CLEO/QELS 2002 propagates knowledge

This year, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS; May 19-24; Long Beach, CA) will continue to be a strong forum for scientific paper presentations regarding photonics-related breakthroughs and innovations.

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by John Wallace

This year, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS; May 19-24; Long Beach, CA) will continue to be a strong forum for scientific paper presentations regarding photonics-related breakthroughs and innovations. The CLEO/QELS program committees include industry leaders, top researchers, and educators representing a wide array of optics and photonics specialties. Organized by the Optical Society of America, CLEO/QELS is a "can't miss" for those who want to remain well-connected in the field of optoelectronics.

Program highlights
The CLEO/QELS educational programming is driven by its technical program committee, a group of experts that researches and develops the curriculum to address the cutting-edge issues and key areas of interest within the field. The CLEO/QELS technical program will include nearly 1300 submitted peer-reviewed papers. The technical program will further benefit from its invited speakers and tutorial presentations. In the postdeadline paper sessions, new and significant material in rapidly advancing areas will be presented. Only those submissions judged to be compelling in their timeliness are accepted for presentation.

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Manufactured under clean-room conditions, planar lightwave circuits and other optoelectronic components require precise process control. Optical manufacturing and other topics will be covered in the Lasers and Electro-Optics Applications Program held at CLEO/QELS 2002.
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For the short courses, instructors will present more than 50 courses, with session topics covering a broad range of specialties. The program will enable attendees to customize their curricula by selecting courses specific to their interests and information needs. A sampling of the courses includes "Introduction to vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers," by Kent Choquette of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Weng Chow of Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM); "Building a successful photonics start-up," by Judy O'Brien and Bill Nighan of Incubic (Mountain View, CA); "Quantum technologies," by Ian Walmsley of the University of Oxford (Oxford, England); and "Biomedical optical diagnostics and sensing," by Gerard Coté of Texas A&M University (College Station, TX). To view the complete course selection, visit

LEAP sessions
The Lasers and Electro-Optics Applications Program (LEAP) is a free-of-charge series of business and applications panel discussions that will take place right on the exhibit floor and in nearby conference-center classrooms. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers at the conclusion of each session.

Sessions offered in LEAP cover a variety of technical and business-related topics. "Optical components: Designing for manufacturing" will be chaired by Steve Anderson, editor-in-chief of Laser Focus World and Optical Manufacturing. This session will explore all aspects of designing photonics components for manufacturing, from the initial product-design phase, through assembly and packaging, to the strategies that can work in automating the test and measurement of the finished product (see figure).

The session "Next-generation components" will be divided into two parts: Next-generation optical switches, and high-capacity components and systems. Speakers will discuss the opportunities and challenges for next-generation optical switches, and will also address topics regarding high-capacity fiberoptic systems and the critical components required for these systems, with a particular focus on 40-Gbit/s systems and components. In "Future trends in optical communications," speakers will cover trends in optical communications from a variety of perspectives at all levels in the industry, from service providers to component suppliers, as well as industry analysts.

"Business and management topics" will explore topics relating to business strategy, management techniques, start-up issues, and the current business environment of the optics and photonics industry. The session "Intellectual property issues in high-tech business" will cover a range of topics related to the business aspects of intellectual property (IP), including IP fundamentals, the role of IP in a company, how to efficiently manage IP, considerations for formulating an IP strategy, and other essential topics for developing a more sophisticated approach to IP, whether as a start-up company or as a mature business.

In other highlights, hands-on workshops presented by CLEO exhibitors will showcase the latest technological advances and new product launches. A Nobel tribute exhibit will profile 95 individuals who have won the Nobel Prize and held membership in the scientific societies that cosponsor CLEO/QELS. The Launch Pad program will encourage innovative new enterprises; attendees can identify such enterprises by visiting those exhibits with the Launch Pad designation. An employment center will include services such as an online searchable resume bank and job postings, onsite employer exhibits, interview facilities, and online post-event and job-seeker services.

Plenary session
The plenary session will include a talk by Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) on Bose-Einstein condensates as a novel system for atomic physics and for many-body physics, with studies of superfluidity and quantized vortices to be discussed. Steven Korotky of Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) will discuss optical-communication transport and networking: trends, technology challenges, and opportunities. Emphasizing that there is a bright future, he will go over what is needed to meet and manage capacity demand in backbone data and Internet protocol networks, and will delve into low-cost innovative technologies.

Philip Russell of the University of Bath (Bath, England) will cover the burgeoning field of photonic-crystal and holey fibers, in which light is trapped at structural defects in an array of microscopic air channels running along the fiber. The large air-to-glass refractive-index difference and the ability to control its distribution in two dimensions permit greatly enhanced control of the guided modes; applications are emerging in areas of laser science as diverse as frequency metrology, atom guiding, and telecommunications.

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