The Photonics Lifestyle

April 1, 2012
Education and fashion are two sometimes related topics of interest to the general public and—as we show in this issue—the photonics community.
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Education and fashion are two sometimes related topics of interest to the general public and—as we show in this issue—the photonics community. Senior editor Gail Overton writes in our cover story that an education in photonics brings many career opportunities and financial rewards to students of all sorts, not to mention the intellectual pleasure that comes with working in a fascinating and dynamic field that benefits society. This is a subject area we are covering with increasing attention and resources on our OptoIQ.com web site.

Opinions may differ as to the educational value of haute couture and designer labels, but as Kunigunde Cherenack and fellow scientists at Philips Research illustrate in another feature, smart photonic textiles have arrived and are ready for creative use. Based on organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), such wearable photonics add new functionalities and the potential for aesthetic flair.

These two topics will be among many that attract the photonics community to the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in San Jose, CA, May 6–11. Sponsored by the Optical Society of America, APS/Division of Laser Science, and IEEE Photonics Society, CLEO 2012 plays a significant role in educating all participants in scientific and commercial developments. On the commercial side, CLEO and Laser Focus World will be presenting the Innovation Awards during the Plenary & Award session on May 8.

Many of the topics presented at CLEO also appear in this issue, starting with two articles by contributing editor Jeff Hecht: a state-of-the-art report on fiber lasers and a feature on room-temperature IR imaging. Other subjects include a technique for combining holography with optical coherence tomography (OCT), speckle interferometry for detecting position at high speed, and high-speed electronics that have been built into microstructured optical fiber.

I hope you enjoy reading this month's mix of photonics technologies, educational initiatives, and textile advances.

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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