Aug 14, 2012Science and Technology
Bring on the photonics revolution

The National Research Council demands a photonics revolution... and so it shall be! Okay, so that demand may have been more of a recommendation. Who cares? It’s a revolution, man! In a new report, the National Research Council identifies a gap in photonic innovation and technology and recommends the federal government establish a "National Photonics Initiative" to help unite and strengthen research efforts and develop new photonics technologies. "Much is unknown when pursuing basic optical science... but the rewards can be great," said Alan Willner, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report. For example, "people don’t think of Google as an optics company, but a typical Google data center has more than a million lasers in it," said Paul McManamon, committee co-chair. "Optics and photonics facilitates many technology areas and is therefore critical to U.S. high-tech competitiveness.” Let’s get this National Photonics Initiative and start the revolution already... man.

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