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Opening up the world of hollow-core fibre research to A-Level students

Published: 9 June 2022

Opening up the world of hollow-core fibre research to A-Level students

A novel collaboration between an Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) academic and a former A-Level student is opening up the world of hollow-core fibre research to college students.

Professor Radan Slavik, Head of the ORC’s Coherent Optical Signals Group, was approached by former Peter Symonds College student Jakub Sypek to see if there was a way they could work together to bring this area of research to a wider audience.

Usually interested students could spend time in the ORC labs gaining ‘first-hand experience’ of the research but with the COVID-19 pandemic this was not possible, so the pair held regular online meetings to discuss the underlying physics of hollow-core fibre research and its impact. Jakub then produced an article explaining this area of research that is understandable and relevant to a college-age audience.

Radan said: “It is really important that we motivate young people to study STEM subjects, as our STEM industries cannot grow or sustain themselves if we do not get more people interested in them as a career, but it is not always easy to explain our technical research to non-specialists.

“After spending so many years in research, it can be difficult to know at what level to pitch the explanation. This is where Jakub’s involvement was vital. We now have an article published on our website to explain our research at college-level, making it accessible to a large group of people who are curious about the development of hollow-core fibres.”

Jakub, who is now studying BSc Physics and Chemistry at University College Durham, added: “When I was at college, I was interested to see what modern physics research looked like and Radan was very kind and allowed me to learn about his research. I was able to use this to produce an article explaining hollow-core fibre technology to the layman.”


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