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KOSA to Present at Annual Ad Astra Space Celebration

Kansas Optical Society members will present an optics and lasers demonstration as part of the Annual Ad Astra Space Celebration. This demonstration will take place at Washburn University in Topeka, KS on Saturday, October 15, at 5 pm.   The projects will demonstrate the use of optics and photonics for space applications. 

K-State Physics Graduate Students Participate in Congressional Visits Day

Summer and Wilson work in the JRM LabPhysics graduate research assistants Adam Summers and Derrek Wilson attended Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC last week. They joined other science and technology cohorts from across the country to educate Congress about the importance of optics and photonics and their impact on the economy.

Summers and Wilson were invited to attend Congressional Visits Day (CVD) by The Optical Society of America (OSA), who participated in the event with National Photonics Initiative (NPI) partners.

According to Summers "Photonics, broadly defined as the science of light and its application, has and will continue to have an enormous impact on our society. It is widely believed among scientists that photonics will be to the 21st century what electronics was to the 20th century."

On the 13th, they met with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the importance of federal investment in research and development (R&D). Adam and Derrek shared information about their research projects, and discussed the relationship between federal R&D funding and job creation at K-State and other institutions.

According to Wilson, "We had a series of meetings with Kansas members of the House and Senate. Our goal was to stress the importance of optics and photonics research and the potential impacts on the state. Kansas' historically small representation in high tech development can be changed with the legislation and federal investments we discussed." These efforts assist in guiding governmental funding and investment in many fields, such as advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, national defense security, energy, and health and medicine.

Specific items discussed with congressional members included the America COMPETES Act, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, the Carol D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, as well as the President's Proposed Science Research and Development Budget.

Derrek Wilson is a fourth year graduate student and holds a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Adam Summers is a third year graduate student and National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellow. Both are research assistants in Dr. Carlos Trallero's group and study Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physics in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory of the Physics Department.

KOSA Partipcates in Annual K-State Open House

On Saturday, April 16, members of the Kansas Optical Society participated in the annual K-State Open House.  Laser and optics based demonstrations were presented to children and adults of all ages. Also, Jan Tross, gave a tour of the James Macdonald Laboratory which was open to the public. 

Kansas Optical Society Hosts MIT Researcher's Colloquium on Laser Beam Combining

Summers, Wilson, Zigo, Dadashzadeh and Fan at dinnerDr. Tso Yee Fan, associate leader in the Laser Technology & Applications Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented a Physics colloquium. His talk, "Laser Beam Combining," was at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, in Cardwell Hall, Room 102.

Dr. Fan received his S.B. in Materials Science and Engineering and a SBEE in Electrical Engineering at MIT in 1981. He received MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Dr. Fan is widely recognized in the laser community conducting research in solid-state lasers, laser beam combining, and nonlinear frequency conversion.

Dr. Fan is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2002. He served as a topical editor for the lasers content area of Optics Letters from 1994-1999 and division editor for Applied Optics.

Dr. Fan was co-recipient of the 2012 Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis – First Prize, an international award for excellent research on the application or generation of laser light.

The visit of Dr. Fan is presented courtesy of the students of the Kansas Optical Society, a Student Chapter of the Optical Society of America