Above St. Lawrence’s Campus

I’ve often commented to curious colleagues that the benefit of drone photography is the ability to get images from that “impossible” space: lower than a helicopter or other light aircraft might dare fly, but higher than a photographer could reach with a cherry picker. Those are views that can only be had from building height, and so a drone let’s one (metaphorically) put a temporary building wherever they’d like, at least for photographic purposes.

I’m evidently not obeying that rule here, nearly 400 feet above St. Lawrence University’s sylvan campus. It’s from this height where the taper of from larger halls down to smaller dorms and townhouses, and then ultimately to wooded space at the eastern edge of campus, is visible.

Above St. Lawrence's Campus

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Halloween Rainbow

Summer research students at St. Lawrence have reached the halfway point (chronologically) of their projects, and the wildest (read: hottest) weather of the summer is coming along with it. At times like that, looking back on (and forward to) the cooler fall weather is a respite.

Halloween Rainbow

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

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