Public to reach for the lasers at open lab session at the University of Dundee

9-11-2012 — / — Members of the public will be able to play with optical tweezers and vortex cannons, make a cloud in a bottle and attempt to skewer a balloon without bursting it at an open laboratory session at the University of Dundee this weekend.

Event organiser Dr David McGloin, head of the Applied Optical Manipulation Group within the School of Engineering, Physics and Mathematics, said he was looking forward to welcoming visitors this weekend.

“With the help of students, we’ll be putting on various demonstrations and carrying out simple experiments that show the fun side of physics as well as explaining the more serious research we carry out here,” he said.

“Our visitors will also have the chance to have a go for themselves. We’ll give them the chance to play with optical tweezers, which are used in microscopic investigations, using a type of technology more commonly found in video game systems, look through high-powered digital microscopes, see some optical illusions and try a vortex cannon.

“We’ll explain how our research has applications in atmospheric science and give visitors the chance to make a cloud in a bottle along with a number of other simple and fun experiments, such as how a little physics lets us skewer a balloon on a kebab stick without bursting. We held a similar event last year and it proved well attended and popular so we’re delighted to be opening our doors once again.”

Admission to the event is free, and there is no need to book in advance. More information is available by contacting Dr McGloin on 01382 384402 or

This event is taking place as part of Dundee Science Festival.


For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
MOBILE: 07854 953277


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