Friday, 7 July 2017

QET Labs at Cheltenham Science Festival 2017

QETLabs researchers and PhD students showed the public demonstrations of optics and its use in encrypted communication systems (pictured above: Lawrence Rosenfeld).

Cheltenham Science Festival is one of the UKs largest public engagement science exhibitions, which has had attendance of 45,000 visitors at previous events. This year’s festival saw researchers from QETLabs showcasing a variety of demonstrations.

Organiser and researcher Henry Semenenko engaging a young scientist in message encryption

Researcher Jake Kennard (left) and organiser and researcher Alasdair Price (right) ready to decode!

QET Labs students and researchers Henry Semenenko and Alasdair Price organised demonstrations ranging from explaining the fundamental properties of light such as polarisation, and how we use it in sunglasses and 3D cinema glasses, to addressing current affairs of hacking encrypted messages and securing communications against malicious adversaries.

Pictured: PhD student Ben Slater

The exhibit was well received, engaged with a large number of people and was popular with schools, children and adults from all types of non-technical backgrounds. Many were interested in how optics and quantum technologies work and how it will impact their lives in the near future.

A demonstration showing the birefringent properties of sticky tape observed through a linear polariser.

Outreach events are fundamental to inspiring the next generation of scientists, and communicating to a general audience the importance of our research. If you would like to find out more about our research visit

Pictured: PhD student Sam Morley-Short

Thursday, 6 July 2017

QET Labs at Bristol's Festival of Nature 2017

Students from the Quantum Engineering CDT taught the public about light and colour at Bristol’s Festival of Nature this weekend.

The CDT’s 3rd cohort, led by Cohort 1 student Euan Allen (pictured above), attended the event on Saturday and Sunday to demonstrate the effects of microstructures on colour in nature using butterfly wings, beetle shells, and several other naturally iridescent substances.

The event, which attracts thousands to Bristol harbourside annually, aims to educate the public about nature, conservation, and the environment.

Cohort 3 students (from left to right) João Diniz, Giorgos Eftaxias, Rachel Chadwick, George Atkinson, Jorge Ruz, and Ross Wakefield pose in front of their demonstration.

Festival of Nature demo