Tag Archives: light

International Day of Light

The International Day of Light recognizes the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. We acknowledge this day in history in an effort to improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies touch our daily lives beyond scientific applications, including aspects of art, culture, entertainment. Our publications explore these technologies and highlight their importance to the future development of our global society.

Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation

Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a plethora of medical diagnostics tools. …


Controlling the Quantum World: The Science of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons

As part of the Physics 2010 decadal survey project, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation requested that the National Research Council assess the opportunities, over roughly the next decade, in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science and technology. In particular, …


Assessment of Solid-State Lighting, Phase Two

The standard incandescent light bulb, which still works mainly as Thomas Edison invented it, converts more than 90% of the consumed electricity into heat. Given the availability of newer lighting technologies that convert a greater percentage of electricity into useful light, there is potential …


Seeing Photons: Progress and Limits of Visible and Infrared Sensor Arrays

The Department of Defense recently highlighted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities as a top priority for U.S. warfighters. Contributions provided by ISR assets in the operational theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan have been widely documented in press reporting. While …


Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers: Reaching for the Brightest Light

The laser has revolutionized many areas of science and society, providing bright and versatile light sources that transform the ways we investigate science and enables trillions of dollars of commerce. Now a second laser revolution is underway with pulsed petawatt-class lasers (1 petawatt: 1 …