VIRP chamber spectrometer v2.0

VIRP chamber spectrometer v2.0

A little more progress for our Direct Ion Detection project: the images above and below show some developments of our VIRP chamber (for rapid vacuum instrument prototyping), showing v2.0 of the charged particle spectrometer stack (following a rebuild) with some of the in vacuo wiring attached.  Time-lapse build footage to follow!  This configuration will allow us to perform experiments with direct ion detection, and optimise the methodologies and technologies.

Update: time-lapse build footage is now online.

For further background details, see:
A new detector for mass spectrometry: Direct detection of low energy ions using a multi-pixel photon counter
Edward S. Wilman, Sara H. Gardiner, Andrei Nomerotski, Renato Turchetta, Mark Brouard and Claire Vallance
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 013304 (2012).

Improved direct detection of low-energy ions using a multipixel photon counter coupled with a novel scintillator
Winter, King, Brouard & Vallance
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 397–398, 27–31 (2016)

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Scientific imaging with the Lytro lightfield camera

Scientific imaging with the Lytro lightfield camera

The Lytro digital camera introduces a Shack-Hartmann configuration into a digital SLR camera.  Why?  For “lightfield” (wavefront) imaging, allowing for depth information in the captured data.  While this kind of thing has long been used for scientific instruments, in particular for laser beam measurements, the Lytro camera brings this capability (and the not insignificant post-processing know-how and hardware required) to photography in the visible.  For rather more detailed information, check out the PhD thesis of Ren Ng, the founder of Lytro.

Here’s a demo image of our VIRP chamber, note that mousing around the image and clicking allows one to change the focus of the image, and the imaging plane.  Mouse wheel to zoom.  It’s going to be an excellent tool for scientific imaging!

* Banner image from Lytro.com.

Hololens week 2: Basic data visualization and immersion

Hololens week 2: Basic data visualization and immersion

The hololens is here! Welcome to week 2 of the future, with augmented/mixed reality.

This week, a bit of basic 3D data visualization as we begin to explore the power of the Hololens…

Some additional notes:

Hololens is here!

Hololens is here!

The hololens is here! Welcome to week 1 of the future, with augmented/mixed reality. Ultimately there are going to be some amazing scientific uses for this new tool – e.g. basic HUD in the lab, multi-dimensional data visualization, 3D design with real-world interaction and interactive collaboration etc. etc. – but first, we need to learn the tool, understand it, and develop methods.

Here’s a very brief demo of the spatial mapping capabilities of the Hololens (development edition), in a relatively cluttered environment, visualized using the LSrD application. It’s impressive, and was even better in real life!