Lasers and Coffee – the Optical Condensed Matter Science group at work //

That’s what experimentalists do when they’re not in the lab: have a coffee and play around with laser guns!

The coffee machine was one of the first items Paul has ordered when he started the Optical Condensed Matter Science group in Cologne some ten years ago. It has since become the condensation nucleus for many research ideas and science projects. In the OCMS group, this usually involves some lasers, and we have quite a few of them, ranging from infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths, with powers from several tens of Watts down to few mW, putting out continuous waves or pulses down to a few femtoseconds. The newest member of our fleet is this little hand-held black beauty. It’s actually a combination two lasers, one in the visible and one in the IR range of wavelengths, and its purpose is to contactlessly measure temperatures of, for instance, a sample, or a cup of coffee. But whatever you do, never go without your safety goggles!

Dr. Thomas Koethe
Scientific coordinator