• Technical Conference:  13 – 18 May 2018
  • Exhibition: 15 – 17 May 2018


Two things you won’t want to miss at CLEO

By James Van Howe | Posted: 9 May 2012

If you haven’t done so already, stop by the OSA booth or IEEE booth in the registration area and pick up your game piece for CLEO:Expo TechPlayground. This was a brilliant idea from the CLEO conference management and the Exhibit Committee.

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Interest in 2.0 micron Light is Growing

By James Van Howe | Posted: 9 May 2012

Today at CLEO I spent a large amount of time at the expo hunting down which companies were selling 2.0 micron wavelength products and why. In the technical program, there are a large number of contributed talks regarding 2.0 micron lasers, pulsed and continuous wave. On Monday I attended session CM1B, Ultrafast Mid-IR in which 5 out of 8 papers demonstrated ultrafast pulses about 2.0 microns. Today there was a session titled CTu2D, 1.5 to 5 micron Lasers which also had 5 talks out of 8 showing laser systems operating near 2.0 microns.

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Nanolasers are the rising stars

By Frank Kuo | Posted: 7 May 2012

If you attend “QM1H • Spasers and Nanoemitters today, you know exactly what I am talking about. Exciting new materials, including metamaterials, quantum wells, and quantum rods, are used for the realizations of the nanolasers. If you missed it (which is quite possible since there are many other outstanding technical sessions packed today), this short article is your second chance. Three examples of nanolasers are presented here (summarized from today’s speakers) to give you a taste of the flavors.

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Enjoy the local attractions while at CLEO: 2012

By Staff | Posted: 6 May 2012

The weather is going to be gorgeous this week in San Jose. So, if you have the opportunity to get out in between technical sessions or in the evening, be sure to take adavantage of some of the great area attractions and restaurants. The city of San Jose is so excited to have you visiting, they have arranged several Show Your Badge discounts specifically for CLEO attendees.

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Highlights from the Program Chairs

By James Van Howe | Posted: 30 March 2012

For a few years now CLEO conference organizers have been posting youtube shorts highlighting contributed talks, symposia, research trends, and any new or unique directions for the upcoming conference. This year there are seventeen videos from the program chairs, all worth watching. However, for those who prefer text over A/V, I thought it might be helpful to highlight the highlights here.

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Recording the data at the “ultrasfast” rate for your digital device.

By Frank Kuo | Posted: 26 March 2012

The principle of magnetic storage used by most hard drives is an important pillar in the evolution of modern digital world. Before the advent of flash memory, it dominated the way we saved our data. Simply speaking, binary information (0 or 1) is presented by small magnets pointing forward (0) or backward (1); let’s say the north is the head. Writing the data is by changing the pointing directions of these magnets, usually fulfilled by an electric coiled wrapped head (by applying the current into the head, you create a strong external magnetic field that realign the directions of the small magnets in the hard drive, one at a time). In addition, packing in as many magnets as possible in a limited volume will define the capacity of a hard drive, and this is improving ever since the first device available. Imaging the first computer I had came with a hard drive of 400 MB, and now a decent one has a few TB storage capacities. By comparing the number, you can realize how much effort and advances in the business of data storage. For a very nice introduction, you can find at hard drive 101: magnetic storage.

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Semiconductor Laser’s Golden Anniversary

By James Van Howe | Posted: 28 February 2012

The year 2012 marks the impressive 50th anniversary of the invention of the prolific and ubiquitous semiconductor laser. Almost every household in the industrialized world owns at least one, be it in a DVD player (maybe two if it is a Blue-ray), CD player, optical mouse or depend on them indirectly for long-distance phone service, digital cable, or internet access. Besides making telecommunications a practical possibility, semiconductor lasers have paved the way for the development of silicon photonics and will be pivotal in the future of optical information storage and processing.

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Optics for Peace of Mind

By James Van Howe | Posted: 25 February 2012

In the last two months, I gained a much larger appreciation for optical technology. Abdominal pain and pressure sent me to a number of doctors’ visits and a handful of endoscopic procedures: an upper-GI endoscopy, a colonoscopy, and a capsule endoscopy (the video camera in a pill). Before these, the most serious medical procedure  I had was a setting of a broken arm from a failed skateboarding trick when I was 11 years old. The stomach pain frightened me. It was deep inside where I couldn’t see it or get at it and it was making daily tasks and living difficult. I was so relieved to be prescribed the first endoscopy and then the followup procedures. It gave me an element of control. The thought repeatedly running through my head before and after these procedures was, “how fortunate I am to live in the time I am in.”  The upper-GI procedure took  less than 15 minutes, was painless, and I found out immediately after that my esophagus and stomach looked healthy. Tests from biopsies less than a week later confirmed this was true. I had similar experiences with the other endoscopies. I was given amazing information about by internal organs in fairly non-invasive short outpatient visits. The figure below shows one of the video frames of my stomach.

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Why a Temporal-Cloak is so Great: Uncovering the Hype

By James Van Howe | Posted: 27 January 2012

At Frontiers in Optics 2011 just this last October, Moti Fridman from Alex Gaeta’s group presented work on a the first experimental demonstration of temporal-cloaking using a time-lens system. The work was based upon a theoretical paper from Martin McCall et al in the February issue of the Journal of Optics, and at the beginning of this month, appeared in an in-depth treatment in the January 5, issue of Nature. Besides the usual barrage of bloggers latching onto science-fictionesque results of new research, time-cloaking was also written up in traditional news media such as the Christian Science Monitor.

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The world’s smallest Stirling engine is powered by laser!

By Frank Kuo | Posted: 9 January 2012

When people mention the word “laser” to you, what is the first thing coming to your mind? Most of us associate lasers to their scary and destructive power, just like how we are educated in the Star Wars movie series. In reality, lasers can be quite gentle and perform very accurate and precise assignments, like micro-machining (Jim has a nice article about it). In fact, laser can be so gentle that researchers have used it to power the world’s smallest Stirling engine, which is composed of single tiny melamine bead (~ 3 um in diameter) in the water bath.

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