Grad Life / Science!

Art of Science


Alice’s piece on display

Congrats to Alice for being a finalist in this year’s Art of Science! The Stanford Materials Research Society group hosts an annual contest for the best science-inspired art piece. Alice is an amazing artist – she makes the most beautiful handmade cards and designed our blog logo, too! For this Art of Science, Alice decided to switch to photoshop, and her piece combines her diamond anvil cell measurements with some astrophysics, or in her own words:

Solar Conversion: Diamonds in the Sky 

In astronomy, an analemma tracks the position of the Sun from a fixed location on Earth at the same time each day. Due to the Earth’s tilt and elliptical orbit, the Sun traces a figure-eight path over the course of a year. Here, the sun is represented by optical images of upconverting nanoparticles at different stages of compression in a diamond anvil cell. Because upconversion transforms low energy light into higher energy light, it has huge potential in improving solar energy. Specifically, it will allow solar cells to access and utilize sunlight below their bandgap. In the Dionne Lab, we strive to understand the effect of forces and external crystal-field modification on upconversion emission. In this way, we can enhance upconversion efficiency for solar applications.

You can check out the rest of the entries here, and if you’re on Stanford’s campus, some of the prints are currently on exhibition on the 2nd floor of Packard.

A couple weeks ago, we found prints from previous years’ competitions, and proceeded to decorate the office with some of our favorites. Right now, I have this one hanging above my desk which requires a double take and some introspection every time I look at it. Justin has this one by his desk which looks amazing no matter what direction it’s hung. Fariah and I are also really fond of this one (explanation given here). The Brillouin zone is basically a volume in momentum space that contains all of the physics of a periodic crystal. Funny how something so simple can become crazy complicated so quickly?


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