Light provides an enormous amount of information about the world around us. It allows us to examine processes on scales from the very small (cells) to the very large (galaxies). By using the different properties and types of light, we can gather information on the chemical and physical makeup of materials, compounds and biological samples. This is invaluable for applications as diverse as pharmaceuticals, agriculture and medical imaging. Moreover, light can be used to transmit information; it forms the backbone of the fast fibre-optic networks that make up today’s internet, relying on ultra-compact semiconductor lasers and ingenious nanoscale structures. The general area of generating and manipulating light is known as photonics.
In this series of videos, the photonics researchers at the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA), a research group of Cork Institute of Technology co-located at the Tyndall National Institute, will:
- Explain what a light spectrum is and how it provides a fingerprint for chemical compounds, and demonstrate how to make your own simple spectrometer at home;
- Bring you on a tour of the state-of-the-art CAPPA labs in the CREATE building on CIT’s Bishopstown campus, showing the advanced spectroscopy and imaging systems and nanophotonic devices used to assist local and multinational companies with their analysis, process control and R&D programmes;
- Take you into the CAPPA labs in the Tyndall National Institute and showcase how researchers are developing novel laser devices to enable advanced OCT medical imaging techniques which can look beneath the surface of the skin.
For more information on CAPPA, visit the group’s website at www.cappa.ie.