Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Whispering Galleries and Detecting Viruses

Do you remember when you were a young child and loved to stand under a dome and talk or even yell? The sound reverberated and made you feel very important! (Or as important as a 5 year old can feel.) The mystery of your amplified self was fun and thrilling.

Now researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, MO have gone many steps further than your simple childhood experimentation. 

Professor Nan Yang, PhD of the Nano/Micro Photonics Laboratory, Electrical and Systems Engineering Department at Washingtong Univ. has created an optical whispering gallery. It makes use of light "to interact with a single particle over thousands to millions of times to greatly enhance interactions between light and the sub-wavelength particle." The awesome sensitivity of this tiny, on-chip device is a huge breakthrough in the optical sensing of airborne particles and viruses.

Soon disease vectors like viruses will have no place to hide. Go science!

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