The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) was delighted to take part in Culture Night Cork, which took place on Friday September 18. Due to the current COVID – 19 restrictions CAPPA held a virtual event titled “Light Informing Light” which ran from 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

Light provides an enormous amount of information about the world around us. It allows us to examine processes on scales from the very small (cells) to the very large (galaxies). By using the different properties and types of light, we can gather information on the chemical and physical makeup of materials, compounds and biological samples. This is invaluable for applications as diverse as pharmaceuticals, agriculture and medical imaging. Moreover, light can be used to transmit information; it forms the backbone of the fast fibre-optic networks that make up today’s internet, relying on ultra-compact semiconductor lasers and ingenious nanoscale structures. The general area of generating and manipulating light is known as photonics.

In the series of videos, the photonics researchers at the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA), highlighted:

  • A series of experiments aimed at children which can be done using everyday household items;
  • Explained what a light spectrum is and how it provides a fingerprint for chemical compounds, and demonstrate how to make your own simple spectrometer at home;
  • Showed a tour of the state-of-the-art CAPPA labs in the CREATE building on CIT’s Bishopstown campus, showing the advanced spectroscopy and imaging systems and nanophotonic devices used to assist local and multinational companies with their analysis, process control and R&D programmes;
  • Showed the testing of the passive nanophotonics devices on a chip scale by various methods
  • Showcased the CAPPA labs in the Tyndall National Institute and showcase how researchers are developing novel laser devices to enable advanced OCT medical imaging techniques which can look beneath the surface of the skin.

There was over 100 people in virtual attendance across the various different videos. A selection of the videos are still available to watch here. You can learn more about the photonic applications at CAPPA here.