- Ig Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded
The 2016 Ig® Nobel Prizes were awarded by a consortium of Nobel Laureates and other deep thinkers. This year’s Physics prize was awarded to Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for:
for the 2007 discovery as to why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
The Ig Nobel prize is awarded for first making us laugh and then making us think.
- Vescent Sells Waveguide Business to Analog Devices
- Welcome to DAMOP
Welcome to all DAMOP attendees. DAMOP, the Division of Atomic and Molecular Optical Physics meeting is underway at the Providence Convention Center in Providence, RI.
Ben Luey, Staff Scientist at Vescent will participate in an Industrial Career Panel and Discussion on Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:00 pm in Room 553 AB. Ben and the other panelist will discuss physics careers in the private sector and laboratory environments. Topics will include research opportunities for physicists in industry, strategies for successfully pursuing industrial jobs, exploring the linkages between private sector and national laboratory research, and advice on how to thrive in these exciting and challenging work environments. Light refreshments will be served. This event is sponsored by the Forum on Industry and Applied Physics (FIAP).
Vescent will be exhibiting its new D2-250 Heterodyne Module for overlapping master and slave lasers and collecting an optical beat note for delivery to a fast detector such as the D2-160. The electrical beat note can be used as the error signal in an offset phase lock – the easiest way to get an atomically referenced, frequency-agile laser for atomic spectroscopy. The D2-250 is newly redesigned with kinematic optical mounts to be easier to set up. It also makes use of rotatable waveplates and polarizing beam splitters to allow a large dynamic range of power inputs making it more versatile than the venerable D2-150.
We are also introducing two new ICE boards. ICE, or Integrated Control Electronics, offers the combination of high speed and low noise only available via analog control and an easy to use digital interface (GUI or serial commands). The new ICE-DC2 offers two channels of current control for driving two diode lasers. And the ICE-SC1 is a full PI2D loop filter servo that offers an auxiliary servo output for centering the main, high-bandwidth loop, keeping it within its range for extended periods of time.
See you in Providence!
- Defense and Commercial Sensing
We are pleased to be presenting two papers. Our paper No. 9828-7, titled “Laser-based satellite communication systems stabilized by non-mechanical electro-optic scanners,” will be in the Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications XIII Conference on Monday 18 April at 11:10 am in Convention Center Room 328.
Our paper 9832-18, titled “A lightweight and rugged laser radar system enabled by non-mechanical electro-optic beam steerers,”will be in the Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXI Conference on Wednesday 20 April at 8:00 am in Convention Center Room 340.
Check the downloads section of our website after the conference to download the Proceedings.
Vescent will also display products and technology from both of our business lines, including a free-space optical communication (FSO) demonstration based on Vescent’s unique liquid crystal waveguide technology. The engine for establishing & maintaining the communication link is the SEEOR (Steerable Electro-Evanescent Optical Refractor), our non-mechanical beam-steering product.
The SEEOR takes advantage of the extraordinarily large electro-optic effect of liquid crystal materials (>105 times that of LiNbO3) to create a tunable Snell’s Law prism which will controllably refract a laser beam over a Field of View of more than 30° x 5°. It is truly analog, allowing for raster scanning, tracking, zooming, and point & hold control. The FSO depends on the raster scanning to find and establish an optical link and then the tracking to keep the data flowing. Fast analog pointing feedback and control to the SEEOR allows the FSO device to create and maintain a robust, high-speed, multiplexed data link.
Also on display will be Vescent’s D2 and ICE product lines – two strategies for driving and controlling semiconductor lasers. The D2 products allows for hands-on analog adjustment of control parameters while ICE allows for much easier digital control and board-level OEM implementation. Both D2 and ICE drive & control the lasers using analog circuits for high speed and low noise. The two product lines share the same overall performance, but allow different implementation strategies.
We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!
