Adding another dimension

May 1, 2004
True real-time three-dimensional (3-D) imaging has been the province of science fiction for many years and it will likely be many more years before we are watching 3-D TV in our living rooms.

True real-time three-dimensional (3-D) imaging has been the province of science fiction for many years and it will likely be many more years before we are watching 3-D TV in our living rooms. Nonetheless, the added value of holographic displays in terms of information visualization is such that significant development effort is being directed to their realization by researchers (see p. 111). Meanwhile, using computers to generate "3-D" representational displays is an important alternative for "seeing" information with multiple dimensions, such as that produced by hyperspectral imaging and by the lidar systems currently monitoring Earth (see p. 154). Holography has also played an important role in nondestructive evaluation (NDE). Originating in the late 1960s, holographic inspection techniques are gaining acceptance in a number of NDE applications thanks to the advent of high-speed digital processing and CCD arrays (see p. 137).

New materials emerge continually from the world's research labs and while many fall by the wayside, the unique properties of others enable new applications and opportunities. Hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber, for instance, guides light through air instead of glass and may ultimately perform better than conventional fiber in some arenas (see p. 161). In another example—thanks to the advances in laser machining of silicon—changing the material design of photovoltaic cells can significantly increase their efficiency (see p. 150).

Seeking an associate editor . . .

If you are interested in advanced technologies and have a background in science journalism with a degree either in physics, chemistry, or electronic engineering we would like to hear from you. A position is available on our editorial staff for an associate technical editor based in Nashua, NH. In addition to writing news about photonics and optoelectronics technologies and their applications, the position will also involve soliciting and editing contributed manuscripts and travel to industry conferences. For more information, e-mail your resume referencing this opening to [email protected].

About the Author

Stephen G. Anderson | Director, Industry Development - SPIE

 Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.    

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