What we do in a quantum optics lab

ETA: This is more a masterpost for my own purposes. The intended audience is senior undergraduate/early graduate physics students, and assumes at least an undergraduate electromagnetism and optics course. At some point I’ll work on explaining things to a lay audience, but right now I have to focus on learning and communicating technical concepts to a senior undergrad/grad physics audience.

My friend and labmate makes stuff vibrate with light, and made this video about our research, our lab, and his project for a student competition next week:

My talk for the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference last October, hacked together from my undergrad thesis introductory talk and some pretty pictures from my summer project:

(If I sound stuffy or high or not entirely there, I had a cold the whole four days of the conference.)

Working with/for my undergraduate research advisor and research group is the best thing that I can remember happening to me in my life so far. Even as I cared not about food or sleep or classes, I held on to the thought of working in (being welcome in) a photonics lab with warm hearted and interesting people. All I can say is that at the end of this project I have some external evidence to suggest that I may actually (have the potential to) be competent as a researcher, even if I don’t have a 4.0 in my honours degree.