A laser fairytale

//30 March 2015

Some time in 2015 I had this vision for an enlaserment website, where I would organise and present my freshly acquired knowledge on lasers. Now, that wasn’t a bad idea per se, but evidently I wasn’t equal to the task yet.

The hyperfine structure of cesium

//24 March 2015

Today in the lab of atomic spectra we built a setup for observing the hyperfine structure of cesium. It is a big deal for atomic clocks as they use this transition to “tick”. It is also a very very tiny and fine effect (as its name suggests) so it’s pretty exciting that we can see it with such simple setup.

Gambling with electronics… literally

//26 February 2015

Finally… I am done with my exams and there is time for some fun.

No, I didn’t spend a fortune in a casino. But I wanted to try some of the “games” that could be assembled with my Conrad kit which includes a breadboard and some basic elements. The binary die caught my eye (woah, a rhyme!) Most tabletop games require a die or two. It’s usually a plain old six-sided guy, although if you’ve played Dungeons & Dragons, you know there are some bizarre looking cousins of this die. The most famous being the d20, or a regular icosahedron if you prefer the geometric term. So there I was, dreaming of how spectacular it would be if I appeared at our next D&D session with a light show on a breadboard which is actually a 20-sided die.

Laser rays, beams and divergence

//21 December 2014

I guess no one says “laser rays” in English, but in Bulgarian the two words for ray (infinitely narrow) and beam (as a shaft or bundle) of light are frequently interchanged. This purely linguistic difference could actually teach us a bit how divergence works.

A very basic study of an optical fiber cable

//16 December 2014

An optical fiber is essentially a waveguide for light. It consists of core and cladding and the refractive index of the core is larger than the refractive index of the cladding. Thus the light is confined inside the core due to total internal reflection. This simple concept can be observed here: