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How does a message travel through a fibre?

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The majority of the data transmitted across the Internet is carried using light. Come and find out how light pulses are carried using glass fibres that are the thickness of your hair.

 

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Laser engraver and cutter

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One of the most common uses of lasers is in manufacturing. Come and see a high powered laser engraver and cutter in action!

 

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Demonstrating signal interruption

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Everything from radio waves to light waves can be used to carry information. The air around us is filled with words. In this demo we will look at how to transmit our very own words through the air. By getting our hands into this experiment we can look at what affects optical communication systems that rely on this basic technology and discover what happens when you try and touch your own words!

 

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LED Cube

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The LED Cube! With a total of 5120 leds, the LED Cube is super bright from every direction! While also being a video player, the LED Cube can be interactive and fun for everyone!

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Laser microscope

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Do you know why you were told not to drink dirty water? Grab a laser pointer and discover what lurks in Birmingham canal!

 

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M-squared multicolour panel

Line break A demonstration of high quality white light & multi colour panel operating with strips of light emitting diodes. Emitted light in the panel is controlled by the special electronic module, which is controlled through browser-based user interface from a computer.

 

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Colour mixing

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Introduction to light: Learn how to bend, bounce and blend light with three high-tech light sources, lenses, mirrors and an activity guide full of fun and learning.

Light and textiles

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Fibre fuse effect or “Tiny Comet”

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The fibre fuse effect is a problem in modern fibre optics telecommunication systems, however, it can make for a stunningly beautiful show!

If a fibre is locally heated to a temperature of 1000C, the laser radiation propagating through the fibre is strongly absorbed by the heated part, increasing its temperature to 104 K. This high-temperature region, seen as a bright white spot, which looks like a comet moving with a velocity of 1 m/s along the fibre.

 

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Laser projection

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Create your own laser show using laser diodes, diffractive elements and step motors.on!

 

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Undergraduate projects

Line break This display shows the work of first year electronic engineering students at Aston University. It includes among other things an LED harp, a LED light cube, a mood lamp that demonstrates how different colours can be mixed together to give all colour shades, and a light display that monitors your email inbox.

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Diffractive optics

Line break Do you know how light behaves? Really? Get some hands-on experience to see how tiny things make a huge difference! Light pulse

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Interactive LED wall

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Did you know most motion sensing technologies use infrared lighting? This demonstration uses infrared sensors to track motion to allow you create beautiful patterns on a LED wall with your hands and body.

 

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Virtual pottery wheel

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This virtual pottery wheel allows users to create and adjust a spinning virtual cylinder by passing his or her hand through a laser. When satisfied with the final form, the user can save the customised model.

 

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Diffraction on CD/DVD and smartphone

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Ever wonder what the surface of a CD and your smartphone screen looks like? Come and see the wonderful patterns that are generated when a laser strikes these two surfaces.

 

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Light and gummy bears

Have you realised how simple and fun optics can be? Come play with lasers, learn about colours and eat some gummy bears.

Gummy bears

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Why are optical fibres so useful?

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Part 1 – Light Refraction, Optics, TIR

Do you know what glass and the Internet have in common? Find out how fibres that are the width of a single strand of hair make the internet work.

Part 2 – Refractive Index; disappearing objects Behaviour of light travelling through an object is very much dependent on its refractive index. Sounds mysterious? Come and see what this really means and how a clever choice of refractive index can make objects disappear!

Part 3 – TIR, lightguiding Optical fibres have enabled high speed Internet communication. Are you aware how they work? Come and see the science behind modern telecommunication!

 

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Mix your own colours

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Have you had a closer look at the screen of your smartphone or a printed newspaper? Are you curious why a picture can be constructed of a mosaic of tiny points of only three colours?

 

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Fun with optics

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Take some time out and enjoy a game with a friend. We have a wide selection of fun games to play and to challenge you!

 

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Multicolor LED in integration sphere

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Red, green and blue LEDs will be disposed inside a integration sphere. Each LED will be supplied with its own tuneable current source. The integration sphere will mix lots of colours of light to show the full visible spectrum.

 

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Biophotonics for wellbeing and healthy life

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Come and see a laser used for non-invasive monitoring of the human physiological parameters at the fingertip. Anyone can try her/himself for blood microcirculation, tissue oxygen saturation, and metabolism efficiency valuation spending just 3-5 min her/his time. In parallel we will demonstrate main principles of optical non-invasive diagnostic devices and their application for human wellbeing and health life support.

Finger print

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Phosphor light converters

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Discover wonderful patterns that can be produced with phosphor light converters.

 

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Light and textiles

Line break Collection of art dresses with embedded light elements (luminescent materials, optical fibres, lasers, LEDS etc.) which are inspired by glowing deep sea inhabitants (jellyfish, deep sea fish, sea anemones, squids etc.) will be demonstrated.  

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Virtual reality with Google cardboard

Line break See how a regular smartphone display can be used to trick your brain into seeing 3D images. We have a range of video demos that are quite simply amazing! (not recommended for people who suffer from epilepsy or prone to motion sickness).

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Laser harp

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Show us your musical skills on a laser harp. This exciting laser harp is played by blocking individual laser beams which triggers notes on a synthesizer. This project was sponsored by Hobgoblin Music in Birmingham.

 

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Sound modulated onto a laser beam

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How is data transmitted over laser beams? Come and see how you can play music from a phone over a laser beam and play this back using a solar panel and speaker.

 

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LED Chameleon

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Create all the colours visible to the human eye through adjusting three LEDs.

 

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Magic mirror

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Have you ever wondered how those special mirrors work in movies in a police interrogation room? Discover why on one side of the mirror you can only see your own reflection, while on the other side you can see through the mirror.