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two hands working on integrated optics system

Since the invention of the laser in the 1960s, the field of optics has experienced a revolution.  Coherent light from a laser and light from incoherent sources drive research in:

  • information technology,
  • telecommunications,
  • health care,
  • the life sciences,
  • optical sensing,
  • lighting,
  • energy,
  • manufacturing, and
  • national defense.

Integrated optics is analogous to integrated electronics.  Instead of electronics, light is guided on the surface of an optical chip by integrated optical waveguides.  The use of light implies speed and bandwidth.  Laser beams are being used at the micro and nano-scale as well as at the interface between high-frequency circuits and lightwave technology to develop not only faster computers, but also better sensors, speedier communications devices, energy efficient phased arrays, and microscopic laboratories.