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Showing posts from May, 2015

‘People’s Choice’ highlights: Rock photomicrographs and the beauty of light science and technology

Bernardo Cesare’s photo (above) displays granulite rock under a microscope. The picture resembles a piece of stained glass window through sunlight, but it’s just a thin slice of rock 0.03 mm in thickness and 5 mm in size. The rock’s beautiful "interference colors" derive from the interaction of polarized light with the crystalline matter.
Cesare is one of 32 contestants for thePeople’s Choice Award competition in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest. Judges have already chosen three winners, but now it's your turn to choose. SPIE is providing a prize of US $500 to the People's Choice winner. Online voting continues through 15 August.
This blog post features entries illustrating science and technology, including Cesare's, above, and four others, below. Future posts will showcase other entries -- follow the blog to catch them all.
Of his work, Cesare says on the National History Museum of London website,“My aim is to reveal the beauty of a world tha…

Photonics for Nepal earthquake response: seven ways and counting

When massive, lethal earthquakes hit Nepal earlier this spring, photonics technologies from satellites to smartphones were employed to aid first responders and follow-on relief efforts. Photonics is also helping to predict future earthquake locations and possibly mitigate the potential for destruction, reported Rebecca Pool in the SPIE Newsroom. Some highlights from the article:
1. High-resolution satellite imagery: Immediately after the first earthquake, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, a joint United Nations and European Commission initiative, instructed the UN’s high-resolution satellite imagery program, UNOSAT, and partners to start mapping the region. Images of priority regions were swiftly integrated into a web map.

2. Interferograms: To pinpoint areas at greatest risk from future earthquakes, the European Space Agency has produced interferograms from data captured by its radar satellite Sentinel-1A. Imagery acquired before and after the earthquake has been co…