This conference is the direct successor to the 1995 and 1996 conferences with similar titles and is an attempt to bring together the various advanced materials technologies that have been introduced into optical systems in the last decade. While participation by some segments of the industry could not be obtained—a bad thing; it was due to heavy workloads—a good thing.
As in past conferences, beryllium and silicon carbide continue to be the materials described in the greatest number of papers. However, papers on silicon, sapphire, and composites for high energy lasers and synchrotron beam lines help to set this conference apart from previous years. The papers on optical finishing of these advanced materials add a dimension previously missing.
We wish to thank the authors for their participation and for making this volume a true critical review of the advanced materials technology for optics and precision structures.
Mark A. Ealey
Roger A. Paquin
Thomas B. Parsonage