Public Release: 

Scientific breakthroughs in optics at CLEO/QELS press-only luncheon

The Optical Society

WHAT: CLEO/QELS and PhAST Press-Only Luncheon
"New Fundamentals: Breaking Scientific Barriers"

Baltimore Convention Center
Room 329

WHEN: Tuesday, May 8, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

WHO: Confirmed speakers and topics include:

  • Moderator and Opening Remarks - Ben Stein, American Institute of Physics

Ben Stein is a senior science writer and editor at the American Institute of Physics, where he has worked since 1991. He manages AIP Member Society Media Services for OSA, The American Physical Society, and several other organizations. He received a bachelor's of science in physics with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University. He has authored review articles in physics for Encyclopedia Britannica yearbooks and is a frequent contributor to AIP's Physics News Update, a weekly digest of physics research news. He regularly serves as a resource for science journalists at such news outlets as the New York Times, Science, USA Today, and NPR.

  • Warren S. Warren, Duke University, "Catching Cancer's Spread by Watching Hemoglobin"

In an advance that can potentially assist cancer diagnosis, a new optical technique provides high-resolution, three-dimensional images of blood vessels by taking advantage of the natural light-absorbing properties of hemoglobin, the red-blood-cell molecule that carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream. Clinically, the imaging technique can potentially be used to detect the spread of cancer, since angiogenesis--the growth of new blood vessels from existing ones--often signals the proliferation of tumors.

  • Alan Lee, MIT, "Terahertz Imaging Goes the Distance for Security"

Discussions surrounding the first real-time terahertz (THz) imaging system that obtains images from 25 meters away. Terahertz radiation, or far-infrared light, is potentially very useful for security applications, as it can penetrate clothing and other materials to provide images of concealed weapons, drugs, or other objects. However, THz scanners usually must be very close to the objects they are imaging, since water vapor in the air usually absorbs THz radiation very strongly.

  • Mauro Nisoli, Politecnico di Milano, "The Shortest Light Pulse Ever"

Researchers in Italy have created the shortest light pulse yet published--a single isolated burst of extreme-ultraviolet light that lasts for only 130 attoseconds (billionths of a billionth of a second). Shining this ultrashort light pulse on atoms and molecules can reveal new details of their inner workings--providing benefits to fundamental science as well as potential industrial applications.

  • Scott Barry, Thorlabs, "Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope" (2007 PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award Winner)

The Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) combines classical microscopy principles with state-of-the-art adaptive optic technology to eliminate the traditional trade-off between magnification and field of view. A unique optical scanning technique completely eliminates mechanical motion of the object (specimen) during the image capture process, making it significantly faster than other approaches. This microscope will provide an immediate benefit to a wide range of applications, from biological research and pharmaceutical investigations to machine vision and industrial quality-control systems.

Reporters are invited to call in for this press-only luncheon if attending in person is not possible. The call-in number is 877.241.3594 and the pass code is 84051.


Keira Shein
WilkinsonShein Communications
P.410.363.9494 C.443.742.8406

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