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Remembering a Giant

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Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, [email protected]

Dr. Charles Hard Townes died Jan. 27 at age 99, and in the weeks since, he has been remembered for his many contributions to physics, to the birth of the laser and for pioneering its use in astronomy.

Townes won the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics for inventing the maser, sharing the prize with Alexander M. Prokhorov and Nikolay G. Basov, who also had independently developed a maser.

On page 23 of this issue, we have shared a lovely remembrance of Charles Townes from SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs, about a 2004 meeting on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation. You can read our full news report at

In our cover story, “Lasers and Machine Vision Improve Pharma Manufacturing,” author David Benderly, of Photoscribe Technologies, explains how the functionality, security and speed of pill manufacturing are being revolutionized by lasers and machine vision. The feature starts on page 34.

Also in this issue:
   •  “Electro-Optical Modulators Empower Lasers for Science Applications,” by science writer Barbara Stumpp, beginning on page 38;

   •  “Spectroscopy: Going Small to Get the Whole Picture,” by contributing editor Hank Hogan, beginning on page 43;

   •   “Lasers Go to the Movies,” by Walter Burgess and Kris Hesson, Power Technology Inc., beginning on page 46;

   •  “Peering into the Nanoworld with Optical Microscopy,” by contributing editor Marie Freebody, beginning on page 50; and,

   •   “LED-Based Sun-Simulator Design: Technical and Commercial Considerations,” by Ken Reynolds, ProPhotonix, beginning on page 54.

Also inside, beginning on page 18, we reveal the winners of the 2015 Prism Awardsfor Photonics Innovation, an event we proudly present with SPIE.

Enjoy the issue.

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2015
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.
EditorialastronomyKaren A. NewmanDr. Charles Hard Townesphysicsoptical microscopyspectroscopyelectro-optical modulatorsMarie FreebodyPrism AwardsSPIECharles Hard TownesCharles H. Towneshistory of laserhistory of maserEugene ArthursDavid BenderlyPhotoScribe Technologiespill manufacturingpharma manufacturing2015 Prism AwardsMassachusettsKaren A. Newman

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