Open Acccess papers & International Year of Light

With the last days of 2015 and the International Year of Light coming to a close, be sure to browse some of the great articles at the following link that remain open access through the end of 2015.

Great articles from “Physics Review Letters” include “Focus: Invention of the Maser and Laser”,   January 27, 2005, Phys. Rev. Focus 15, 4

Celebrating the 2015 International Year of Light

Technology and materials engineering

Advances in material science are an important factor in the development of new technology and innovation we see around us every day.  From light weight materials to drive fuel efficiency in cars and aircraft to innovation in the development of micro-electronics.  Often the inventors of new devices or macroscale systems get the limelight from these contributions to science, engineering and its effect on society.  However, there are many scientists that are working hard behind the scenes driving innovation in the form of materials science.  The advancement in materials science directly correlates to the development of new instruments and devices.  These developments help propel us in the areas of photonics & optomechanics, consumer electronics, fuel cells and energy system and a plethora of other areas of technology.

The following open access article discusses this topic with several links to many of these developments throughout history.

Article from Physics Today: Granular crystals: Nonlinear dynamics meets materials engineering,3RV7K,E1N6FE,DLD5I,1

World Largest Heat Shield Attached to NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule for Crucial Fall 2014 Test Flight

World Largest Heat Shield Attached to NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule for Crucial Fall 2014 Test Flight –

Image Resolution w/ LWIR Cameras


Check out this video of three FLIR Tau’s with different pixel arrays tested side by side on a drone flight…


Earth-Moon Waystations

Earth-Moon Waystations

Why establish “waystations” at the Earth-Moon L1 point or other locations in space, as some have proposed? John Strickland draws an analogy to terrestrial transportation systems to explain how such facilities could make space exploration and development more affordable.

DARPA developing a foldable space telescope


DARPA’s development of a relatively low cost space telescope dwarfs the size of other well know space telescopes such as the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescope(s).

Foldable Space Telescope size comparison

Size Comparison of DARPA’s foldable space telescope concept versus other space telescopes


Homemade Telescope Lens Grinding Machine

Check out this descriptive page listing a few devices created by amateur telescope enthusiasts that developed their own methods and tools for creating lenses.

Homemade grinding machine for telescope lens manufacturing

Lens Grinding