Clever optics — Innovative applications of optics

Clever optics — Innovative applications of optics

Although not many papers are given in this volume the recent fundamental advances in optical technology pertinent to solar energy are evident, and thi...

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Although not many papers are given in this volume the recent fundamental advances in optical technology pertinent to solar energy are evident, and this proceedings will give the reader an insight into the challenges to the optical designer. H. G. Jerrard

Clever optics -



Edited by N. Balasubramanian,

of optics

J. C. Wyan t

Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Volume 126, 1977, pp vi + 162 This volume presents the proceedings of a meeting held on August 25-26, 1977, in San Diego, California. It was intended to provide a forum for papers describing optical techniques which ‘exhibit clever engineering, ingenuity, and imagination’. As might be expected with such a brief the papers are exceptionally diverse, and any useful classification is difficult. The organizers evidently felt that it was impossible since the three sessions into which the 24 papers were divided are each entitled ‘Diverse applications’! (With ‘ingenuity and imagination’ this might perhaps have been improved to ‘General, miscelhmeous, and others’!) One might also expect difficulties due to the subject. To attempt to collect two dozen papers at any one time, all of which involve cleverness in the sense defined, is an ambitious undertaking. In practice it has not been a total success, but is certainly successful enough to justify the attempt. Several of the papers undoubtedly earn their place in the volume. These include one on an automatic eye refractor by Munnerlyn (Coherent) and one on an illumination system for holographic stress testing of comeal wounds in postoperative patients by Calkins and Hochheimer (John Hopkins). A paper by Hercher (Block Engineering) describes an ingenious instrument for measuring the size of viruses, in the 20-300 nm range, using an optical microscope. The technique involves fluorescent staining of the viruses, using evanescent wave illumination to define a very thin layer of sample, and measuring the power spectrum of the fluorescence. This is related to viral size due to the Brownian motion. The Optical Sciences Center in Tucson have contributed several interesting papers. Jacobs compares techniques for measuring ultrasmall displacements (down to lo-” m); Sweatt describes a method of designing holographic optical elements by using an analogy with very high index refracting surfaces; Tamura investigates multicolour imagery from superimposed Rainbow holograms; and Buchroeder describes a new aberration generator for use in high energy laser beams. Whilst many of the papers mentioned are optically ‘clever’, there are a number where the ingenuity is rather to be found in the mechanics. These include a Fourier transform microscope described by Wagner (Bell Telephone), two satellite-borne infrared radiometers (Campbell, Santa Barbera and Brown et al, Ball Brothers), and a microinterferometer transducer (Corey, Union Carbide). Interferometry is also represented by papers on multi-wavelength interferometric testing (Swantner and Hayslett, White Sands




Missile Range), the Shack interferometer (Shack and Hopkins, Optical Sciences Center), interferogram analysis by means of an interactive video image digitizer (Bemal, Honeywell and Loomis, Optical Sciences Center) and phase-locked interferometry (Johnson, Leiner and Moore, Rochester). The remaining papers continue the theme of diversity: Alignment of high power laser fusion systems; Determination of linear and non-linear phase distributions; Laser beam deflection using computer-generated holograms; Threedimensional measurement on a holographic image; Aspheric generation by sputtering; Image detail enhancement; Dimensional gauging using a scanning laser beam; Hyperdermic needle point testing using diffraction; and an imaging system for correlating fluorescence cell measurements in flow. Not all of the papers can legitimately be described as ‘clever’, and one or two are not really in keeping with the spirit of the volume at all. Despite this, I think that the gamble has come off. There will be few readers who can find nothing valuable here. On the other hand, the very disparity of the papers automatically means that there are few papers in any one specific area of interest. This could make it an expensive buy. D. W. Swift

New books Books listed below are those recently received by the editorial office or those mentioned in advance in formation from the publishers. Their inclusion here does not preven t them from being reviewed in a later issue.

Contemporary optics A. K. Ghatak, K. Th yagarajan Plenum, 1978, pp 370, $39.00 Multiphoton processes Edited by J. H. Eberly, P. Lambropoulos Wiley, 1978, pp 419,07.60, $31.70 Laser and coherence spectroscopy Edited by J. I. Stein feld Plenum, 1978, pp 530, $54.00 Transmission of information in the optical waveband L.G. Kazovsky John Wiley (Published by Keter), 1978, pp 121, g9.45 Optical data processing applications Edited by D. Casasen t Topics in Applied Physics Volume 23, Springer-Veriag, 1978, pp 286, $43.00 High-power lasers and applications Edited by K.-L. Kompa, H. Walther Springer-Verlag, 1978, pp 228, $24.00 Luminescence and the light emitting diode E. W. Williams, R. Hall Pergamon Press, 1978, pp xi + 241, $16.50