- Vescent to show non-mechanical optical communication link at Photonics West
Golden, CO (14 Feb, 2016) Vescent Photonics will unveil a free-space optical communication (FSO) demonstration based on its unique liquid crystal waveguide technology. A completely non-mechanical, live optical link with multiplexed data transmission will be on display. The engine for establishing & maintaining the communication link is the SEEOR (Steerable Electro-Evanescent Optical Refractor), the 2015 Prism Award-nominated non-mechanical beam steering device.
Dr. Scott Davis, VP of Technology at Vescent explains, “The SEEOR takes advantage of the extraordinarily large electro-optic effect of liquid crystals to create a tunable Snell’s Law prism which controllably refracts a laser beam over a large Field of View.” The SEEOR is truly analog, allowing for raster scanning, tracking, zooming, and point & hold – all essential for the FSO link to function. Davis continues, “We expect the FSO to be deployed in the secure and satellite communications fields while the SEEOR itself will prove to be a key enabler to non-mechanical LIDAR and will address high-volume commercial markets such as automated driving, inspection & handling robotics, and gaming.”
About Vescent Photonics: Vescent Photonics, Inc., a privately held company, was founded in 2002 to develop and manufacture technologies in waveguide, electro-optics, tunable lasers, and electronics for precision laser control. Staff experience as researchers at the University of Colorado (JILA), NIST, the Colorado School of Mines, and the University of California at Berkeley has allowed us to become a leader in liquid crystal waveguide technology. The company is wholly owned by the original founders.
- Gravitational Wave Detection Confirmed
Confirming a prediction of Albert Einstein’s from a hundred years ago, scientist from LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.
Two multi-kilometer interferometers in Washington and Louisiana states made coincident measurements confirming the detection of the gravitational wave on 14 September 2015. An abundance of caution led the scientist to delay official announcement of the discovery until a press conference on 11 February 2016.
Quoting from the Caltech website – a leading institution coordinating LIGO: In an “event about 3 times the mass of the sun was converted into gravitational waves in a fraction of a second — with a peak power output about 50 times that of the whole visible universe.”
And on the MIT website, Rainer Weiss, a professor emeritus of physics at MIT, the other leading institution behind LIGO, says, “It’s a spectacular signal. It’s a signal many of us have wanted to observe since the time LIGO was proposed.” Prof. Weiss continued, “Einstein is right in a regime where his theory has never been tested before.”
The paper discussing the observation has been accepted by the Physical Review Letters.
Congratulations to the entire LIGO team! LIGO is an NSF-funded program.
- Photonics West
Vescent Photonics will be attending Photonics West at Moscone Center in San Francisco from 13 to 18 February, 2016. We invite you to visit us at booth 4159 and see the latest developments in non-mechanical beam steering as well as lasers, electronics, and electro-optics for the AMO community.
If you just can’t wait for your winter trip to San Francisco, you might be interested in the videos below.
- Vescent Photonics will host the February APS Local Links Network Meeting Vescent Photonics will host the February APS Local Links Network Meeting
- Vescent is 2015 Prism Award Finalist
Vescent Photonics is proud to announce that we have been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. The Prism Awards, sponsored by SPIE, honor the best new photonics products on the market. We have been nominated to the Optics and Components category for our SEEOR laser scanner.
The SEEOR (Steerable Electro-Evanescent Optical Refractor) is a completely non-mechanical beam steering device which features low SWaP and will allow the laser to interrogate a 35×8° field of regard. Unlike resonant MEMS scanners, the SEEOR will allow you to not only rapidly scan a field, but will also allow zooming to specific portions of the field, point and hold capability, and tracking. With no moving parts, it is not subject to inertial effects and the liquid crystal-based technology does not require the high power consumption of ao modulators.
See you in San Francisco!
- Vescent Staff Scientist Profiled by Denver Philharmonic
That’s Vescent’s very own Senior Scientist Ben Luey being profiled on the Denver Philharmonic’s web page, the Buzz. Ben has been with Vescent Photonics for 9 years and he has been playing the viola for the Denver Philharmonic all this time. We are proud that Ben has found time to lead our Electrical and Optical Engineering teams through many successful product launches and SBIR grants as well as to enhance the Denver cultural environment. Thanks, Ben.