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Photonics West 2010 Sets Records

Photonics.com
Feb 2010
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2010 — SPIE Photonics West completed its debut at the Moscone Center in San Francisco last week with the final attendance count at 18,327, a record for the event.


The SPIE Photonics West 2010 exhibition helped draw a record 18,327 to attend the event this year. (Photos: SPIE/Copyright ©2009 Bay Area Event Photography)

The new venue was a hit with attendees, and provided welcome room for growth. Both the Photonics West exhibition, with 1142 exhibiting companies, and the BiOS exhibition, with 178, were larger than in past years, said SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Technical and exhibit attendance were up, and attendees said the event provided indicators of strength in the biomedical optics and photonics sectors of the economy. Conference chairs reported seeing high-energy discussions and high-quality presentations in the technical sessions where some 3600 papers were given, and poster receptions were well-attended, with 2200 attendees at the BiOS session. Course attendance was also high in the more than 60 presented on optoelectronics, photonics applications, and professional development.


A memorable party at the "Cirque du Lasaire" welcome reception was enjoyed by 2400 attendees

"I am absolutely impressed by the number of people who are here and the quality of questions people ask when they come to the booth," said Kumar Patel, inventor of the carbon dioxide laser and founder of Pranalytica. "To see this many people out at a trade show or at a conference is so satisfying. I hope that's an indication of how things are going to be in the coming year and sometime thereafter."

Technical highlights included a well-attended BiOS Hot Topics session highlighting new cancer therapies, intravascular diagnostics, imaging techniques, and other advances in biomedical technology. Industry expert panels gave perspectives on photonics markets in silicon photonics, solar, optics, and lasers.


Stilt-walking exotic creatures were just one of the attractions featured during the "Cirque du Lasaire" welcome reception.

Among the well-attended plenary talks were an OPTO symposium talk before a packed hall by LED pioneer Shuji Nakamura (University of California, Santa Barbara) on recent developments in blue and green laser diodes; a LASE talk by Andreas Tünnermann (Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena and Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering) on prospects for ultrafast lasers for manufacturing and other technologies; and a talk by Wilfried Mokwa (RWTH Aachen University) on use of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technologies in the development of artificial retinas to restore vision.

Among presenters of several best-paper awards was Charles Townes, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 for his work on the optical maser.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hosted a tour for approximately 120 Photonics West attendees on the final day of the event. The NIF is the world's largest laser system, with 192 laser beams housed in a 10-story building. Experiments aimed at achieving ignition creating an energy gain envisioned as a future energy source are expected to begin later this year.

Laser anniversary

The laser was celebrated on its golden anniversary throughout the week. In the Photonics West exhibition hall, an extensive display of vintage laser gear included an original laser made by Theodore Maiman, inventor of the first laser, and nearly 100 other pieces. Tribute videos and photographs inside and at the entrance to the exhibition hall showcased laser legends and luminaries.


The most innovative products of 2009 were honored during a gala evening co-sponsored by SPIE and Laurin Publishing.

A memorable party at the "Cirque du Lasaire" welcome reception was enjoyed by 2400 attendees who were entertained by a laser light show, laser magic, acrobats, and videos showcasing lasers in popular culture as well as technology applications.

Winners of the 2009 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, co-sponsored by SPIE and Laurin Publishing, were named at a mid-week banquet. A complete list of the winners and the innovations can be viewed here.

More Photonics West 2010 coverage

Visit our Photonics West 2010 photo gallery




GLOSSARY
fusion
1. The combination of the effects of two or more stimuli in any given sense to form a single sensation. With respect to vision, the perception of continuous illumination formed by the rapid successive presentation of light flashes at a specified rate. 2. The transition of matter from solid to liquid form. 3. With respect to atomic or nuclear fusion, the combination of atomic nuclei, under extreme heat, to form a heavier nucleus.
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
photonics
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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