Feb 01

Lecture series “Physicists at work”

The event from the lecture series “Physicists at work”, co-organised by FAU`s physics department and our chapter, took place on the 26th of January at the university building. It welcomed around 40 students from the Max Planck Institute and FAU. The speakers, Dr. Christian Gabriel and Dr. Michael Förtsch, enjoyed a lively discussion with many questions from the audience continuing on the reception afterwards. Additionally our board took the opportunity to give a short tour of the new MPL building.

Some impressions of the lecture can be viewed in the gallery.


Jan 26

Lecture series “Physicists at work”

We would like to invite you to a lecture of the series “Physicists at work” co-organised by FAU`s physics department and our chapter. The event will take place today (26 January 2017) from 17h in lecture hall E in the physics building of the University. Two members of the MPL alumni will be present – namely Dr. Christian Gabriel and Dr. Michael Förtsch. The discussion will be followed by a reception with small bites and refreshments. More information can be found here.


Jan 17

Visit of Michael Duncan at MPL


On November 10 Michael Duncan, senior science advisor of the OSA, was visiting the MPL. In a presentation he described his current and former work in the OSA and pointed out how an OSA membership or the activity in an OSA student chapter can help one’s career. Our board took the opportunity to talk to Michael and to present our chapter activities.

Jan 12

Annual election of the board 2016

As set by the chapter bylaws, we held our annual election of the board on Dec 8. After a successful election, we are happy to present the new board structure:


Imran Khan


Richard Zeltner


Mihail Petev


Alexander Otterpohl


Florian Loosen


Kevin Günthner

Assistant Officer

Manoj Mridha

Assistant Officer

Stefan Richter

Assistant Officer

We congratulate the new board members, especially the newly designated assistant officers, to their positions!

We thank the retired board member, vice-president Vanessa Chille, for her successful work and support for the OSA student chapter hbaromega Erlangen.

Nov 06

Technical Faculty turns 50 years!

Together with the OSA centennial, our technical faculty of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg turned 50 years old. The occasion was celebrated by opening the doors of all faculty chairs to the public and showing off the science and engineering pwp_20161105_11_14_35_proerformed there.

Our student chapter had the chance to participate in the event and promote science and especially optics to the general public. Many interested people from industry as well as from the engineering departments dropped by to have a look at our polarization box or to learn more about the activities of OSA and EPS.

Check out our gallery here to get some impressions!


May 23

Bergkirchweih 2016

Following annual traditions our hbar Omega Student Chapter was visiting the “Erlanger Bergkirchweih” on the 19th of May. Despite the cloudy weather a number of chapter members from all of the institute divisions joined in this informal gathering, getting in touch and enjoying the famous Franconian Beer.

May 17

Blaue Nacht 2016

The “Blaue Nacht” is a famous cultural event, during which representatives from science and art present their work to the broad public of the residents of Nuremberg. This year’s event motto being ” Truth”, our Young Mind section was asked to present experiments around optical illusions and related phenomena.

Supported by the EPS Young Minds program
and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), we set up a large number of experiments in the inner yard of the “Bildungszentrum” of the city of Nuremberg. Experiments covering topics such as refraction, total internal reflection, polarization effects and visual perception attracted a continious stream of interested visitors of all ages and educational levels over the whole night.

Our evening program was complemented by short presentations given by researchers of the MPL and members of our Young Minds section, which allowed the visitors to gain insights in ongoing research projects at the MPL and current hot-topics in modern optical science. The huge interest and over 800 visitors made this event a great sucess for us, making both fundamental optical phenomena and current research accessible to the broad public.

Check out the gallery here.

Apr 26

Games Night #3

On Thursday, the 21st of April, the hbarOMEGA Student Chapter and the EPS Young Minds Section Erlangen organized the third MPL Games Night. We welcomed a number of students from the whole institute and enjoyed a fun night with console games and board games alike. The chapter provided some snacks and free beverages. It was a fun evening for the members of the chapter and also some new people and we thank everybody for coming.

We also took some pictures of the event and they can be found here.

Apr 18

“How few photons can the human eye perceive?”

On April 13, our student chapter was very pleased to welcome OSA traveling lecturer Prof. Malvin Carl Teich, professor emeritus at Boston University and Columbia University. He is well known for his seminal book “Fundamentals of Photonics”, co-authored by Bahaa E. A. Saleh. We were very impressed by his curriculum vitae that includes everything from fractal stochastic processes to the study of the information transmission in biological systems.

After a quick welcome at the institute, the officers of the student chapter proceeded to have a common lunch in a Franconian restaurant with Prof. Teich. We had a very relaxed discussion with him that lead us to the question what such a distinguished scientist thinks that could be of future interest in physics or science in general. We were very intrigued by his answer: “I would like to see quantum physics and biology grow closer together.”

Back at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Prof. Teich had a chance to visit the labs of all three divisions of the Max Planck Institute in Erlangen.  The dialogue with the local PhD students included discussions on the progress of single photon emitters in the form of quantum dots and whispering gallery mode resonators, quantum communication systems in the mid-IR regime, as well as dye lasers used for the interaction with single molecules. In addition, some time was scheduled for Prof. Teich to discuss with two of our three directors.

In the evening, Prof. Teich held a lecture entitled “How Few Photons Can the Human Eye Perceive?” We were very curious for an answer to this both fundamental and scientifically very interesting question. And certainly, Prof. Teich did not disappoint, showing the historic series of experiments – some even ranging back several decades – that tried to provide a definitive answer to this question. In the end he and his coworkers came to the conclusion that the number of photons the human eye can perceive strongly depends on the observer. The final number may range from just a few photons to up to hundreds of them, depending on the level of confidence of the observer of actually having observed the dim flash of light.

His enjoyable presentation attracted an audience of about 80 people and triggered many questions and interesting discussions. We have received a lot of positive feedback about his lecture from the attendees. The lecture was followed by a buffet. This was the perfect occasion for students to talk to Prof. Teich and come in contact with other fellow students. During the event we advertised our student chapter and encouraged students to join and support our work.

The hbar OMEGA OSA student chapter Erlangen is very grateful for the opportunities provided by the OSA to have world class scientists visit us and to have the chance to interact with them on a personal level. We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the OSA for its centennial celebration and hope for many more years of great optical science to come.

Feb 15

Broadcast of gravitational wave discovery


On the 11th of February, a press conference in Washington DC was announced by LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Physicists of different fields all over the world were excited about what their colleagues at LIGO had to present. Of course, everyone expected the first observation of gravitational waves and as we now know – we have not been disappointed. The researchers presented the first observation of gravitational waves that originated from a merger of two black holes (Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102).

Our hbar Omega Student Chapter wanted to help spread the news and organized a spontaneous broadcast of the livestream. Providing snacks and beverages, we could welcome over 50 fellow students and coworkers from our institute and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg witnessing this historical moment.

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