Spectroscopy Lab

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.

Spectroscopy Lab I

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.)

Spectroscopy Lab II

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Lush Campus

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.

Lush Campus

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

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