and novel beam-steering systems (see page 41). The point for DARPA is always to explore the cutting edge in the hopes of developing major breakthroughs in technology. This is the spirit that you will find frequently reflected in Laser Focus World—for example, our cover story on researchers’ progress toward a practical 500 Gbyte CD-sized disc based on holographic technology (see page 13) or developments in semiconductor UV lasers and LEDs (see page 52). The means for presenting this information vary widely, from the pages of the magazine, to our newly redesigned web site, our webcasts (both leading edge and tutorial), e-newsletters on numerous topics, and conferences such as the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held during Photonics West in January.

Onward

With this issue, I have assumed the role of editor in chief of Laser Focus World. I do so with a deep respect for the fact that Laser Focus World has a 47-year history as an important resource for the global photonics community. I first joined Laser Focus World in 1997, and since that time have had the privilege of working with several outstanding leaders, including Steve Anderson, Heather Messenger, and Jeffrey Bairstow, who currently contributes the In My View column of the magazine (see page 76). Together with senior editors Gail Overton and John Wallace, contributing editor Jeff Hecht, managing editor Carrie Meadows, and associate editor Lee Mather, we look forward to continuing our work with the photonics community and to exploring new avenues of communication.

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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