Optomechanics – Bridging the Chasm


Ah yes, there is a great deal to optomechanics! 

And so much of it is on the hairy edges of, slightly beyond, or in-between the academic disciplines that we study at the university.  The engineering challenge is to make it work anyway.  In my practice I refer to it as “Bridging the Chasm” or B/C.  It involves surveying both sides of the gorge between disciplines before building on them.  That’s just good engineering practice.  It almost falls into Systems Engineering… almost.

One example of B/C is a dialog I had a while ago with a dear friend who was concerned about the fracture of glass lenses mounted in metal compression rings.  Structural engineers were not interested in glasses.  The opticians were disinterested in elastic analysis.  I had to sit down and solve the differential equations of the problem myself (Proc. SPIE, 7424-09. 2009). 

They showed that the actual tensile stresses were four orders of magnitude smaller than those predicted by the traditional method (Delgado and Hallinan, Opt. Eng., 1975).  That “bridge” between the disciplines for metals and glasses has saved my clients’ buttons more than once. 

Another B/C example was a modification to an unstable EO weapon sight… but that’s enough about me

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things…”

Yes, the great Optics+Photonics 2017 Roadshow (Symposium) is returning to San Diego this coming August and the Optomechanical Technical Group is organizing an exciting two-or-more day conference to highlight your accomplishments this past year.

You all have your own experiences and stories.  Bring them to your Optomechanical Engineering 2017 Conference.  It’ll be a great show!

“…of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and Kings.”

Here’s hoping I’ll see all of you in San Diego come August, at least those who survive the Great Pumpkin.

Al H.

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