By Patricia Daukantas
Once again, it’s time for CLEO/QELS and PhAST. These three conferences, taking place this week in California’s Silicon Valley, are just a few miles from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the site of the National Ignition Facility, where the world’s largest laser system is being built.
NIF is just one of the big, cool new projects highlighted at the 2008 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and Quantum Electronics and Laser Science. Plenary speaker David Reitze of the University of Florida, who is featured in the current issue of OPN, awed the audience with a description of gravitational waves and the amazing precision that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) needs to detect such waves.
Several representatives from the solar and solid-state lighting industries treated the CLEO/QELS media contingent to an exclusive discussion of new technologies for energy efficiency. Environmentally friendly technology is here to stay, according to Scott Clavenna, president and CEO of Greentech Media, because governments worldwide have accepted climate change as a fact and businesses and consumers are demanding green solutions. Fossil fuel prices will remain highly volatile for the foreseeable future and may eventually be subject to a carbon tax. Optoelectronics intersects with green technology in a number of areas, from closed-loop energy-control systems to solid-state lighting modules and telecom applications.
Richard Sandberg of JILA and the University of Colorado at Boulder (USA) has been chosen the winner of the annual OSA-New Focus/Bookham Student Award, which recognizes excellence in research by students. Sandberg used curvature correction and high-numerical-aperture imaging to demonstrate a soft-x-ray diffraction microscope with near-diffraction-limited resolution of 70 to 90 nm. Sandberg received the top prize of $5,000, while six other finalists from universities in the United States and United Kingdom garnered $1,500 each.
Coherent Inc. won this year’s PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award for its optically pumped semiconductor laser technology, which has improved the treatment of one type of age-related macular degeneration. The 2008 Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies conference had a large number of tracks on organic and inorganic LEDs, high-power lasers and solar-power technology.
We’ve got other technical highlights from CLEO/QELS and PhAST on the Web, and Susan Curtis of Optics.org has been blogging about the conferences.
Plenary speaker David Reitze of the University of Florida.
2008-05 May, CLEO/QELS, Energy, Lasers, CLEO