Thursday, April 23, 2009

Foundation Photonics - world-record breaking

This week at the University of Southampton's School of Physics and Astronomy we've produced a world record-breaking number of holograms - 110 in two days, and the students have designed and printed some excellent posters, based on photonics.

Benjamin Charlton, Adam Gibbard, Constantine Tsavliris and Ehab Otman researched Holographic Versatile Disks. Their poster is shown on the left. Benjamin said "HVDs can hold 4 Terabytes of information - which is equivalent to all of Google Earth on two disks - or the library of congress on 6 disks. Impressive!"

Ehab says "HVDs can record up to 1Gb per second - equivalent to a whole movie in one second!"

Work Experience Students Ginny Marshall and Tom Jefferson-Brain from local schools - Mountbatten Language and Sports College and Wyvern Technology College - have been helping run the show. Tom said about his experience,

"I have been thoroughly amazed at the things I have seen. I have learned about lasers and wierd phenomena around light theory - for example; interference, quantum effects and total internal reflection, whilst making holograms that turned out great. I've had the experience of being a student - and seen what it's like to be a member of staff at the front of the lecture theatre - something which many of my peers will not get the opportunity to do. I've had an enjoyable four days so far, not just making cups of tea - like many of my friends have had to do."

Ginny said, "so far my work experience here has been really good, I didn't even know that this branch of science existed before the beginning of this week. Seeing University life might help me make decisions about my future career - I still have no idea what I want to do. Adults have no right to complain about work, I don't want to go back to school!"



The Foundation Year students have seen the Light Express Roadshow. The Head of the course, Dr John Mills made a guest appearance during the show playing his guitar down the laser beam.

Mohammad Bilal, Stephen Elsmere, Trina Ng, Sam Berry and Chris Holmes - the Post graduate student helpers.

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