Challenges faced by optics

Optics is the branch of physics that deals with visible light and other electromagnetic waves. Light has a “dual personality” since it sometimes behaves like a wave and other times like corpuscles or discrete packets of energy called photons. This is known as its “wave-corpuscle duality”. Just as the term electronics was derived from electron, in recent years the term Photonics has been coined from photon. Although the terms optics and photonics are often used indiscriminately, the latter is sometimes used to underline the corpuscular nature of light. The number of devices and systems that operate with light is constantly increasing and the many different fields in which these are used are referred to as “light-based technologies”.

Nowadays optics and its technologies have spread from universities and research laboratories to form part of our daily life. They may be found in hospitals and all types of industries. They are used to correct and improve our vision. With the help of optic fibres our telephone conversations are relayed, images sent to our television sets and our computers connected to the Internet. They are used in the screens of mobile telephones, barcode and QR scanners, audio and video recorders, printing, artificial vision, LED lighting and security systems such as the holograms on banknotes and credit cards. There is no doubt that light-based technologies are part of our everyday life.

Reflection holograms of the Treasure of Villena made by J. A. Quintana at the University of Alicante (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_of_Villena) Credit: A. Beléndez

LEER MÁS

About Augusto Beléndez

Catedrático de Física Aplicada en el Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal de la Universidad de Alicante. Miembro del Instituto Universitario de Física Aplicada a las Ciencias y las Tecnologías (IUFACyT) así como del Grupo de Investigación "Holografía y Procesado Óptico" (GHPO) y del Grupo de Innovación Tecnológica-Educativa "Física, Óptica y Telecomunicaciones" (GITE-FOT). Miembro de la RSEF y SEDOPTICA. Senior member de la OSA y Fellow member del SPIE. -- Full Professor of Applied Physics in the Department of Physics, Systems Engineering and Signal Theory at the University of Alicante (Spain). Member of the University Institute of Physics Applied to Sciences and Technologies (IUFACyT) as well as the Research Group "Holography and Optical Processing" (GHPO) and the Technological-Educational Innovation Group "Physics, Optics and Telecommunications" (GITE-FOT). Member of the RSEF and SEDOPTICA. OSA Senior member and SPIE Fellow.
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