Treballs de recerca – First research project
Discover how ICFO can help you with your project:
there are many opportunities waiting for you!
Do you want to investigate light and its properties? Look at all the opportunities we offer you: there must be one that you like!
Don’t forget that you can present your project to the Young Photonics Congress organized by ICFO.
Here you can find a selection of hands-on activities related to different aspects of optics and photonics.
Each activity takes place at ICFO, it lasts approximately 2 hours and it is open to small groups of up to 3 students.
You can come here to experiment with us and learn some technique or experiment that can be the basis of an original and creative research project. We hope you’ll come back and show us what you did at the Young Photonics Congress.
You can choose among these projects:
EXPLORE MATTER WITH DIFFRACTION
Light is a powerful tool to understand the microscopic structure of matter: in this activity, a macroscopic model will introduce you to the basic principle of the X-Ray diffraction that is at the basis of many important scientific discoveries, like the DNA double-helix structure. This activity will be available only in months of February and March 2019.
This kind of interferometer was designed more than one hundred years ago to find the answer to one fundamental question of physics: is the space completely empty or filled with ether? More recently, in 2015, they used this same kind of interferometer to observe gravitational waves for the first time. In this activity, you can build a Michelson interferometer with your own hands.
Graphene is an amazing material. This 2D material has a one-atom thick carbon structure that is 200 times stronger than steel, but is at the same time transparent and very light, presenting extraordinary electrical and thermal properties. This assures a brilliant future for this technology.
In this activity, you can make some graphene and then observe it with the microscope.
A Schlieren camera allows us to see changes in the refraction index that are impossible to see with our bare eyes. In this project you can learn how to build one and see the invisible.
The counter-intuitive properties of quantum physics allow us to develop interesting applications, like ultra-secure communications. In this activity, you’ll learn some basic concepts about quantum physics and you will learn the simplest way to send a secret message thanks to quantum physics (BB84 protocol) through a practical activity with laser and polarizers.
MEASURE WITH A LASER
Lasers are very versatile tools that are at the core of many present technologies: that’s one of the reasons why photonics is so important for our lives. In this activity you can use a laser to measure very small things like the diameter of a hair or the size of the holes in a CD. You can also measure the distance of an object.
Optical fibers are at the core of the internet as we know it now: if we hadn’t these channels to transport light from one corner to the other of our planet, we wouldn’t be able to exchange information so rapidly. With this activity you can learn how to put light into a fiber.
If you can’t find something that you like or there are no suitable dates in the calendar, we’ll try our best to find something that matches your interests!
Talk to a researcher
If your research project is related to one of the topics that we research here at ICFO and you have some specific questions that some of our researchers may be able to answer, we can put you in contact with her/him!
Do you want to research light and its properties, but you don’t know where to start from?
Here you’ll find some resources to inspire you for your next project.
- Instructions to build a spectroscope with a DVD and other materials easy to find. It has to be fixed to a mobile phone to obtain the images: https://publiclab.org/wiki/foldable-spec
This spectroscope is associated to the Spectral Workbench web platform (https://spectralworkbench.org/) where you can upload your photos shot with your mobile phone and obtain a plot of the light spectrum.
This spectroscope is part of a crowdsourcing project that also developed a more precise spectrometer. Here are the instructions to build it: https://publiclab.org/wiki/desktop-spectrometry-kit-3-0.
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