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Summertime

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During the long days of summer, one of my favorite things to do is lie in bed and wait for daylight to arrive. Crickets fade out, the grove of pines in my backyard transforms from saw-toothed silhouettes into trees, and I listen to the robins compete with the cardinals.

During the long days of summer, an announcement appeared in my daily news feed from the University of Glasgow stating researchers there had captured visual evidence of quantum entanglement, photographed for the first time. The image circulated across a variety of media outlets and was shared thousands of times, with dozens of commenters weighing in, some agreeing and some disagreeing with the evidence.

During the long days of summer, I stumbled across a trippy book: Time Travel by James Gleick. In it, he considers arguments that poets and philosophers — Emily Dickinson, Jorge Luis Borges, T.S. Eliot, H.G. Wells — have had with time. He tells how Henri Bergson cautioned against confusing measurement, of either time or space, with reality. Gleick dusts off more arguments, some between Bergson and Einstein (which Einstein won), and discusses the mathematicians and physicists who named and debated the arrow-of-time dilemma. Time always moves forward, or does it?

And here it is that I find, during the long days of summer, that the much-debated and oft-discussed gap between the macroscopic, sensory, forward-facing world of Earth-time and the microscopic world of quantum mechanics and symmetrical time are peacefully coexisting in the August issue of Photonics Spectra. Not permanently, not mathematically reconciled with Bell’s theorem, just allowed to sit side by side, proving in its own way that simultaneity is indeed relative.

To linger in Earth-time, recognize the current and past winners of the Teddi C. Laurin scholarship, along with the accomplishments of Georgia Hutchinson, a 13-year-old student who won a $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize. The arrow of time points in a promising direction for these five young scientists.

Or drop into the quantum world and read about Andrea Blanco-Redondo’s researchin quantum topology — a field bursting with opportunities for photonics. Then, take a look at how a collaboration between Chromacity and the University of Glasgow opens a discussion on the need for standards in the quantum marketplace.

If you’d prefer not to take sides, you can read articles on the topics of nanophotonics and data centers by Hank Hogan, optical materials for aerospace by Kurt Schmid and his team at GTAT, biosensors by Farooq Ahmed, and lasers for space by Adam Erlich of Sheaumann Laser.

Here’s to the long days of summer,


Photonics Spectra
Aug 2019
Editorial

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