532 nm

In St. Lawrence’s Raman spectroscopy and microscopy lab, the most potent laser illumination source comes from a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet. This is a pretty ubiquitous laser source, but I happen to like it because it also demonstrates the value of nonlinear optics: though this laser is emitting light at 1064 nanometers (in the infrared), a suitable doubling crystal can combine two of those 1064 photons together to make a shiny new 532 nm photon.

532 nm

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Post-Storm Dorm

The oldest buildings on St. Lawrence’s campus have seen their share of winter storms (particularly these frustrating, wet-snow-in-March varieties), and always seem to be at their most comfortable under a coat of snow.

Post-Storm Dorm

St. Lawrence Winter Flight

I’ve previously compared the feel of St. Lawrence University’s campus in the winter to a ski resort missing its ski slopes; even from the air, the miniature snow city effect holds. Though I’m not sure I can explain the particular magic of this image, it currently holds the record has the most-liked picture on St. Lawrence’s Instagram. Perhaps it’s the glow of the setting sun on the buildings?

St. Lawrence Winter Flight

Frozen Retreat

North Country temperatures abruptly rose from 20ºF to nearly 60ºF before suddenly dropping to -20ºF—all in under 36 hours. The result was rain that completely melted almost all snow, followed by freezing rain that deposited a layer of ice, followed by a new 12″ of snow to replace what came before.

In the midst of that chaos, I visited the Grasse River through the center of Canton to see it rising above its banks and jamming the shores with ice.

Frozen Retreat

Campus on the Eve of Finals Week

Finals week is upon St. Lawrence University. The campus is in full “winter mode”, blanketed with snow. The oddest thing about this time is its effect on the student population: a sharp partitioning between those who are finished, relaxed, preparing to leave and those who are tense, stressed, and trying to make it through. Like the dynamics of molecules in excited states, that latter group slowly relaxes to join the former.

Campus on the Eve of Finals Week

One Red Tree

From a quadcopter-eye’s view of Johnson Hall, the effects of this season’s abnormal weather are on full display. Instead of “oranges and golds,” the North Country landscape has reached an odd “green trees and bare sticks” mix. This rogue maple is fighting the good fight for fall!

One Red Tree