Can you believe your eyes?

Illusion by Derrick L Garrett

The December talk will be given by Dr Lauren Barr who will be talking about the peculiarities of light.

Poster for Dr Lauren Barr

Poster for Dr Lauren Barr

The nature of light and its interaction with matter dictates how we see the world, but is all as it seems?

Light can interact with the things around us in a whole manner of exotic ways; travelling through at different speeds or bouncing off in different directions are just a couple of options. This can sometimes fool our eyes into seeing strange things, like the hazy air above a fire, or a mirage in a desert. These interactions can also be used by physicists to hide objects with invisibility cloaks, or take pictures around corners. During the evening Lauren will explain some everyday illusions with the help of a little bit of physics, then show you how these ideas are used in the laboratory.

Lauren Barr is a research fellow at the University of Exeter, where she works on terahertz imaging for security and biological applications. Lauren completed a PhD in microwave metamaterials, also in Exeter, and before that studied Physics at Queen’s University Belfast.