MODERN OPTICS and the NATURE OF LIGHT

About the Workshop

Each year, the Department of Physics at Lawrence University hosts a weekend workshop for high school seniors with interests in physics. The twenty-eight Lawrence Physics Workshop will be held in 2015 on Saturday, February 21. Participants will arrive sometime on Friday, February 20, check in with their student hosts for the weekend, and gather in the late afternoon for a welcoming reception, dinner, and departmental open house. Assisted by members of the physics faculty and by several current Lawrence physics majors, participants will on Saturday work in various departmental laboratories to perform six to eight experiments in several areas. The workshop will conclude formally at about 4:30 PM on Saturday.

Why do we host the Lawrence Physics Workshop?

The faculty and students in the physics department at Lawrence University host this annual workshop in order to showcase our physics program to prospective physics students in hopes that many of the attendees will choose to study physics at Lawrence. We have a top-notch physics program that can prepare you for a career in research, teaching, engineering, and other technical fields.

Workshop Activities

This year's workshop has the theme of Exploring the Nature of Light.  Participants in the past workshops performed a variety of experiments and computational exercises such as:

  •         Simulate planet formation in the early solar system
  •         Analyze astronomical data to detect planets around other stars
  •         Trap electron plasmas in a toroidal magnetic field
  •         Observe atoms on the surface of crystalline graphite
  •         Measure the spacing between atoms in aluminum using X-rays techniques
  •         Generate chaotic strange attractor
  •         Simulate vibrating membranes
  •         Measure the speed of light using a pulsed nitrogen laser
  •         Excite atoms using a powerful argon-ion pumped tunable dye laser
  •         Make holograms
  •         "Build" a helium-neon laser
  •         Measure the wavelength of light ... using a ruler!

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