Jeff Hecht is a freelance science and technology writer and correspondent for the global science weekly New Scientist, where he covers topics from planetary science and lasers to dinosaurs. When inspiration strikes, he writes the occasional short fiction, and lately has been writing short-shorts. "On 202" appeared in Year's Best Horror X (Wagner, ed.), and other fiction has appeared in New Dimensions 8 and 9 (Silverberg, ed.), Vampires (Yolen and Greenberg, eds.), Alien Pregnant by Elvis (Friesner and Greenberg, eds.), Visions of Tomorrow (Dial and Easton, eds.), Futures from Nature (Gee, ed.), and Analog, Asimov's, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, Odyssey, After Hours, and Twilight Zone.
His nonfiction has been published in many magazines, including Analog, IEEE Spectrum, Laser Focus World, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Cosmos, Optics & Photonics News, and Technology Review. Most of his books cover lasers and optics. His two most recent are Understanding Lasers, 3rd edition (IEEE Press/Wiley, 2008) and BEAM: The Race to Make the Laser (Oxford University Press, 2005). His other books include Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race (Plenum 1984, Backinprint.com, 2001), Optics: Light for a New Age (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988, juv.), Shifting Stories: Rising Seas, Retreating Coastlines (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990, juv.), Laser Pioneers (Academic Press, 1991), The Laser Guidebook (2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 1992), Vanishing Life: The Mystery of Mass Extinctions (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993, juv.), City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics (Oxford University Press, 1999), and Understanding Fiber Optics (5th ed., Prentice Hall, 2005). He holds a B.S. in electronic engineering from Caltech and an M.Ed. in higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts, with his wife Lois.