Focus Issues have been a key ingredient of Optics Express in the first six months, as every reader will have noticed. They are new to OSA journals, an innovation by Optics Express that was invented more or less out of thin air. I thought it would be useful to write a few paragraphs about them, since they are so new and still not familiar to most members of the optics community.
© Optical Society of America
Focus Issues have been a key ingredient of Optics Express in the first seven months, as every reader will have noticed. They are new to OSA journals, an innovation by Optics Express that was invented more or less out of thin air. I thought it would be useful to write a few paragraphs about them, since they are so new and still not familiar to most members of the optics community.
First of all, I can report that our innovation is already beginning to be copied by print journals. It is not hard to see why. Focus Issues are simply the publishing equivalent of the always-popular hot-topic symposia at OSA meetings, with the OSA-traditional added values of peer review and permanent archiving.
For Meeting Symposia and Focus Issues both, a prominent member of the optics community is requested to formulate a theme and identify a small number of leaders in a currently exciting sub-field of optical science or technology. He or she then asks them to prepare topically current papers. In the interval before presentation or publication the same person (Chair or Coordinator) works with OSA staff and makes sure that the invited papers are coherent in theme and delivered on schedule.
We are naturally pleased that the Focus Issue initiative by Optics Express has been so well-received, and I want to thank the Coordinators who have been instrumental in the introduction of them to the OSA community.
The Focus Issue topics that have already appeared in Vol. 1, with the names of their Coordinators, are:
- Mid-IR Laser Materials, Steven Bowman (Naval Research Laboratory)
- Local Field Effects, Charles Bowden and Mark Bloemer (U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command)
- Rydberg Wave Packets, Jeffrey Krause (University of Florida)
- Fluctuations and Oscillations of Bose-Einstein Condensates, Kazimierz Rzazewski (Polish Academy of Sciences)
- Signal Collection and Recovery, Charles Matson (Air Force Research Laboratory)
- Coherent Phenomena in Solids, Theodore B. Norris (University of Michigan)
- Biomedical Optics, David Boas and Paul Kelley (Tufts University)
Looking ahead, in the next several months, readers can anticipate a number of additional Focus Issues, with these topics and coordinators:
- Experiments on Generation & Application of Quantum Light States, Prem Kumar (Northwestern University)
- Quantum State Control of Light and Matter, Gershon Kurizki (Weizmann Institute)
- Relativistic Effects in Strong Electromagnetic Fields, Howard R. Reiss (American University)
- Quantum Well Laser Design, Jerry Meyer and Igor Vurgaftman (Naval Research Laboratory)
- Tomographic Image Reconstruction, Harrison Barrett (University of Arizona)
- Nonlinear and Photorefractive Fibers, Iam-Choon Khoo (Pennsylvania State University)
- Noise Reduction in Optical Systems, Miguel Orszag (Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile)
- Spatial Light Modulators, William Rabinovich (Naval Research Laboratory)
- Optical Methods for Materials Inspection, Michael Duncan (Naval Research Laboratory)
- Optical Data Storage, Masud Mansuripur (University of Arizona)
- Photonic Crystals, Joseph W. Haus (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
- Quantum Structures in Nonlinear Optics and Atomic Physics, Luigi Lugiato (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica per la Materia) and Gian-Luca Oppo (University of Strathclyde)
- Optical Communications, Thomas Brown (University of Rochester)
- Spatial Solitons, G.A. Salamo (University of Arkansas)
Finally, since the Focus Issue concept is so new, it’s entirely likely that we haven’t got it exactly right yet. I’d be pleased to hear from any readers or prospective authors or already published authors who have comments to share. I’ll be spending the Spring Semester as Visiting Professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and until my e-mail account is automatically rerouting messages from Rochester to Austin the reliable way to reach me will be via Deborah Herrin, OSA’s Manager of Electronic Publishing, at email@example.com.