By OSA Communications

The global optics and photonics community is doing its part to fight the covid-19 pandemic. State-of-the-art optics technologies are detecting and tracking the virus, sterilizing surfaces and healthcare equipment, and sequencing the virus genome for developing effective vaccines.

In a social media campaign titled “Optics is Illuminating the Path Forward,” the Optical Society (OSA) is highlighting the work of industry and academia in advancing research and developing products to mitigate risk of infection.

Optics technologies are key components of instruments for rapidly detecting the disease in potentially infected individuals, monitoring disease progression in covid-19 patients and disinfecting contaminated surfaces and personal protection equipment with ultraviolet (UV) light.

The social media campaign features examples of how these enabling technologies are being used to help contain the virus and articles on the pandemic’s impact on industry and academic research.

Over the last several months, health officials have encouraged citizens to wear masks to slow the spread of the virus. As different masks gain in popularity, an article published in Optics and Photonics News highlights the work of Duke University, USA researchers who used a laser, a dark box and a mobile-phone camera to test 14 commonly available masks or masks alternatives to determine their efficacy.

Thomas Baer, Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center and 2009 OSA President, describes how optical scientists are using existing technologies and developing new approaches to diagnose and treat covid-19 patients in the 2020 FiO + LS Chairs Special Session held in September.

An OIDA newsletter article describes financial challenges with academic research worldwide as a result of the ripple effect of the pandemic.

To learn more about the role of optics and photonics in combatting covid-19, access the webinars, articles and other resources listed here.

Join the conversation, using #illuminatewithoptics, on         


Posted: 20 October 2020 by OSA Communications | with 0 comments

The views expressed by guest contributors to the Discover OSA Blog are not those endorsed by The Optical Society.


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