Approaching the summer solstice, the start of fall-semester classes and their attendant labs seems far away, but a new class of St. Lawrence first-year students will be here before I know it.
This was one of the light sources students were interrogating: a sodium lamp, like the ones used in street lights (at least in the twentieth century—LED street lamps are becoming increasingly dominant now.)
The long winter seems long behind us and campus is lush with flowering trees and grass carpets. Brush Quad, situated between St. Lawrence University’s oldest building (Richardson Hall) and its newest (Kirk Douglas Hall), looks particularly welcoming.
David Lynch’s projects have documented the (sometimes sinister) weirdness underlying small-town life, and I think I’ve occasionally captured a hint of that in my pictures of Canton. High above the town after an August storm, the clouds impart a definitely Lynchian vibe.
This weekend marked the first truly warm days (i.e. spring) after a long winter, and there’s not long now until St. Lawrence’s students graduate on that sunset-lit quad at the center of the image.
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.
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.
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?