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Lviv Days of Light

Lviv_Days_Light__09ICTP Young Minds section together with Ivan Franko National University of Lviv held the “Lviv Days of Light” in May 16-17, 2015. The event consisted of three parts: lecturing part, experimental part and entertaining part. The role of light in art, the nature of light and the application of optics in everyday life were discussed during the presentations. Interesting light phenomena, namely: interference, diffraction, polarization, luminescence etc. – were demonstrated later. Finally, everybody had an opportunity to draw a picture using luminous paints and to observe the beautiful effect afterwards under the UV light.

The program of the activities was the following:
16 May:

  1. Popular scientific talk about the role of light in art, given by Victoria Boyarko-Dolzhenko from the Lviv Academy of Art;
  2. Everybody (children of all ages!) had an opportunity to draw a picture using the luminous paints;

17 May:

  1. Popular lecture about the role of light and its different sources was provided by Vitaly Vistovskyy from the Department of Experimental Physics (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv);
  2. Fascinating optical experiments demonstrating the physical properties of light were provided by Igor Pashuk and Andrij Zhyshkovych from the Department of Experimental Physics (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv);
  3. Exhibition of luminous drawings including a number of paintings created by lviv artist Oksana Romanova.

Light Research Seminar Day

BudapestThe Budapest YM Section organized a special seminar to presented current Hungarian light based researches. Recognized scientists from the research industry performed lectures on a variety of topics. The target audience consisted of two parts: pre­ and postgraduate students who would like to find a new research areas and young scientists who would like to get to know each other’s works. The presented wide scale of topics on light based science and technology have an important part in research, ranging from optics to astronomy or biological physics.

­­­­Three presenters from different institutions presented their activities: Fáth Gábor from Morgan Stanley, Rácz Ervin from ELI­ALPS and Patay Gergely from Mediso Medical Imaging Systems.
We asked a lecturer specially to introduce the largest current scientific research project in Hungary, the ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI­ALPS) of Szeged. The seminar room was at the ELTE Lagymanyos Campus. The lecturers made 30 minutes long presentations on their research subjects and after the participants asked questions from the lecturer and discussed ideas. We planned to organize a whole day long interesting and high quality seminar on light, but it turned out the timing was unfortunately not too good. Because of the end of the semester and the exam period, we had a little less participants then expected. However, those who were present (participants and lecturers alike) had a very positive experience, one our participants has already successfully applied for a job he heard from one of the presenters, he started to work in that job in the private sector.
We learned from this event that in the future we should look for an alternative date for the seminar, and we should focus more on career opportunities than on thematic research area presentations.

Lectures on light & light technologies

2015_Vilnius_Lectures_IYLLithuania can be proud of advancements in lasers, optics and photonics and the interest is wide-spread in society. However there is a lack of high quality seminars, lectures which are open and known for the society. Thus, the Vilnius YM Section offered a cycle of seminars together with solutions of improving the spreading of information and the availability to general audience.

The lectures took place during the international conference for students of physics and natural sciences Open Readings 2015 which is accessible for everyone and is already well-known to students of Vilnius University. However, we thought that reaching full audience is not enough, while there are thousands of people in the internet who would love to see this kind of lectures as well. In total we managed to have 6 lectures starting from physics of the everyday life the lectures covered a variety of topics: nano-structuring, spectroscopy, light emitting diodes, lasers and optical stimulation of neurons and the essence of astrophysics – the black holes. Usually in this international conference topics are not always connected with optics or light sciences, but as this year is the International Year of Light it was a great opportunity to design everything in order to honor the celebration.

