On May 18th OSKar had the privilege to host once again Dr. Falk Eilenberger of the Fraunhofer IOF institute in Jena, to talk about high power lasers, their design constraints and some future applications answering the question “so, how far in power can we go this time?”
The talk was mostly focused on fiber lasers, and covered everything from the basics of fiber lasers design and characterization, as well as some interesting applications for ultra-short pulse generation and high-power applications.
The questions and answer session posed some interesting perspectives from the students, curious to understand the underlying phenomena which was wonderfully explained by Dr. Eilenberger. The discussion was then shifted to the evening mixer where the conversation was continued by many of the students, as well as some former board members and OSKar participants that joined the talk.
Five generations of OSKar members together
Participation of women in STEM is incredibly important and one of the main foci of our student chapter as we have pointed out before, since the percentage of women in these areas is incredibly low.
In cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, OSKar participated in Girls’ Day at KIT, an event around the idea of bringing young girls closer to science and technology, by making it appealing and fun, instead of the idea that science must be stiff, rigorous, and let’s not lie to ourselves, even boring.
Starting at 11AM, OSKar had a chance to explain what is optics and photonics, which is highly misunderstood by the general public: “So, you make spectacles, right?”. Well, no, not really. Optics is everything. Optics is light. Optics is everywhere.
The group was split in two groups: While most experiments are demonstrative and require some interaction from the attendees, some direction was provided by the OSKar members, by showing the principle and then allowing the girls to go on with their creativity.
After a brief lunch, the groups were switched around to allow all girls to experience the full experiment set, and then let the girls choose their favorite to continue toying around with new ways of seeing the experiment. Many of the girls also took colorful selfies using various light sources, as well as our female members who took a few pictures with interesting optical artifacts from light sources in the room.
The experiments will be refreshed for the following interactive sessions, with what the group has learned from sharing the experiments with young girls who gave us an interesting perspective on what would also be interesting to show young prospect scientist in the future.