Material Signs: Introduction to the World of Optics

Doctors Scott Carney, chief science and technology officer at Optica, Kate Medicus, CEO at Ruda-Cardinal, and Alexis Vogt, endowed chair and professor of optics at Monroe Community College, joined Host Tyler Kern for the very first podcast of Enpro’s Material Signs to talk about the world of optics and its impact on the world.

Optics, which is the science of light, is arguably the oldest science with its roots going back to 2,500 years ago with the law of reflection. Now, optics likely touches every aspect of modern life, expanding into many technologies, such as lasers, cell phones, computer chips, cameras, cars, and even champagne inspection machines.

It also is a big factor in helping solve bigger needs, like fighting global climate change, enabling space exploration, and assisting national security measures. Carney summed it up perfectly, saying: “I think it would be easier to identify the things that you interact with that don’t involve optics.”

Optics is prominent in nearly all industries and touches many different businesses. What excites Vogt the most about the endless opportunities is the ability to help impoverished areas. She explained, “Think about the technologies that are forthcoming … like having Wi-Fi access to all people around the entire world — even to developing countries that don’t have running water.”

Medicus expanded on how far the technology has come in just two short decades: “Over the last twenty years … we can manufacture the most oddly shaped glass elements, which allows us to have smaller optical systems, lighter-weight optical systems — or more precise optical systems — and that allows us to grow the technology and grow our innovation.”

Optics is changing the way people live, and each person, company, product, and technology plays a huge role in making that revolution happen.

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