IPG Photonics Corp., an Oxford, Mass., maker of high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers, recently contributed funding and equipment to the IPG Photonics Laboratory at Worcester Polytechnic Institue (WPI), in Worcester. The lab was established in 2001 with support from IPG. Richard Quimby, associate professor of physics at WPI and director of the laboratory, said funding helped WPI assemble a facility "that has significantly augmented our ability to offer students outstanding preparation for careers in photonics -- a field that is playing an ever more important role in all aspects of information technology, telecommunications, medicine, environmental science and many other disciplines. With this new equipment, we will also be able to expand research programs that will aid in the development of new materials that may open the door to exciting new applications for photonics." The gift includes a tunable erbium fiber laser, o produce light at wavelengths commonly used in telecommunications applications; an erbium-doped fiber amplifier, which amplifies laser light after it has traveled long distances through fiber-optic cables; a broadband superluminescent light source, for use in lab experiments demonstrating the properties of light as it travels through photonics devices; and a high-power ytterbium laser, which WPI researchers will use to study the photonic properties of novel materials developed by industry partners.