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.

Jan 19

Die Blaue Nacht

Die Blaue Nacht:

Event date: 7th of May 2016

Event location: Downtown Nuremberg

Link – Die Blaue Nacht

Jan 11

Annual election of the board 2015

As set by the chapter bylaws, we held our annual election of the board on Dec 10. After a successful election, we are happy to present the new board structure:

– Imran Khan – President
– Vanessa Chille – Vice-President
– Richard Zeltner – Secretary
– Alexander Otterpohl – Treasurer
– Florian Loosen – Webmaster

We congratulate the new board members to their positions!

We thank the retired board members, president Falk Töppel, vice-president Siegfried Weisenburger,  and treasurer Susann Spindler for their successful work and support for the OSA student chapter hbaromega Erlangen.

Dec 06

Election of the new board

The year will end soon and as usual, the student chapter has to elect the members of the student chapter’s board for 2016. We are holding the election on Wednesday, December 16, at 14:00 in the small seminar room at the MPL. We strongly encourage all members to join the election and learn about the student chapter activities planned for 2016. If you are interested in joining the board as an officer, we recommend to get in touch with the current board members.

Dec 06

Chapter Meeting at Christmas Market in Erlangen

christmas-market-646410_640Keeping up the tradition, we invite members and friends of the student chapter to a social gathering at the historic Christmas market in Erlangen on Wednesday, 16 December. We will meet in the evening around 18:30 at Neustädter Kirchenplatz (close to the campfire). We are looking forward to see you there!

Nov 02


fb76460b75Our student chapter will participate in the next event of die.Lichtbühne taking place on December 5 in the afternoon. At Hugenottenplatz in the city center of Erlangen several demonstration experiments will be displayed in a booth. Moreover, PhD students of our student chapter  will give short talks on their research in a popular scientific manner. We hope to see you there!

Nov 02

Scientific Cinema

Trinity_Test_Fireball_16msWe are pleased to announce the first Scientific Cinema this year on Friday, Nov 13 at 4:30 p.m.

We will show the documentary “That’s the story”. It features an interview with the nobel laureate Prof. Roy J. Glauber, who is the last living scientist from the theory division of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. In his interview he gives first-hand information on the life at Los Alomos, the scientific team there, the Trinity test of the first nuclear weapon, the bombing of Japan and the political aftermath of the project.

José Ignacio Latorre from the University of Barcelona is the producer of this documentary and is coming to visit our institute. We will have a discussion session with him after the screening of the movie. This discussion will be accompanied by our guest Dr. Rudolf Kötter who is the academic director of the institute of applied ethics at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

We hope for a lively discussion and will also serve a buffet with it. See you on Friday!

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