Federally funded research centers founded for the purpose of scientific advancement and innovation
Many federally funded labs have ongoing projects in optics. For example,
Brookhaven National Laboratory has some research projects involving the use of photons to probe the structure of materials.
LIGO is focused on using lasers and interferometry to detect gravitational waves.
Argonne National Laboratory is home of the Advanced Photon Source and has research projects surround ultra-bright, high energy x-ray beams.