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Optics Research Ideas

  1. Apr 26, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm a high school junior and was recently accepted into the Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University. I have seven weeks during the summer to select a project and carry out experiments, possibly entering my research in the Intel Science Talent Search. I will be working in the laser teaching center with optics.

    This is my first real research project, so I don't really know how to go about selecting a project. My mentor has given me some advice and I'll work with him in the final selection process, but at this point I'm just brainstorming ideas. I would be grateful if anyone could help me think of project ideas.

    My current ideas include:
    -Some exploration of gravitational lensing
    -Something involving metamaterials with negative indexes of refraction (I have no idea what)
    -Exploration of some properties of optical vortices

    As you can see, these are rather vague, and any refinement would be greatly appreciated, as would any new ideas.

    Thanks in advance for your help. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    What ideas has your mentor suggested? If you are picking a topic outside of your mentor's experience, you are making the project much more difficult for yourself.

    That said, your list is pretty much what popped into my head when I read the subject line. Are you interested in constructing/fabricating something, modeling behavior of a system, or something else?
  4. May 4, 2010 #3
    My instructor has been running the Laser Teaching Center for eleven years, and has seen many optics projects, so I'm not too worried about being outside of his comfort zone, and he has suggested all sorts of things from lens properties to interference patterns to modeling the amount of light given off by glow-in-the-dark stars.

    As to your second question I think that at this point I would be most interested in modeling a system.
  5. May 4, 2010 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    Modeling metamaterials (i.e. photonic bandgaps) could be interesting. So would optical vortices- those are experimentally accessible, so you'd have a nice hook in case you wanted to do some follow-up work in the lab.
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