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Optica, formerly known as The Optical Society (OSA), is a professional society dedicated to advancing the study and application of optics and photonics. These fields encompass the science of light, including its properties, behaviors, and interactions with matter. Optica's mission is to promote the generation, dissemination, and application of knowledge in optics and photonics, both of which are crucial technologies in various applications ranging from everyday technology to cutting-edge scientific research.

The organization was established in 1916 and has grown to include a global community of scientists, engineers, educators, and business leaders who contribute to the field. Optica supports its community through a variety of activities, including publishing peer-reviewed journals, organizing conferences and meetings, advocacy, education, and public policy work. These activities aim to foster networking, collaboration, and professional growth among members.

Optica also plays a key role in educational outreach, working to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers through student-focused resources, scholarships, and educational materials. Society's commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in its efforts to create an equitable environment where all members can thrive and contribute to the advancement of optical and photonic technologies.

Optica actively engages in the publication of influential scientific journals and papers, contributing significantly to the academic and practical landscape of optics and photonics. Among its various journals, some are highly regarded for their contributions to the field, including "Optics Letters," "Optica," and "Journal of the Optical Society of America," which cover a broad range of topics from fundamental research to applied science.

The organization also organizes numerous conferences and events worldwide, which serve as key forums for experts to share their latest research findings, discuss challenges, and explore new technologies. These events often focus on emerging areas such as quantum optics, photonic communications, and biomedical optics, reflecting the evolving nature of the field.

In addition to its core scientific activities, Optica is deeply involved in advocacy work, striving to influence science policy and funding decisions that affect the optics and photonics community. This involves engaging with policymakers, providing expert advice, and promoting the importance of optics and photonics technologies in addressing societal challenges.

Optica also places a strong emphasis on professional development and education. It offers a variety of resources, including career services, professional development seminars, and networking opportunities that help professionals at different stages of their careers—from students and early-career researchers to seasoned experts.

Moreover, Optica is committed to public education and awareness of optics and photonics. Through public outreach programs and partnerships with educational institutions, society aims to increase public understanding of how optical technologies impact daily life and the future technological landscape.

Overall, Optica serves as a cornerstone in the optical and photonic communities, fostering growth, innovation, and collaboration. Its efforts not only advance scientific understanding and technological development but also ensure that the field continues to thrive and expand its impact on the world.