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Great Strides in Optical Fabrication

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2016
Largely unchanged for centuries, optical fabrication is today an evolving and dynamic field with notable advances in molding, surface process optimization and freeform-capable tools.

MARIE FREEBODY, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, marie.freebody@photonics.com

In 2018, a six-and-a-half-meter mirror made up of 18 hexagonal segments will quietly unfurl 1.5 million km from Earth, marking the end of years of intense research and refining of optics fabrication techniques. In the silence of space, the James Webb Space Telescope will turn its giant primary mirror toward deep space, kicking off the start of man’s chance to look further back in history than ever before.

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GLOSSARY
astronomy
The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
metrology
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
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