The leading edge
Since its founding in 1958, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has sponsored photonics research, from fundamental science to laser weapons.
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.
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.
W. Conard Holton
Editor in Chief