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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.

Latest Issue
Jan 2019

The speed of imagination

I’ve been going to the same grocery store for years and as often as I can, I queue up in Saleem’s line. Saleem is a cashier. He wears a star sapphire ring, has a tiny gold cross pinned to his red uniform shirt, and — although he has lived in the U.S. for several decades — speaks with a heavy accent.

I like Saleem for a lot of reasons. He has watched my daughter grow up over 15 years, and (despite standing all day doing repetitive work) he’s always cheerful and conversational. But mostly I like him because I learn from him; he is a dispenser of wisdom.

One time, he said: “I see you have a papaya here. Don’t ever put pepper on papaya and serve it to a pregnant woman. It is not good for her. Not at all.” On a freezing April morning, I was buying daffodils and he gently wrapped them in a plastic bag. “Be careful and cover them,” he said. “They are fragile. Just like us.”

Last week, Saleem asked where I was working, and I told him about Photonics Spectra. He lit up right away and said, “Ah, yes. Einstein had a theory that said light travels 186,000 miles per second. But you know, compared to the speed of the human imagination, that is nothing!”

The speed, art, and science of imagination are manifest here throughout — (link), in the fantastic convergence of new and emerging optical materials, written about by Valerie C. Coffey.

Chris Doerr of Acacia Communications looks at how, with silicon photonics, previously unattainable data speeds of 1 Tb/s may soon become a reality. (link)

Diana Poullos of Spectra-Physics discusses, (link), how quantum successes of the future will be supported by photonics technologies. Faiz Rahman, (link), reveals the subtle yet steady momentum of green LEDs, in application.

Spectroscopy continues to make inroads in the portable market (link). And before much longer, ultrafast lasers with tailored pulse rates (link) will be introduced.

The speed of imagination, indeed.

With warm regards,

Mike Wheeler
An accomplished journalist and editor, Michael Wheeler oversees Photonic Media's editorial operations, spanning print, online, and video. He also serves as editor of Vision Spectra, chronicling advances in the rapidly expanding machine vision/inspection sector.
Chris Bergonzi
Managing Editor Chris Bergonzi has more than 35 years of experience editing, managing, and writing for consumer publications and peer-reviewed journals covering business, management, technology, and science.
Susan Petrie
Susan Petrie is Senior Editor of Photonics Spectra and has two decades of experience with print and digital publications. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Bennington College.
Justine Murphy
Senior Editor Justine Murphy is an award-winning journalist with 20 years of experience in newspaper and magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. She is editor of EuroPhotonics and BioPhotonics and produces industry-focused podcasts.
Robin Riley
Multimedia/Web Editor Robin Riley has 30+ years of experience in communications and marketing for a range of technical industries. She is a regular contributor to web content and social media, and organizes and produces custom and editorial webinars.
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.
Hank Hogan
Contributing Editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody
Contributing Editor Marie Freebody is a freelance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Farooq Ahmed
Farooq Ahmed has covered the physical and biological sciences for over a decade. He has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Columbia University.
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