Tyler Holloway, ’14, with the help of his mentor, physics Professor Ed Deveney, has built an optical trap. The project is something usually undertaken by graduate students, however, he and his mentor believe optics are a growing and important field. So last summer, Tyler built BSU’s first-ever optical trap as part of an ATP research project.
How does it work? Good question. Basically, it holds microscopic samples – such as DNA – in place so they can be used in experiments. As Tyler explains: “You take a standard microscope and a solution of water with a micrometer of fused silica beads floating in it. Then you aim a laser beam backward through the microscope objective that focuses the laser on the beads. Then, as they float by the beads get trapped in that focus. You bond your sample to the beads and it holds it in place and then you can test it however you want. “
Watch the video more information.
(Story by John Winters, G ’11; photo by Steve Rowell, ’17; video by Nicholas Allende, ’16; University Advancement)