August/September 2022

Optical technologies offer researchers a powerful new toolkit to explore the structure and function of the brain. (Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com)

Fibre guides optogenetics to brain breakthroughs

Advances in optical fibres and microscale LEDs are furthering neuroscientists’ understanding of the brain, Susan Curtis discovers

Robert Smith is a professor at the University of Alberta and historian to JWST since 2002

James Webb: An optical success story

As James Webb Space Telescope beams back images from the edge of space and time, space historian Robert Smith recalls some of the decisions made to bring the $10bn NASA project to fruition. David Stuart reports

Coating to protect and serve chalcogenide glass

The properties of chalcogenide glass optics have opened up a number of use cases in infrared optics applications and beyond. This article assesses how some of the associated manufacturing and handling challenges of this material can be overcome

The nulling interferometry devices under development at Caltech’s Exoplanet Technology Laboratory cancel out starlight to help detect and identify foreign worlds. (Credit: Shutterstock/Dotted Yeti)

Emerging astrophotonics technologies

Nemanja Jovanovic, lead instrument scientist at Caltech’s Optical Observatory and Exoplanet Technology Laboratory, on emerging astrophotonic technologies on his radar

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