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The Photonics Spotlight

The Photonics Spotlight – associated with the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology – is a “blog” (web log) with the purpose of highlighting interesting news and useful information in the area of photonics, particularly laser technology and applications. The content can be related to particularly interesting scientific papers or to other forms of publications, reporting for example cute new techniques, special achievements, or useful hints.

Note that the Spotlight articles (as well as those of the Encyclopedia) are citable. Permanent links are given for each article.

This blog is operated by of RP Photonics Consulting. Comments and suggestions are welcome. The news items are definitely not available for advertising, but advertisers can order banners on the right column of this page.

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And here are the articles:

2016-05-12: Measurement of Absorption Spectra of Active Fibers: Not as Easy as One Might Think!

2016-04-04: Photographs, Drawings and Videos for the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2016-02-26: New Encyclopedia Articles

2016-01-27: Finding Suppliers for Photonics Products

2015-11-28: How to Store Light – and to Understand the Laser Principle

2015-10-17: The Linewidth of Single-frequency Lasers

2015-09-24: Q-switched Lasers: Nd:YVO4 Better Suited than Nd:YAG for High Pulse Repetition Rates

2015-08-08: Gain Saturation with Pulses

2015-07-01: Self-phase Modulation Causes Spectral Broadening – Does it Really?

2015-05-14: Alignment Sensitivity of Laser Resonators – an Important Design Criterion

2015-04-10: The Enormous Popularity of the RP Photonics Website

2015-03-11: Strange Time Dependence of ASE from a Fiber Amplifier

2015-02-05: Attenuating Laser Beams – not That Easy

2015-01-09: New Tutorial: Modeling of Fiber Amplifiers and Lasers

2014-12-17: How PhD Students Should Get Supported by Supervisors

2014-11-14: Correctly Designing Frequency Conversion Stages: Not Easy, but Worthwhile!

2014-10-03: Fiber Optics Tutorials

2014-07-28: How to Define the Mode Radius of a Fiber?

2014-06-27: Shortages of Rare Earth Materials – a Problem for Photonics?

2014-05-16: 10-Year Anniversary of RP Photonics

2014-04-02: Lower Emission Cross-section Leads to Higher Pulse Energy?!?

2014-01-17: Mediation in Disputes on Laser Technology

2013-12-13: Avoiding Trouble with Laser Specifications

2013-11-12: Beam Quality Limit for Multimode Fibers

2013-09-24: Simulation of a Q-switched Nd:YAG Laser:
Numerical Beam Propagation Reveals What Happens, Analytical Reasoning Explains It

2013-08-26: Frequency Doubling and the Reverse Process

2013-07-08: Amplified Spontaneous Emission in Fiber Amplifiers

2013-06-13: Two New Photonics Newsletters

2012-08-06: The New RP Photonics Buyer's Guide

2012-03-12: New Raman Lasers

2012-03-03: Conflicting Definitions of s and p Polarization

2012-02-03: Simulation Software: Use Commercial Products or Home-Made Software?

2011-12-23: Kerr-lens Mode-locked Thin-disk Laser

2011-06-10: Are Compact Resonators More Stable?

2011-05-28: Explanation for the Mode Instability in High-power Fiber Amplifiers with Few-mode Fibers

2011-03-13: What if Solid-State Laser Transitions Would Be Much Stronger?

2011-02-10: Fiber Lasers: More Difficult to Design than Bulk Lasers

2011-01-05: Femtosecond Fiber Amplifiers: Unlimited Peak Power?

2010-09-02: Why LEDs are Energy-efficient, and Why They Could Well Increase Energy Consumption

2010-07-27: Special SESAMs for Mode-locked High-power Lasers?

2010-07-12: Laser Development: Get an Expert Early on!

