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LPL exhibits at 2019 APS Plasma Science Expo in Fort Lauderdale

LPL volunteered at the 2019 Plasma Science Expo hosted by the APS Division of Plasma Physics. The event took place over the course of two days, during which 746 high school and middle school students and teachers were bused in to experience the many interactive exhibits. Alongside displays from the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and other labs from industry, government, and academia, the UCF Laser & Plasma Lab contributed to the exhibition by providing educational optics demonstrations and engaging the students in conversations about current research and education opportunities. Imaging, diffraction, focusing, and light-matter interaction were among the topics discussed with students during the demos. A description of the LPL booth is given below:


  • LPL banner listing current research
  • Rolling slideshow of facilities
  • Video showing cutting-edge research activities in LPL
  • Presentation of recent research efforts in filamentation and ablation
  • Free materials on the undergraduate and graduate programs in optics and physics at UCF
  • Free teaching manual for optics lab
  • Demonstration of imaging using light bulb, positive lens, and screen
  • Demonstration of light-matter interaction using photo-sensitive paper
  • Demonstration of diffraction using slits and laser pointers
  • Demonstration of focusing and defocusing using laser pointers and lenses
  • Free “Come to the light side” posters


The expo proved to be an overall very positive experience for the students that represented LPL, Haley Kerrigan and Danielle Reyes. They were happy to note that many students that they spoke with were interested or perhaps even inspired to pursue further education in the sciences, many of whom were women or belonged to other underrepresented groups in this field.

Posted Monday, November 4, 2019