'...a publication unlike any now in existence'

Such was the founding editor's vision of Laser Focus at its inception in -January 1965.

Such was the founding editor’s vision of Laser Focus at its inception in ­January 1965. Editor Bill Bushor also said that this new publication had to be “well-based technically, yet not as incomprehensible as many society publications are to those readers who need to know about laser development, but who are not specialists in the field. It has to [cover] a wide variety of subjects-such as biomedicine, metalworking, photography, communications, radar, and the like-with which lasers have become associated . . .”

Fast-forward 40 years and take a close look at today’s magazine. I wonder if Bushor had any inkling of how wide the variety of subjects covered by what’s now called Laser Focus World would become? Our reporting of “laser ­developments” has evolved into comprehensive coverage of the entire field of photonics-a field with global ­revenues in excess of $140 billion in 2003, according to the OIDA (www.oida.org), of which lasers actually now represent only about 5%; and a field that’s become just as firmly rooted in the world of the consumer as it is in the world of the research laboratory (see p. 83).

Who would have guessed back then that the laser-read barcode would become as ubiquitous as the first item scanned by a commercial barcode scanner in 1974 (a pack of chewing gum), or that lasers would become as vital to our home entertainment systems as the artists who create the music? In fact there have been so many interesting applications covered by Laser Focus World over the last forty years that our editors will highlight a couple every month of 2005 in a new column, “40 Years: Then and Now,” which starts on page 65.

And as the world of optoelectronics has grown, so too has Laser Focus World. What started as a newsletter has spawned an industry Buyers Guide, a Web site, eNewsletters, and several successful magazines. But we ­remain, I believe, true to Bushor’s original vision: a publication unlike any now in ­existence-and not incidentally, the leader in its field. And of course our loyal readers are crucial to our success-so thanks for your continued support.

Stephen G. Anderson
Associate Publisher/Editor in Chief
[email protected]

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