2010-06-09: Poor Man's Isolator

2010-05-14: Plagiarism, Exploiting the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2010-04-26: Resolution and Accuracy of Measurements

2010-04-16: Why Large Mode Area Waveguides Do Not Work for Laser Diodes

2010-04-08: Creating a Top-hat Laser Beam Focus

2010-03-22: All-in-one Concepts versus Modular Concepts

2010-03-15: Spatial Walk-off and Beam Quality in Nonlinear Frequency Conversion

2010-03-09: Nonlinearities in Fiber Amplifier Modeling

2010-03-03: Thresholds for Nonlinear Effects in Fiber Amplifiers

2010-02-26: New Scientific Paper: Timing Jitter and Phase Noise of Mode-locked Fiber Lasers

2010-02-06: Scientific Conferences and Publications: Emphasize Device Performance or Insight?

2010-01-29: Far From Maturity: The Photonics Industry

2010-01-22: Pumping Fiber Lasers with Fiber Lasers

2010-01-11: Beams of Laser Pointers: Visible in Air?

2009-12-31: Tilt Tuning of Etalons

2009-12-13: Johnson–Nyquist Noise in Photodiode Circuits

2009-12-08: Increased Output Power of a Laser with Forced Tuning

2009-11-22: The Beam Focus – Not Just a Demagnified Version of Your Beam

2009-11-18: Articles and a Quiz on Photonics Issues

2009-11-13: Photodetection: Optical and Electrical Powers

2009-11-03: Coherent Light from a Bulb?

2009-10-19: Risk Factors for Science Fraud and the Scientist's Responsibility

2009-10-12: Cold Light from the Hottest Bodies and from Cool Devices

2009-10-08: Nobel Prize for Charles K. Kao for Pioneering Work on Optical Fibers

2009-10-03: Peak Intensity of Gaussian Beam

2009-09-27: Lasers with Short Upper-state Lifetime

2009-09-19: Are Laser Resonators Power Scalable?

2009-09-07: Anniversary: 5 Years of the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2009-09-01: Fresnel Reflections from Double Interfaces

2009-08-22: Jitter and Phase Noise of Mode-locked Fiber Lasers

2009-08-14: Progress on Green Laser Diodes

2009-08-12: What is an Optical Transistor?

2009-07-29: No Beat Note for Orthogonal Modes

2009-07-23: Submit Photographs for the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2009-07-21: Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Measurement Bandwidth

2009-07-09: Gain-guiding Index-antiguiding Fibers

2009-06-29: Doing Things Properly: It's the Economy, Stupid!

2009-06-23: Coherence – a Black-or-White Issue?

2009-06-08: Prizes of the European Physical Society

2009-06-02: 5 Years of RP Photonics Consulting

2009-05-22: Interference Effects with Imbalanced Intensity Levels

2009-05-13: The Minimum Time–Bandwidth Product

2009-04-28: SPIE Field Guides

2009-04-19: Last Chance to Get the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology Cheaper

2009-04-17: Miniature Laser Projectors – The Next Big Laser Thing?

2009-04-06: Laser Pointers in Soccer Games: Not Necessarily Harmless

2009-04-05: Stability of Resonators – an Ambiguous Term

2009-03-19: Scientific Progress: not as Straight a Process as it Seems

2009-03-07: Complicated Pulse Shapes from Q-switched Fiber Lasers

2009-03-02: User Interfaces for Simulation Software

2009-02-13: Laser Beam Deflections: The Angle–Diameter Product

2009-01-12: Chaotic Lasing Generates Random Numbers

2009-01-05: Extremely Long Mode-locked Fiber Laser

2008-12-16: Why Fiber Amplifiers, not Fiber Lasers?

2008-11-25: The Gouy Phase Shift Speeds up Light

2008-11-08: Validating Numerical Simulation Software

2008-10-20: Rate Equations – An Example for Stiff Sets of Differential Equations

2008-10-03: Wavelength-Tunable Lasers: Does the Tuner Degrade the Power Efficiency?

