Celebrating the International Day of Light 2019

In celebration of the International Day of Light, the Wits Optics Student chapter hosted an event, in which two guest speakers Dr Valeria Rodriguez-Fajardo (a Post-doctoral research fellow of the University of the Witwatersrand – WITS) and Dr Wayne Koen (an experienced senior scientist of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – CSIR) were invited to give talks to bring about awareness of Optics and Photonics research in South Africa and stimulate young and curious minds in pursuing a career in such fields. The event was held in the Physics Honours presentation room in the Physics building of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa.

Talks were given to an audience consisting of undergraduate and postgraduate students, and distinguished members of staff from the physics department. The guests spoke about light in our everyday lives, light in Science, structured light and research at Wits, harnessing light and industrial applications such as 3D laser printing, 3D stereolithography and much more.

After the presentations, a group photo was taken with the audience and guest speakers, after which the celebrations were concluded with snacks and drinks, and interactive demonstrations.

The Wits optics Student chapter would like to give a special thanks to our guest speakers for their time, the attendees and the School of Physics.

WITS Student Wins Emerging Researcher Best Paper Prize!

Congratulations to Nokwazi Mphuthi whose paper, titled “Are Bessel beams resilient to aberrations and turbulence?”, was selected by the editors of the Journal of the Optical Society of America A (JOSA A), as the top paper published in the Journal by an emerging researcher in 2018. The editors were particularly impressed by the originality of the study, the depth of the scientific analysis, and the clarity of presentation. Nokwazi is a PhD student working on using structured light to improve laser ranging efficiency. The project is in collaboration with the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory under the National Research Foundation.

Summa Cum Laude PhD

Congratulations on the newly appointed Doctor Eileen Otte! Eileen was Professor Forbe’s student that he co-supervised along with Professor Cornelia Denz. Eileen has received Summa Cum Laude for her PhD, the the highest award from the university for a PhD student!

Still making the news!

Three years later and our review paper on the creation and detection of optical modes with spatial light modulators has become one of the 10 most cited and downloaded article over the past decade, peaking at #1 in 2016.