Employing novel photonics technology, European scientists are developing a new type of augmented reality (AR) surgical visor to improve accuracy of procedures. The system can display anesthetic and medical data while superimposing a patient’s X-ray over the body, meaning surgeons do not have to look away during an operation. The developers say this approach can [..]

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Nanotechnology

Night vision technology is essential on the modern battlefield but is not without its shortcomings. Conventional night vision goggles (NVGs) have been compared to looking “through toilet paper tubes” on account of their drastically diminished peripheral view. Conventional NGVs rely on a process called cascaded secondary emission. Ambient low-level and near-infrared light are first collected [..]

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Just like in normal road traffic, crossings are indispensable in optical signal processing. In order to avoid collisions, a clear traffic rule is required. A new method has now been developed at TU Wien to provide such a rule for light signals. For this purpose, the two glass fibers were coupled at their intersection point [..]

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In microwave photonics (MWP) devices, the worlds of radio-frequency engineering and optoelectronics are brought together to provide an interface between the highly dissimilar media. Despite its tremendous potential, the widespread use and application of MWP is currently limited by the high-cost, bulky, complex, and power-consuming nature of its systems. Integrated microwave photonics (IMWP) have therefore [..]

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Optical microscopy experts at Colorado State University are once again pushing the envelope of biological imaging. Jeffrey Field, a research scientist in electrical engineering and director of CSU’s Microscope Imaging Network, has designed and built a fluorescence-detection microscope that combines three-dimensional and high-resolution image processing that’s also faster than comparable techniques. Read more

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A contact lens-based system that uses a strategically placed drug polymer film to deliver medication gradually to the eye was shown to be as effective as daily eye drops in a preclinical model for managing glaucoma. In a study supported by a grant from the Boston Children’s Hospital, the effect of the drug-eluting contact lens [..]

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Qualifications

Cardiac arrhythmia — a wildly irregular heartbeat, can kill a person in minutes. Implantable defibrillators can provide lifesaving electrical jolts to the hearts of patients with a known risk of arrhythmia, but these shocks can be painful. Research teams in Germany and the United States have developed a potentially gentler method of stimulating a regular [..]

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Sound Processing

From an engineering perspective, there are several aspects to the relationship between optics and sound. For example, the notation of sound events (i.e., through the musical notation system) offers a graphical representation of sound in terms of quantized frequency along a quantized time axis. In other words, optical characters are used to capture sound and [..]

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MIT researchers and their colleagues are designing an imaging system that can read closed books. In the latest issue of Nature Communications, the researchers describe a prototype of the system, which they tested on a stack of papers, each with one letter printed on it. The system was able to correctly identify the letters on [..]

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Researchers have developed a new laser that makes it possible to measure electron transition energies in small atoms and molecules with unprecedented precision. The instrument will help scientists test one of the bedrock theories of modern physics to new limits, and may help resolve an unexplained discrepancy in measurements of the size of the proton. [..]

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Nanoscale Imaging

The bulky nature of optical components has long hindered their convenient integration into our daily lives. Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, for example, require multiple sets of bulky lenses that must be interchanged depending on the desired imaging parameters. Analogous to the miniaturization of silicon chips that has revolutionized electronic devices over the past few [..]

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Live 3D imaging is one of the hottest topics in optics today, transforming medical imaging capabilities and delivering the immersive experience behind augmented and virtual reality. During The Optical Society’s Light the Future Centennial program in Heidelberg, Germany on 26 July, Dr. Joseph Izatt of Duke University and Microsoft’s Bernard Kress gave an insider’s look [..]

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By combining expertise in photonics – manipulating light beams in nanoscale waveguides on a chip – and materials science, Cornell researchers have laid the groundwork for a chemical sensor on a chip that could be used in small portable devices to analyze samples in a lab, monitor air and water quality in the field and [..]

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Today, patients with cataracts can choose from several types of artificial lenses, which are surgically implanted in the eye to replace cloudy lenses that obstruct vision. A new vision simulator could help these patients see how the world would look with each type of implanted artificial lens, before they have surgery. Read more

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A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston, MA) has developed an optical sensor that can be embedded into an epidural needle, helping anesthesiologists guide the needle to the correct location. The development helps address the complication of needles being inserted too far or [..]

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A research team led by Sushil Kumar of Lehigh University, Penn, USA, has devised an “antenna feedback” scheme that reportedly can provide single-mode operation and strong, highly directional far-field coupling in surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) lasers, bringing them “closer to practical applications” Read more

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While advances in laser technology have driven the unprecedented development of optical coatings, the optical and mechanical properties of coatings must continue to evolve for successful deployment of next-generation high-power, ultrafast, and spaceborne laser systems. Read more

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