Sensing with Light: Video Transcript

Dr. Samir Bali [Associate Professor of Physics]: Our overall research objectives are to take the idea of using light to do sensing, but in places where people haven't really thought about using these kinds of ideas before. We could use light to sense atomic motion at the nanoscopic level, which is what we are doing with our cold atom project.

Andrew 'A.J.' Hachtel [masters student in Physics]: I was a freshman taking a physics course with Samir, 181 Physics, and he was teaching - introducing us in the course. It got me really interested in this idea of cold matter and using laser light to trap the atoms and slow them down. So after I finished that course, I joined his lab. It's been six years, and here I am.

Dr. Samir Bali: You can also use light sensing for actually measuring magnetic fields at an extremely sensitive level, which is what our electromagnetically induced transparency project is about.

Kaleb Campbell [Physics major, Class of 2016]: What I do is I build laser systems and then send them through rubidium vapor cells, and this allows me to discover interesting physical phenomena.

Dr. Samir Bali: Then, finally, can we use light to sense properties of media that are opaque to light? And that's what our third project is about.

Christen Setters [Physics major, Class of 2016]: I signed up for my research project because I wanted to work with other departments in research. In physics, you learn to be able to communicate with all different kinds of engineering.

Jordan Boivin [Bioengineering major, Class of 2015]: I learned a lot of different lab techniques, and I've been able to learn how to keep a good journal and really just — and then communicate my results to my professor and discuss.

Dr. Samir Bali: Undergrad research is a big thing at Miami, and the way I view undergrad research is that they need to be involved intimately with all details of the experiment.

Kaleb Campbell: We get to manipulate data, we get to take data, we get to present it at different places.

Jordan Boivin: I got to present a poster at the University of Kentucky on the research I did, and that was a great experience because I got to talk to a bunch of different people from different schools and different professors.

Christen Setters: I'll be able to talk about chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering just from the classes that I take.

Kaleb Campbell: I went to a conference in Wisconsin. It was called the Division of Molecular and Optical Physics. It's a national conference, and I was able to present some of my research at the conference as a poster.

'A.J.' Hachtel: The really nice thing about this lab is that we home-build a lot of our things. So we'll sit down, we figure out what we need, and we'll build that from scratch ourselves. And that's one of the most marketable skills I think, is understanding the products that we are working with and being able to use those technologies.

Christen Setters: After graduation, I would like to pursue a Master's in Physics and a Master's in Business so that I can work with doing contracting.

Jordan Boivin: My goal is to get into medical school and potentially become an orthopedic surgeon.

Kaleb Campbell: After graduation, I'd like to go to a grad school in physics, and I would like to either become a professor or research scientist.

'A.J.' Hachtel: My goals are to either pursue a PhD program at some point in physics. In the meantime I may be trying to look for a job in industry or a teaching position in the area.

Dr. Samir Bali: It's not just about making an experiment run or taking data or helping someone else like a grad student or post-doc but actually being responsible for everything about the experiment.

Christen Setters: Being able to talk with those people doing research helps a lot with where I want to go with my goals and my career.

[July 2014]