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 a 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. I have long written news stories and features on lasers and photonics. I also give 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. My most recent article in the April issue is about laser weapons: Fiber Lasers Mean Ray Guns Are Coming.

Optics & Photonics News, published by the Optical Society of America, where I explored the "twilight zone" of night vision and LED street lights. My most recent article is Cutting Edge Cinema in the May issue, describing the coming generation of brighter and better movie optics, including laser projectors and giant LED screens.

The news and features sections of the weekly journal Nature, where I wrote about exoplanet spectroscopy. I also have written for Nature's Outlook section. 

I plan to publish links to more recent articles soon. 


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. 

Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon, a history of lasers and other directed energy weapons from the days of Archimedes and Nikola Tesla to the present, published by Prometheus Books.

Understanding Lasers: An Entry-Level Guide An  a tutorial on lasers now in its fourth edition.   

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. 

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. 

Privacy Statement

I do not collect any information on or track visitors to this web site unless you contact me using information on this site or order books from me through this site. You don't see any notice about cookies because I don't use them.  I do use third party services which may collect information, including Paypal for books ordered directly from me, Amazon which carries my books in stock, and siteground, my web hosting service. 

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. 

This policy is here to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which requires web sites be transparent about what information we collect. I think that's a reasonable idea.  

© Jeff Hecht 2019