Master's research / projects
Nanophotonics offers research opportunities for master's students within the educational programme. For more information, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or click on one of the master's research projects below:
- Advanced lensless imaging using Machine Learning tools
- Building nanoscale orientation sensors
- Probing the time delay in nanoscale resonators
- Driving a single nanoparticle inside optical tweezers with electric field
- Probing viscosity and surface energy of microscopic droplets in a liquid
The big idea of my master thesis was to build a new imaging setup using holographic imaging in order to do spin-dependent imaging of Bose-Einstein condensates. When I first talked to my supervisor-to-be, he enthusiastically explained that this could be used to image for instance spin domain walls. This sounded like a great adventure to me: to build something new, in order to study incredibly interesting phenomena, in Bose-Einstein condensates nonetheless! Add to that, that I would both do the building and some data-analysis of the images, and I was sold. The topics in the research group are very diverse. Each week there is a group meeting where members present their progress. Usually, there is a good discussion which can lead to new insights. Next to that, we also had a meeting with our small team to discuss the results of the previous week and set goals for the coming days. Then, it was off to do experiments, programming, or analysing data, making for very varied weeks. I spent a lot of time on getting to know the current and new parts of the setup. It is an amazing feeling when you finally think you really understand your own new imaging system. In the end I did not reach my goal, but I had a great time working here.
For my master thesis project I studied the properties of Bose-Einstein condensates of light in the group of Dr. D van Oosten. These condensates are macroscopic occupations of a certain states which arise as a result of Bose-Einstein statistics. The field of photon condensation is relatively young, with the first realization being published in 2010. There are thus still many open questions about their properties. The aim of my project was to study effective photon-photon interactions in the condensate by imaging the each of the states of the system separately using a diffraction grating. During my project I was able to work as an independent researcher. This means building and troubleshooting the setup, determining the right approach to a problem and ordering the necessary equipment, as well as drawing your own conclusions from your observations and forming your own understanding of the physics. This understanding must be constantly tested and updated by discussions with your supervisor and peers in Utrecht, and by presenting and discussing results at conferences. The project was successful, with the new setup yielding interesting and unexpected results on the effective interactions between photons. It also allowed us to study the low energy distribution of the photon gas, which gave insight into the process of photon thermalization in our setup.