2008-09-24: Decoupling Pulse Duration and Pulse Energy

2008-09-10: Unpolarized Single-Frequency Output

2008-08-28: Photographs for the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2008-08-15: Print Version of the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2008-07-26: Beat Signals with Zero Linewidth

2008-07-13: The Simplified History of the Michelson–Morley Experiment

2008-07-02: Stronger Focusing Avoids SESAM Damage

2008-06-20: All-in-One Ultrafast Laser Systems

2008-06-13: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the Transform Limit

2008-06-06: Fiber Lasers Which Are No Fiber Lasers

2008-05-25: Einstein and the Laser

2008-05-13: Easier Self-Starting Passive Mode Locking for Short Lasers

2008-05-05: Length of a Photon

2008-04-28: Different Kinds of Polarization

2008-04-22: Abused Photonics Terms: Coherence

2008-04-15: Abused Photonics Terms: Modes

2008-04-02: Solitons: Lower Dispersion, Stronger Dispersive Effects!

2008-03-26: Mode-Locked Lasers: Lower Average Powers in Shorter Pulses

2008-03-17: Ultrafast Fiber Lasers: Re-Inventing Mode Locking

2008-03-10: Automatic Phase Matching

2008-03-04: What is a “High” Laser Beam Quality?

2008-02-22: Launching Light from a Bulb into a Single-Mode Fiber

2008-02-14: How Laser Development Can Go Wrong

2008-02-12: Factor 2 in the Equation for Cross-Phase Modulation

2008-02-03: Quantifying the Chirp of Ultrashort Pulses

2008-01-27: Beam Quality in Second-Harmonic Generation

2008-01-14: Frequency Doubling: Long Pulses Cause Trouble

2008-01-06: Saturation Intensity or Saturation Fluence of a Saturable Absorber or a Laser Gain Medium: What Matters?

2007-12-18: The Role of Laser Safety Goggles

2007-12-11: The Idler Wave - Essential for Parametric Amplification and Oscillation

2007-12-03: New Paper on Power Scaling of Lasers

2007-11-26: Solving Laser Problems Step by Step

2007-11-19: Walk-Off and Phase-Matching Bandwidth in Nonlinear Crystals

2007-11-10: Retirement of Prof. David C. Hanna

2007-11-02: Ultrafast Laser Kills Viruses

2007-10-31: Thermal Equilibrium in Laser Crystals

2007-10-25: The Gain Bandwidth of Laser Crystals and Glasses

2007-10-17: Why the Second-Harmonic Beam is Smaller

2007-10-11: Understanding Fourier Spectra

2007-10-07: Effective Refractive Index: Correcting a Common Belief

2007-09-27: Light Plus Light = Darkness: No Energy Problem, but Quantum Weirdness

2007-09-21: Optimum Crystal Length for Frequency Doubling

2007-09-13: Using Figures of the Encyclopedia in Your Publications, and Citing the Encyclopedia

2007-09-07: Power Scaling in Downward Direction

2007-09-01: Stimulated Brillouin Scattering: Lower Peak Power, Stronger Effect?

2007-08-27: Distant Healing of Lasers

2007-08-23: An OPO Without Resonator Mirrors

2007-08-22: Saturation of Pump Absorption - An Important Issue?

2007-08-15: Light = Electromagnetic Waves?

2007-08-06: Fiber Amplifiers: More ASE for Larger Core with Higher NA?

2007-07-30: Fiber Amplifiers: Stronger ASE in Backward Direction

2007-07-25: Higher Heat Generation Density, Stronger Thermal Effects?

2007-07-16: Mode Competition - Increased or Decreased by Spatial Hole Burning?

2007-07-11: What is a Beam Width, Beam Size, and a Beam Waist?

2007-07-06: Promoting Dangerous Practices in Laser Labs

2007-07-01: Nonsensical Regulations Undermine Laser Safety

2007-06-24: The Plague of a Narrow Emission Linewidth

2007-06-11: Beam Quality Measurements Can Easily Go Wrong

2007-06-01: Characterize Your Pump Beam!

2007-05-26: Optical Isotropy: Nonlinear Interactions are Different!

2007-05-19: Why Strong Birefringence in Fibers Helps

2007-05-10: Fundamental Limitation for sigma-tau Product, Gain Efficiency, and Laser Threshold

2007-04-28: Easier Launching into Fibers with Large Mode Area?

