More than 20,000 people are expected to attend a photonics conference in San Francisco, January 2017. Beginning the year in a positive fashion, the SPIE Photonics West conference intends to spark innovation and excitement for the study of light and lasers. With three different categories being explored as part of the event from 28th January – 2nd February, there will be a variety of product demons, courses, workshops and talks from industry professionals and researchers.
Founded in 1955, SPIE is an international non-profit society for optics and photonics. Serving nearly 264,000 constituents which span from over 160 countries, the society provides education and furthers research into the field. In 2016 SPIE invested over $4 million to support education and outreach programs, and Photonics West is one of the main ways they use their resources to this effect.
What is photonics?
Photonics refers to technology involving the transmission of photons, which are particles of light. The fibre optic cables used in internet connectivity is an example of photonic technology, so is LiDAR scanning, as well as the lasers used to scan barcodes at a store, in a DVD player or in manufacturing (laser cutting, selective laser sintering). Use of photonics is increasing and it is seen as a considerable contributor to future technology, as in the technology contained in autonomous vehicles.
Photonics West will include three conferences; a biomedical optics and biophotonics exhibition (BIOS), Optoelectronics and Photonic Materials and Devices (OPTO), and Laser Technology and Industrial Applications (LASE). The LASE conference is the main event to explore applications of light and photonics in 3D printing.
There will be plenary talks as part of LASE covering micro 3D structures as well as lithography and gravitational wave astronomy. With a number of papers on 3D printing, fabrication and manufacturing with sessions titled Additive Processes with Ultrafast Laser and of Glass and Direct Laser Writing for Biological and Medical Applications.
Research reports will also be made by leading experts from across the globe, including one examining ‘femtosecond laser sources and industrial lasers’ given by Eric Mottay of Amplitude Systèmes – developers and manufacturers of ultra-fast lasers based in France, who are exploring laser applications for micro-machining and lab on a chip technologies amongst other areas.
Although there will be almost 250 new product launches at Photonics West, the event is not just to showcase new technology but also to educate with 4,800 technical presentations, across 2 major international exhibitions, an expanded industry program, professional development course, and other learning opportunities. To find out more visit their website.
Featured image of San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate bridge. Photo via San Francisco Travel.