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Photonics Spectra
Since 1967, Photonics Spectra magazine has defined the science and industry of photonics, providing both technical and practical information for every aspect of the global industry and promoting an international dialogue among the engineers, scientists and end users who develop, commercialize and buy photonics products. Stay current with a FREE subscription to the digital or print edition.

EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Jun 2017

Catalyst For a Connected World

MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com
If you believe the prognosticators, the Internet of Things (IoT) will fundamentally alter life as we know it in every conceivable way, from smart cities to autonomous cars to precision agriculture.

Mike WheelerThis connected world needs a connected infrastructure. And that’s where photonics comes in. Networks of optical sensors will monitor the quality of our water supply and the air we breathe. They’ll monitor traffic patterns and determine when to dim and brighten street lights, ease traffic jams and keep tabs on the mounting strain on bridges or dams.

In “IoT Unlocks New Markets for Compact Optical Sensors,” (read article), Contributing Editor Marie Freebody helps fill in those details, from revealing how sensors will adjust the heating and cooling in your cubicle, and how the smart refrigerator will keep tabs on when it’s time to buy butter.

If information truly is power, consumers with smartphone-based spectrometers will have one up on their technophobic peers — and be able to quickly assess whether their restaurant meal is gluten-free as advertised or determine the ripeness of strawberries in the produce aisle. Science writer Valerie Coffey’s “Spectroscopy for the Masses” (read article).

As important as good food is to good health, there’s mounting evidence of the role lighting plays in our mood, energy levels and obesity. In “Designing Lighting Systems Tuned to Circadian Rhythms,” (read article), Ute Besenecker of Lighting Science and technology developer Ken Appleman examine how advances in tunable solid-state lighting, coupled with the rise of wearable physiological sensors, have opened the doors to developing highly intelligent lighting systems that deliver the right wavelengths at the right time for maximum circadian benefit.

By the same token, plant health is tied not only to light levels but to soil quality. Nowadays, drones equipped with hyperspectral imagers and spectrometers are able to assess crop and soil health in virtual real time, giving farmers vital information they need to maximize crop yields per acre. Texas A&M’s Seth Murray examines these technologies in “Optical Sensors Advancing Precision in Agricultural Production” (read article).

Elsewhere in the issue:

Reflective objectives are an ideal choice for ultrafast laser machining and FTIR spectroscopy. Don’t miss Edmund Optics’ Stefaan Vandendriessche’s “Demanding Applications Call for Reflective Objectives,” (read article).

Senior Editor Justine Murphy’s “Interweaving Photonics Industry, Research” details what’s in store for the bi-annual “Laser World of Photonics” at the Munich Trade Fair Center later this month (read article).

This month’s special section on microscopy features an article from Coherent — featured online in the Photonics Handbook — that delves into developments in lasers that have allowed clinicians to fully exploit new microscopy techniques. “Lasers for Microscopy: Major Trends” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!
Karen Newman Group Publisher Karen Newman has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
Mike Wheeler Michael D. Wheeler is managing editor of Photonics Spectra and EuroPhotonics. In addition, he is responsible for the editorial direction of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics.
Justine Murphy Senior Editor Justine Murphy is a multiple award-winning journalist who brings more than 15 years of experience to her role at Photonics Media.
Marcia Stamell Associate Managing Editor Marcia Stamell has worked for general interest newspapers, the business press and national magazines as a writer and editor.
 
Hank Hogan Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Valerie Coffey Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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