An Introduction -- Jeff Hecht 

I write about lasers and dinosaurs -- and other areas of science and technology. My main technical expertise is in lasers, fiber optics, optics, electronics, and their histories. In addition, I frequently report on paleontology, earth and planetary science, astronomy, climate, and the environment. Much of my work is science journalism, but I also write tutorial books and articles, give tutorial webcasts, and have written books on the histories of fiber optics and lasers. In my copious spare time, I also write short science fiction stories.

Where I write

I am full-time freelance writer, and have contributed regularly to a number of magazines:

New Scientist, a global weekly magazine and web site covering science and technology. I've been writing for them since the 1980s, covering fossils, earth and planetary science, climate and the environment, and technology including lasers and optics. One recent news story I broke was that the Martian moon Phobos is doomed. I am listed as a consultant on the magazine's masthead.

Laser Focus World, a laser industry trade magazine. Until the spring of 2016 I wrote a monthly series of features called Photonic Frontiers, and gave tutorial webcasts on topics in lasers and photonics. You can find a list of my articles here

IEEE Spectrum, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, where I explained why voice quality of mobile phones is so bad and how it can be fixed. My feature on "Great Leaps of Light" in the IEEE Spectrum won a Jesse H. Neal Award.

Optics & Photonics News, published by the Optical Society of America, where I explored the "twilight zone" of night vision and LED street lights

The news and features sections of the weekly journal Nature, where I wrote about exoplanet spectroscopy

See also my listing of recent articles. 


I have published several nonfiction books about science, technology, and their history that are described on my Books page . Several also have their own pages on this site. 

Understanding Fiber Optics, a tutorial on fiber optic communications that has sold over 100,000 copies in five editions. 

City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics, the history of fiber-optic communications, part of the Sloan Technology Series. It's a remarkable success story that earned Charles Kao the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

Understanding Lasers: An Entry-Level Guide An  a tutorial on lasers now in its third edition. I am working on an update.

Beam: The Race to Make the Laser: How the work of Charles Townes launched an intense race to perfect the laser, earning Townes a Nobel Prize and Gordon Gould millions of dollars in patent royalties, although Theodore Maiman won the race with a breakthrough no one had expected.  

Contact Me

Postal Address: 525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA

Email: [insert my first name] or [my_last_name.my_first_name] Please note the reverse order in my gmail address. 


The only advertising here is for my own books, and connections to retailers that sell my books. I do not track visitors, but others may. 


© Jeff Hecht 2016