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Photonics Spectra Preview - August 2023

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Here is your first look at the articles in the upcoming August issue of Photonics Spectra.

The Optics Workforce

Of all the challenges facing the photonics workforce, one of the most enduring is recruiting, training, and retaining qualified technicians to manufacture components. Optical manufacturers in Rochester, NY, which is second only to Boston in the number of U.S. optical instrument and lens manufacturing jobs, developed a model for recruitment that proved so successful that it helped inspire regional industrial workforce development ecosystems around the U.S. Contributing editor James Schlett takes a closer look at what helped Rochester succeed, and how those lessons are helping to bridge skills gaps elsewhere in the U.S. and beyond.

Key Technologies: optical components (lenses, flat optics, aspheres, etc.), manufacturing equipment, CNC machines

Ultrafast Lasers

Once an instrument that only a physics Ph.D.'s could love (or use), ultrashort pulse lasers operating in the pico- and femtosecond domains are becoming more intuitive and robust industrial tools. Contributing editor Marie Freebody explores the current crop of ultrafast lasers and their commercial applications to determine where demand is growing, and what new capabilities are on the horizon for these sources.

Key Technologies: ultrafast (pico- and femtosecond) lasers and laser systems

Quantum Network Testbeds

The quantum internet will not replace the classic internet anytime soon (or ever), but promises of impenetrable security and quantum cloud computing are driving research collaborations among academia and government labs worldwide. Contributing editor Andreas Thoss surveys several quantum internet testbed projects in search of common architectures and challenges to provide readers an early look at how a future quantum internet might look, what it will provide, and what photonic hardware it will be built on.

Key Technologies: single-photon sources and detectors, fiber optic network components

Photonic Fundamentals: Testing Fiber Connectors

Multifiber push-on (MPO) connectors have been around since the 1980s but are increasingly used to connect the fastest links, enable high speed connections, and create network redundancy. Though often described as plug-and-play, the main source of signal loss in these multifiber links is the connector. EXFO’s Nicholas Cole shares best practices for testing MPO connectors to help ensure your optical network is operating reliably and efficiently.

Key Technologies: MPO fiber connectors

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