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Showing posts from August, 2011

Volunteer vacation has a photonics focus

Three student friends of SPIE Fellow Dr. Carmiña Londoño will have some great stories to tell about their summer break as they go back to school in the next few weeks. They spent a week this summer as volunteers teaching optics and other topics at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
Supported financially by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and the Optical Society of America, and by Kreischer Optics who provided lenses and prisms, Londoño’s group added an optics component to the arts and crafts, sports, language classes, and other activities organized by Orphanage Outreach.
The students -- Lillian, Nora, and Matthew -- also spent part of the week hoeing, weeding, and preparing the orphanage’s gardens for future planting.
For Londoño and Lillian -- her daughter -- this was the second such trip, and part of their tradition of taking a one-week volunteer vacation each summer.
“For reading classes, we used many of the books that Nora and Lillian brought as a gift f…

Seeing the light: LEDs at work in lighting and in wireless networking

Not only does Philips Lighting North America’s 10-watt LED bulb have the potential for saving billions of dollars in U.S. energy consumption and avoiding millions of metric tons of carbon emissions: it’s dimmable as well.

The bulb has earned the San Jose, California, company the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) — the L Prize — for a 10-watt replacement for the 60-watt incandescent bulb.
Replacing every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the U.S. with Philips’10-watt LED bulb would save 35 terawatt-hours of electricity or $3.9 billion in one year and avoid 20 million metric tons of carbon emissions, according to the DOE prize announcement (enough electricity to power the lights of nearly 18 million U.S. households, or nearly triple the annual electricity consumption in Washington, D.C.). 
Steve Landau of Philips talks about the prize-winning bulb in this SPIE Newsroom video:



LEDs for wireless, too

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institue for Telecommunications

That green glow from the lab? It's photonics innovation

The recent news from Brussels that the European Commission is proposing to increase research and innovation funding to €80.2 billion for the 2014-2020 budget has a decidedly green tint. Some of the money in the proposal to fund the EU’s newly named Horizon 2020 strategy would be earmarked for energy, and some to make the economy greener and more competitive.

Examples of how photonics -- one of the six Key Enabling Technologies identified by the European Commission -- drives innovation in support of sustainability are everywhere.

As an overview, Steve Eglash (Stanford University and Precourt Institute for Energy) explains in this video just what "green photonics" is, and talks about the integration of disciplines such as psychology, law, business, and physics.



In a keynote paper presented last March at SPIE Eco-Photonics in Strasbourg, Berit Wessler (OSRAM) and Ursula Tober (VDI Technologiezentrum) provided a comprehensive look at the direct environmental benefits from -- for …