SPIE Optics and Photonics draws sustainable technology, optics/photonics experts

August 12, 2008--A packed all-conference plenary audience heard how "brain sport" is advancing solar-energy technology, as SPIE (Bellingham, WA) Optics and Photonics 2008 rolled through its first day in the San Diego Convention Center and Marriott Hotel and Marina.

Aug 12th, 2008

August 12, 2008--A packed all-conference plenary audience heard how "brain sport" is advancing solar-energy technology, as SPIE (Bellingham, WA) Optics and Photonics 2008 rolled through its first day in the San Diego Convention Center and Marriott Hotel and Marina.

Sunday evening plenary speaker Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Solar Decathlon, characterized the program as not the Olympics, but "brain sport." Every two years, 20 university teams from around the world compete in the building of zero-energy prototype homes temporarily installed on the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC. Houses are evaluated for architecture, engineering, market viability, comfort, and six other criteria. Teams are given $100,000 each by the DoE to start and then raise additional money on their own. In 2007, an estimated 120,000 people viewed the houses during the 21 days they were on the Mall, which included construction and dismantling.

King spoke on the first day of the five-day SPIE Optics and Photonics symposium, which includes some 2,800 technical conference presentations, an exhibit starting tomorrow showcasing 280 companies, and special events such as Plenary talks on commercializing photovoltaics, the market for solid-state lighting in developing counties, using remote sensing to detect and track fires and their effects on air quality, and other topics. The conference also includes science writer Elizabeth Wertheim speaking on "Who is Science Writing for?," an international panel of scientists on "Life in the Cosmos", an award-winning experimental solar car, and a researchers' lessons-learned presentation titled "Optical Believe It or Not."

For more information on Optics + Photonics, visit SPIE at spie.org.

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