Author Archives: photonicsb

Optics Fun at the Science Fair

The K-5 kids at the “Transformations” Science Fair in Ithaca got a head start on learning optical science last week. Luckily CIAN provided us with several hundred pairs of diffraction grating glasses, just enough to cover the 300 elementary school students who learned about the colors hidden in white light.

Image“Wow, science is fun! Thanks, CIAN!”

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Halos and Flashes

It’s a balmy 3° on a December night in Ithaca, New York. Wearing shorts, you walk outside and look up to see the bright, shining moon. But circling around it is a mysterious halo. What is it?

It’s not a camera lens flare. This circle of light actually demonstrates several neat features of light.

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Microrings as filters

In an earlier post I discussed how laser light is brought into waveguides on a chip. Now let’s look at some of the reasons we want to have light guided on chips in the first place. One device that shows the advantage of integrated optics is the ring resonator. It is a very compact device which allows precise discrimination of wavelengths.
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On-chip coupling using gratings

When we think about guided optics or photonics, we usually think about two methods of guiding light: fiber optics and integrated optics. If you aren’t very familiar with guided light, here is a great introduction to get you started. Fiber optics has long been an important technology for telecommunications, and integrated optics has recently become an intense topic of research due to its promise of guiding light on silicon chips alongside microelectronics for purposes of increasing bandwidth, among other applications. But what about the interface between these two platforms? Continue reading