About Me

Hi, I’m Damon Diehl, a scientist who has been working in the optics industry for 22 years. I have a BA in physics and mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Since completing my dissertation, I have worked as chief scientist at a small startup, the coordinator of the Optical Systems Technology program at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, and as a professional research grant writer. I now work full-time at Launch Team, Inc., where I help our clients develop compelling content to attract and inform potential customers.

Why another “introduction to optics” website?


Most websites that offer an introduction to optics seek to get people to “love science.”

That is not what business people need.

The optics industry employs hundreds of thousands of people who are not engineers, scientists, or technicians. They are general managers or sales representatives, venture capitalists or public policy makers. These people do not want to become optical scientists or engineers—they already have jobs. These non-technical professionals just want to understand optics well enough to communicate and make prudent business decisions. They want to:

  • follow the thread of a technical presentation;
  • interpret the claims in a patent;
  • answer low-level technical questions from their customers;
  • ensure that their engineering team is on track with short- and long-term business interests;
  • invest in winning technologies;
  • make good decisions on public policy.

This website seeks to offer concise explanations of core technical concepts in a manner that is engaging and approachable, but which is neither patronizing “fluff” nor unbearably technical.