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  • Lasers Steal the Show
Jan 2010
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2010 – Advances that enable new treatments for cancer, better energy-efficient lighting, more robust communications systems, and other quality-of-life improvements will take center stage this month at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. The event also launches celebrations of the golden anniversary of the laser, one of the most important technologies ever developed, with many impacts in everyday life as well as in scientific research.

SPIE Photonics West, the world's largest international photonics, laser, and biomedical optics event, will run Jan. 23-28 at the Moscone Center. Organizers expect 18,000 people to attend during the week.
The Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The weeklong international symposium will include more than 3600 technical presentations, 2 exhibitions, 60 professional development courses and workshops, and numerous networking events.

Topics will cover biophotonic medical advances, optoelectronics for LEDs, solid-state lighting, optical communications, miniaturization of optics for commercial applications, and the full range of laser technologies, including medical, fiber, solid-state, high-energy, and semiconductor.

More than 1120 exhibiting companies will show at the annual exhibition running Jan. 26-28, a popular venue for new product launches, with approximately 175 scheduled this year. Displays will include all types of lasers and hundreds of devices, components, and systems for imaging, sensing, and industrial applications.

The Biomedical Optics exhibition, Jan. 23-24, is also larger than ever with 175 companies showing innovations and new products for molecular and microscopic imaging, therapeutic lasers and other devices for biomedical optics, nano/biophotonics, biosensors, and spectroscopic analysis. And, thanks to feedback from the industry, the hours for the BiOS exhibition have been extended, and, for the first time, the exhibition will offer a demonstration space for suppliers to present new product technology.

Highlights among Photonics West's many laser celebration events are a "Cirque du Lasaire" welcome reception, an exhibition-hall display of laser equipment from across the technology's 50 years, and multimedia displays showcasing the latest advances in laser R&D. SPIE is celebrating the anniversary of the invention of the first laser, by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Labs in May 1960, through its Advancing the Laser tribute and as a Founding Partner and Sponsor of LaserFest.

Events accessible with free registration to the exhibition include industry expert panels on the solar market, trends and opportunities in optics and photonics, the laser industry, and silicon photonics for optical interconnects.

The top international photonics conferences composing the Photonics West technical program are organized into four symposia: Biomedical Optics (BiOS), Lasers and Applications (LASE), MOEMS-MEMS/Micro- and Nanofabrication (MOEMS-MEMS), and Optoelectronic Materials, Devices, and Applications (OPTO).

Featured talks by leading international researchers will include reports on breast cancer therapy, intravascular OCT, molecular imaging, spectroscopy and microscopy at BiOS hot topics sessions. MOEMS-MEMS plenary talks will discuss artificial retinas, deformable mirrors, and health-care and environmental sensing opportunities for microsystems. Plenary talks at OPTO will focus on nonpolar/semipolar LEDs and other solid-state lighting advances, while the LASE plenary talks will focus on attosecond-Ångstrom science and ultrafast fiber technology.

Among numerous networking and other events is the 2nd Annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. SPIE and Photonics Media will recognize the most innovative products and process at the Prism Awards ceremony and banquet on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel. The winners in nine categories, which were selected by a panel of independent, expert judges, will be announced at the ceremony. There is limited seating, and tickets are required. Dress is business attire. For more information, visit:  

Another highlighted event is the Women in Optics reception. Priscilla W. Laws, a research professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., will host an evening of networking and inspiration during this year’s Photonics West. Her presentation will speak to the importance of educating girls and physics teachers in developing countries, an approach that she believes is an effective strategy for sustainable development.

Laws received her bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, Ore., and her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she studied nuclear physics. After joining the Dickinson faculty in 1965, she began focusing her efforts on the health effects of radiation, which led to the publication of two consumer books on medical x-rays. As a research professor, she works towards promoting ways to use physics research and education to enhance sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The networking reception, which is open to all conference attendees, is a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry while enjoying wine, cheese and refreshments. It will be held Monday, Jan. 25, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel, Golden Gate Room 8.

For more complete event information, visit:

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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