Photonics is the science of light generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection/sensing; and it’s applications are making huge impacts on the world today. I will talk about three of the areas Photonics is making massive advances within. I hope you learn something, as I will try my best to enlighten you.

Heath Care:

The use of photonics in health care and life sciences has grown substantially in the twenty-first century and now has it’s own subfield: Biophotonics. From CT scans to laser eye surgery, photonics is responsible for the medical advances that ultimately save US lives and shape the future of medicine. Photonics is making big improvements in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in health care and it is making a huge impact on these key areas:

  • Endoscopy
  • 3D Organ Image Reconstruction
  • 3-Dimentional Optical Microscopy
  • Laser Surgery
  • Photodynamic Therapy

National Security and Defense:

In recent years optics and photonics have become ubiquitous in national security and defense. From the imaging technology used in satellites to the lasers used for targeting enemies, photonics plays a huge role in national security and defense. Some key areas are:

  • Laser Warning Systems
  • Laser Guided Missiles
  • Bio-Detection
  • Surveillance
  • Advanced Imaging

Quantum Computing:

Just as we have almost hit the limit for how fast electrons can travel between the processors and memory in our modern day computers, advances in quantum computing are here to save the day thanks to photonics. Electrons are what we use to transfer data in our computers today, but photons (which are more than 100 times faster) are what we will use in the computers of the future. Some key areas this will effect are:

  • Logistics and Distributions
  • Telecommunications
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Publishing

Some other fields where photonics will likely have a massive impact are: education and research, manufacturing, and energy. There is lots of room for growth in the applications of photonics despite it’s already major impact on the world today. It’s exciting to see what happens next and how it will change our lives in the future!