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Advances at SPIE Optics and Photonics
August 20, 2009

Experts from around the world connecting at SPIE Optics and Photonics in San Diego recently reported on advances in technologies for sustainable energy and research in nanoscience, photonics, and optical engineering. With 4,837 attendees, participation at the annual conference and exhibition was strong. Despite the year’s economic struggles, companies among the 248 exhibiting said they made good connections, and the number of walk-in visitors to the exhibition was up over last year.

The meeting is a focal point for many technology communities, presenting the largest gatherings for optical engineering and for nanoscience and nanoengineering. The meeting’s growing solar energy program is also gaining wide attention. Capacity crowds heard several plenary speakers as well as a panel of experts discussing commercialization of next-generation solar technologies.

SPIE, an Organizational Node of the International Year of Astronomy, celebrated the 400th anniversary of the telescope with a number of events. Among them, the San Diego Astronomy Club provided telescopes for an evening of star-gazing, and the College of Optical Sciences at the Univ. of Arizona provided a display of antique telescopes. Two symposium-wide plenary speakers also focused on astronomy. Jerry Nelson of the Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, addressed the building and perfecting of the telescope and astronomical instrumentation over the last 400 years. Tracey Delaney of MIT told how scientific discoveries made in looking out into the universe affect the advancement of science and technology on Earth.

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