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A Grand Start

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Karen A. Newman, [email protected]

From the International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015) Opening Ceremonies in Paris in January to the Prism Awards in February in San Francisco, plus all the light-focused events taking place around the world, the year has gotten off to a grand and celebratory start.

Along with the IYL2015 Opening Ceremonies, which you can read about beginning on page 10, the gathering also observed the Einstein Centenary, recognizing the 100th anniversary of his Theory of General Relativity, defining light’s place in space and time. Also celebrated was the 1000th anniversary of Ibn al-Haytham’s seven-volume book on optics. You can read more about Einstein and Ibn al-Haytham on the IYL2015 website,

We congratulate the 2015 Prism Awards winners from Europe: Printoptical Technology by LUXeXceL of Kruiningen, Netherlands; RISE Microscopy by WITec of Ulm, Germany, and Tescan Orsay, of the Czech Republic; and WhiteLase SC400-20 by Fianium of Southampton, England. You can read more about the Prism Awards beginning on page 12.

In our cover story, contributing editor Marie Freebody focuses on the range of materials now being micromachined by the versatile femtosecond laser. On materials ranging from glass and ceramics to biological tissue, these lasers precisely deliver energy while causing minimal collateral damage in applications as diverse as industrial microstructuring and ophthalmology. Read the article beginning on page 26.

Also in this issue:

Lasers, Optics Enhance Optogenetics Studies,” by Niten Olofsson, Iakovos Lazaridis, Konstantinos Meletis and Marie Carlén, Karolinska Institutet, and Ulf Tingström and Håkan Karlsson, Cobolt SE, beginning on page 32; and“Photonics Advances in the ‘Land of Ideas,’ ” by editor Justine Murphy, beginning on page 38.

Enjoy the issue. As always, I invite you to contact me at [email protected] And please remember to share your story of light with the world. For a look at more celebrations and observations for IYL2015, please visit our IYL calendar on page 8 of this issue.

Mar 2015
EditorialPrismsopticslasersAmericasEuropeAsia-PacificIYL2105International Year of LightPrism AwardsEinstein Centenarytheory of general relativityIbn al-HaythamLuxeExcelWITecTescan OrsayFianiumfemtosecond lasersoptogenetics studiesKaren A. Newman

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