CHASING THE MYSTERIOUS AND ELUSIVE LIGHT HOLE

2021-07-14T10:29:14-06:00
11/05
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Secrets of semiconductors

Semiconductors are materials with properties intermediate between metals and non-conducting insulators, defined by the amount of energy needed to make an electron conductive in the material. The non-conducting electrons occupy a continuum of energy states, but two of these states (the “heavy hole” and “light hole”) are nearly identical in energy. The heavy hole is easy to observe and study, but the light hole eludes most observers.

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CHASING THE MYSTERIOUS AND ELUSIVE LIGHT HOLE2021-07-14T10:29:14-06:00

Use a laser pointer to measure the thickness of your hair!

2021-07-14T11:14:27-06:00
11/05
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Light scattering and diffraction

Have you ever wondered how scientists can accurately measure the size of very small objects like molecules, nanoparticles, and parts of cells? Scientists are continually finding new ways to do this, and one powerful tool they use is light scattering. When an incoming beam of light hits an object, the light "scatters," or breaks into separate streams that form different patterns depending on the size of the object. This incoming light might be visible light, like the light we see from the sun, or it might be higher-energy light like X-rays. The light from commercial laser pointers, it turns out, is perfectly suited to measure the size of a human hair!

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Use a laser pointer to measure the thickness of your hair!2021-07-14T11:14:27-06:00

Coloring INSIDE The Lines

2021-07-14T11:13:36-06:00
05/08
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The Visible Spectrum and Spectroscopes
by Wesley Sliger, Martin Centurion

Have you ever wondered why shining light on a glass of water causes rainbows to appear? Or noticed the colors that reflect from a CD or DVD? In this lesson, you will make an instrument called a spectroscope that can separate light into its hidden components. You will also be able to use the spectroscope to understand why different colored objects and light sources appear the way they do.

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Coloring INSIDE The Lines2021-07-14T11:13:36-06:00

We Blinded Them With Science!

2021-01-28T09:47:10-06:00
06/03
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Physics Demos

(But Not Literally, Because Everyone Wore Safety Goggles) This video showcases the highlights of Jeremy Levy's physics demonstrations for the Investing Now program at the University of Pittsburgh, through which students explored Newton's laws of motion, optical phenomena, and the delicious effects of liquid nitrogen on cream and sugar.

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We Blinded Them With Science!2021-01-28T09:47:10-06:00

Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)

2021-07-14T11:01:30-06:00
03/01
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The wonderful world of complex oxides

One of the oldest and most studied materials in all of physics and materials science has been shown to display magnetism when illuminated with a certain type of light.

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Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)2021-07-14T11:01:30-06:00

How to Make a Quantum Laser Pointer

2021-07-14T11:03:44-06:00
02/27
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Nanowires

Scientists and engineers are making smaller and smaller structures designed to control the quantum states of electrons in a material. By controlling quantum mechanics, we can create new materials that do not exist in nature, develop more efficient solar cells and faster computer chips, and even discover exotic new states of matter.

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How to Make a Quantum Laser Pointer2021-07-14T11:03:44-06:00

Molecular Light Switch

2021-07-14T11:06:49-06:00
02/23
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Just add water

A bit of stray moisture during an experiment tipped off scientists about the strange behavior of a complex oxide material they were studying—shedding light on its potential for improving chemical sensors, computing and information storage. In the presence of a water molecule on its surface, the layered material emits ultraviolet light from its interior.

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Molecular Light Switch2021-07-14T11:06:49-06:00

Improving Transparent Electronics

2021-07-14T11:08:03-06:00
02/23
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Transparent conducting oxides

Transparent conducting oxides are unusual but highly useful materials that combine transparency to visible light, similar to glass, with high electrical conductivity, similar to copper and other metals.

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Improving Transparent Electronics2021-07-14T11:08:03-06:00

Use Light to Turn Your World Upside-Down!

2021-07-14T11:17:45-06:00
02/19
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Making upside-down images

We can easily observe light with our eyes, and so it is one of the most familiar parts of the world around us. And yet, light often does amazing and unexpected things. Light travels in straight lines from the source to our eyes. This fact allows us to understand many of the cool things that light can do. In this lesson, we will observe how light creates mirages and shadows. And we will build a pinhole camera which makes things appear upside-down. We can understand the upside-down images by thinking about the straight line that the light took from the object to the screen.

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Use Light to Turn Your World Upside-Down!2021-07-14T11:17:45-06:00
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