The conference will feature an opportunity to get acquainted with some of the amazing research happening in Oxford Physics with tours of laboratories covering a range of research areas and methods. The tours are split into three groups, which are described below. Attendees will be able to sign up to their tour of choice during registration on the Friday morning.
On this tour, visit a particle physics lab in which parts for the ATLAS detector at CERN, the machine that helped discover the Higgs boson, are calibrated and constructed; a laser lab where researchers work on developing ultrashort laser pulses, only an attosecond (10^-18 s) in length, used to probe dynamics on the timescale of electron orbital motion in an atom; and Oxford's very own particle accelerator. You will also see an astrophysics lab where instruments for the current and next generation or premier observatories such as the E-ELT are designed and constructed.
Pictures, clockwise from top left: ATLAS semiconductor tracker; attosecond laser pulse science; back of the KMOS spectrographs on the VLT.
On this tour, visit a quantum computing lab in which ultracold calcium ions are trapped in highly focused laser beams and manipulated to form the building blocks of a quantum computer; a terahertz spectroscopy lab where semiconductor nanowires and photovoltaic cells are characterized; and a biophysics lab where nanostructures are designed for medical use – such as cancer therapy and drug delivery. You’ll also tour a photovoltaics lab in which organic solar cells and LEDs are developed and fabricated.
Pictures, clockwise from top left: Semiconductor photovoltaics; single calcium ions trapped in laser beams; DNA nanotechnology.
This lab tour will showcase a quantum optics lab in which exotic states of light are generated and used for quantum metrology, a technique for making very precise measurements, and quantum computing. You’ll also see lab astrophysics in action, wherein the conditions inside a supernova, the catastrophic explosion that occurs as a star dies, are recreating using extremely high-powered lasers. Also on the agenda is a biophysics lab in which DNA and the mechanical properties of cells are studied using an atomic force microscope, a device that allows for imaging on the nanoscale using a micrometer-sized cantilever. Finally, you’ll visit a laser lab that uses femtosecond (10^-15 s) laser pulses to study charge dynamics in novel organic semiconductor materials for eventual application as efficient solar cells.
Pictures, clockwise from top left: Supernova generated in a lab by lasers; atomic force microscope cantilever; quantum optics setup.