Most of the lectures on light and light technologies can be accessed online on the Open Readings web:
• “Move into Nano-World by Femtosecond Lasers” by Wolfgang Kautek
• “Ultrafast processes explored by spectroscopy” by Mikas Vengris
• “From Nanopowder Science to Next Generation Lasers” by Gregory J. Quarles
• “Optical Stimulation of Neurons” by Paul R. Stoddart
• “Supermassive Black Holes and Their Galaxies” by Kastytis Zubovas

This way the number of potential attendees was assured to be as high as possible. We believe that people who attended or watched the lectures improved their theoretical knowledge and got the best look at applications. Lectures increased the awareness of light technologies in general and the importance of International Year of Light was spread as widely as it could be!

ILY @ Developments in Optics and Communications 2015

Riga_IYL_1During the international student and young scientist conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2015”, the Riga YM Section organized a special welcome party to celebrate the International Year of Light, although it was a theme throughout the whole conference. The conference logo was adapted this year to include the logo of the International Year of Light. It was mentioned during all three conference days that this year it is a special year for our conference, organizers and also participants and that this year even more than before we are celebrating Light.
Each participant got a present in their conference bag – a pin with the International Year of Light logo.

This social activity included different activities: introduction game in which all the participants could get to know each other better and other games. A KHET Laser Game tournament was held that allowed participants to challenge each other intellectually as well – this game needs knowledge on how light rays reflect, and also some strategic thinking to predict the opponent’s next moves. A Quiz about Physics and Light was held during the Welcome party to see who can get the right answers the fastest.
During the International Year of Light Welcome party, which was held in the evening of the first day of the conference, participants got to know each other better, got a chance to network with each other not just regarding their scientific work, but also to discuss and share ideas about different outreach activities that can be organized. The organizers believe that this event was very useful for everyone, and participants enjoyed it very much.

Play with optic

Rome_IYL__01On February 27th,at Roma Tre Mathematics and Physics Department, was performed the event “Occhi su Giove: l’autovelox per la luce”. About 600 persons took part at the evening.
During the event it was possible to observe with telescopes of the Department and to took part at the ‘Play with optics’ experiments.
Our experiments concerned arguments studied during the degree course and expanded for personal curiosity. Experiments concepts were:

  1. OPTICS LAWS: The purpose of the activity was to provide an opportunity to discover the optics (geometrical and physical) by means of hands-on labs. To explain these phenomena we used:
    • laser pointers and mirrors , to show refraction and reflection laws of light in water and in other materials;
    • different torches to show diffusion in a medium and to answer questions like ‘Why is the sky blue?’;
    • bottles filled with water to produce waveguides;
    • 3D cinema glasses and a LCD monitor, whose screen was used as a polarizing filter, in order to explain the polarization of light;
    • Slits, laser and participants’ hair were used to talk about the diffraction of light.
  2. THE EYE AND THE 3D VISION: The experiment was focused on eye’s functionality and was divided into three steps: the anatomical components of a healthy eye, how these components works together, and why, if one eye works perfectly alone, we have two of them?
    In this regard, a demonstration on how our brains are able to make us understand the three-dimensions, using a stereoscope, was given.
    Moreover was explained the concept of the cinema 3D vision, with practical demonstration of the three-dimensional view of a siderite through anaglyph glasses.
  3. GRAVITATIONAL LENSES, MASS THAT DEFLECTS LIGHT: The idea at the base of the experiments was to show that the general relativity’s topics aren’t so far from reality. In fact, many theory’s arguments have a practical application like the gravitational lenses, which are used for astrophysics’ investigations. To do that, minor experiments have been used. Some of that were: a sheet bended by a ball to simulate the warped space-time and a mirror that shows how candle’s light could be reflected or distorted, as the gravitational lenses do.
  4. AUTO-GRAVITING WATER: The goal of the experiment is to obtain an optical effect that gives various perception of water drops: flowing downward in slow motion, suspended in the air, flowing upward. To achieve this goal, two tools have been used: a subwoofer and a strobe light. The water flowed in a little tube attached to the subwoofer that made it oscillate, and when the water was spilled out, it was enlightened by the strobe light at different frequencies. The demonstration of these three optical effects have been made possible by using specific frequencies of the strobe light.