Posted by Christina Folz, OPN Managing Editor
Right next to my desk stands a 5-foot-tall file cabinet that contains every issue ever published of Optics & Photonics News and its precursor Optics News. With 32 years of history at my fingertips, I often can’t resist the temptation to peruse the archives in my spare moments.
A few weeks ago, I came across the results of an optics limerick contest that ran in the magazine back in 1977. I was so delighted by the winning limericks that I thought I’d share them with OPN’s current readers. I intend to organize a similar contest for an upcoming issue. So feel free to send your own compositions to me at email@example.com, or post them on this blog. I’ll be collecting them over the next several months to publish in an early 2008 edition. Enjoy! (Note about the first-prize limerick: Peter Franken was the OSA president at the time of the contest, so that is why the poet chose to skewer him in his verse.)
“With impotence I had been troubled,”
An optician confessed, and then bubbled:
“An’ sure and I’m thankin’
That man Peter Franken
For having my frequency doubled!”
—J.D. Macomber, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Though a Michelson Interferometer,
Equipped with a Golay bolometer,
Could measure the heat
In grilled hamburger meat,
It will never replace the thermometer.
—F.F. Hall, Boulder, Colo.
In science, I said almost gaily,
New discoveries are made nearly daily;
But in optics it’s true
There is nothing new,
‘Twas all done before by Lord Rayleigh.
—P. Nisenson, Lexington, Mass.
Sir Isaac was one of those kings
Of optics and other bright things;
But when he took a shower,
He’d scrub for an hour
On his tub to avoid Newton’s Rings.
—D.A. Richards, Rochester, N.Y.
There were four more honorable mention limericks published in the Winter 1977 Optics News—but I’ll save those for another day!
2007-10 October, Miscellaneous Optics, OSA