The UN has declared 2015 the International Year of Light to highlight the central role of light has in the modern world from science and technology to nature and culture. Year of Light makers come from the SPIE and OSA Student Chapters of both UCD and NUIG to demonstrate how light is used in our everyday lives though lots of hands on experiments and demonstrations including;
- Medical imaging, surgical procedures, and even diagnoses rely upon the use of light. An example is Tissue Viability (TiVi) imaging, which is method of determining blood concentration in tissue using a standard digital camera and a laptop. This is a nice example of a very simple medical imaging system, using easy to understand image processing and components that many people have available at home.
- Light based smartphone apps using the camera of smartphones to capture meaningful changes in the light, such as the redness in the skin or even the heart rate.
- Interference with light (laser and white light) using a Michelson Interferometer.
- Making UV bracelets and LED badges.
- There will also be some optical illusions to show the different ways in which light works.
- Laser graffiti
We are a group of Ph.D. students from the Physics department of NUI Galway and we research on a branch of science called ‘Biophotonics’, which is basically all about using light to see and understand the inner workings of living things (like cells and tissues!) Medical imaging (like X-rays), microscopes and laser eye surgery are just some examples of the impact light has on biology and healthcare.
2015 has been declared ‘The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies’ by the United Nations. This has inspired us to get out and show everybody how everyday items like smartphones and camera’s can be turned into light-based technologies that can be used in healthcare. For example did you know that a smartphone can be used to measure your heart rate? Or that a everyday digital camera can show the concentration of red blood cells in your arm? At Dublin Maker we will be there to show you how this can be done, and we will have some other fascinating demonstrations about the science of light for you to try out!
The SPIE / OSA Student Chapter was established over 10 years ago to help promote optics and photonics through outreach and public engagement. We are based in the College of Engineering in UCD. We will be collaborating with our colleagues in the NUI Galway SPIE and OSA Student Chapter at Dublin Maker to promote the International Year of Light. We have already taken part in UCD Light and Shadow and InspireFest Fringe as part of the International Year of Light outreach activities. Our stand will consist of hands on activities including making UV bracelets and LED badges. We will have a number of optical illusions and diffraction (rainbow) glasses to help explain the properties of light.
The aim of the NUI Galway OSA Student Chapter is to bring together people with common interests in the fields of optics and related disciplines. We organise events and activities that promote optics in the university and the wider community. Our members are part of the Physics Department at NUI Galway and the majority of us carry out research in the field of applied optics. At Dublin Maker we will be demonstrating our new laser graffiti setup and we are looking forward to working with the other chapters!