2007-04-16: Questions and Answers on Shot Noise

2007-04-01: The Ideal Pump Intensity Distribution in an End-Pumped Solid-State Laser

2007-03-23: Explaining the Nature of Photons to Lay Persons

2007-03-16: Time To Market and the Economics of Laser Development - or How to Cause Great Financial Damage without Spending Money

2007-03-11: Divided-Pulse Amplification

2007-03-09: The Trouble with Crystal and Coating Damage

2007-03-05: More Efficient Frequency Doubling with Shorter Pulses?

2007-02-26: No Laser, no Result?

2007-02-22: Lossy Laser Cavities

2007-02-16: The Science of Biophotons

2007-02-09: Papers Reporting Yet Another Laser Crystal

2007-02-04: Continuing Struggle for Larger Fiber Mode Areas

2007-01-27: Noise Figure of Amplifiers

2007-01-21: Operation Far Above Threshold

2007-01-15: Origins of Heating in Laser Crystals

2007-01-09: The Myth of Fiber-Optic Polar Bears

2007-01-05: Why the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology is Successful

2006-12-31: Peak Position of an Optical Spectrum

2006-12-16: Dangerous Green Laser Pointers

2006-12-09: The Laser Industry - High Tech or Low Tech?

2006-12-03: Diffraction in Optical Fibers

2006-11-28: The Role of Diffraction in Optical Resonators

2006-11-21: The Resonator Mystery

2006-11-16: Laser Models - not Always Useful

2006-11-04: Nd:YVO4 Laser with Polarization-Independent Pump Absorption

2006-11-02: Reflection Spectrum of Tilted Dielectric Mirrors

2006-10-26: Residual Transmission Through Highly Reflecting Mirrors

2006-10-22: Lasers Attract Dust to Cavity Mirrors

2006-10-17: A Cute New Imaging Technique Named Compressive Imaging

2006-10-16: Using a Current Amplifier for Optical Power Measurements and Recording with a Photodiode

2006-10-15: Fivehundred Articles in the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

2006-10-09: Correct Specifications for Laser Noise - Valuable but Hard to Obtain

2006-10-04: Higher-Order Modes of Fibers: a Solution for Single-Mode Guidance with Large Mode Area?

2006-10-01: Stability Zones of Laser Resonators

2006-09-29: Frequency Dependence of the Conversion Efficiency for Frequency Doubling

2006-09-22: Coherence Length of Ultrashort Pulses

2006-09-21: Power Scaling Limits of Optical Parametric Amplifiers

2006-09-16: Q-switched Lasers: YAG versus Vanadate

2006-09-06: Quenching Degrades the Efficiency of Some Ytterbium-Doped Gain Media

2006-09-03: Single-Frequency Operation Stabilized by Spatial Hole Burning

2006-09-03: Resolution of Conundrum: Threshold Power for Parametric Nonlinear Interactions

2006-09-01: Test Yourself with the Photonics Quiz

2006-08-23: Lasers with Nonlinear Input-Output Characteristics

2006-08-20: Lower Noise from Longer Lasers

2006-08-18: Resolution of Conundrum: No Magnetic Field on the Axis of a Coil

2006-08-15: The Effect of a Double Pass in a Frequency Doubler

2006-08-12: Understanding Quasi-Three-Level Lasers

2006-08-10: Single-Mode Fibers with Large Mode Areas

2006-08-01: Lasers Disturbed by Vacuum?

2006-07-30: Threshold Power for Parametric Nonlinear Interactions

2006-07-24: Beam Distortions in Laser Cavities

2006-07-23: Single-Atom Lasers

2006-07-22: No Magnetic Field on the Axis of a Coil?

2006-07-21: Photonics and Laser Technology Blogs – Where Are They?

2006-07-16: Spontaneous Emission and Amplifier Noise

2006-07-14: Lasers Like it Cool

2006-07-10: Strength of Thermal Lensing Effects

2006-07-05: Laser Design: Side Product or the Basis of Laser Development?

2006-07-01: Lifting the Confusion Concerning Doping Concentrations

2006-07-01: Characterizing a Cavity with a Frequency Comb

2006-07-01: With Wavelength Combs to Picometer Resolution


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