Scientists from Heriot-Watt University attended the Incredible Power of Light Exhibition at the Scottish Parliament on Saturday April 11th, which was centred around the world's most powerful laser, The Vulcan, a laser 10'000 more powerful than the National Grid! Scientists from across the school of Engineering and Physical Sciences came together to inform and inspire the general public about light-based research.

Dr Jonathan Leach (the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences) presented the Creative Cameras exhibit, which demonstrates new technologies that can video the motion of light travelling through air. Dr Arno Kraft (the Institute of Chemistry) and Dr Nicola Howarth (the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering - IB3) designed and presented an intruiging experiment showing how a colorimeter made from Lego could be used to see whats happening in a chemical reaction. Lastly Professor Rory Duncan (IB3, ESRIC) led a team demonstrating the use of fluorescence and microscopy to study cellular processes and disease, people from a range of backgrounds and ages were able to capture fluorescent images and even take microscopic images with their own smartphone - an initiative soon to be running across schools in Scotland called Enlightenment.

power of light

Featured: Miguel Hermida (PhD Student), Katarzyna Cialowicz (PhD Student), Dr Arno Kraft and the Lego Colorimeter, The Smartphone microscope, Dr Jonathan Leach and Prof. Daniele Faccio and their Creative Cameras.

The event was coordinated through Heriot-Watt Engage and is part of the UN International Year of Light.