Friday, 5 July 2013

Microscopic Laser Inscribed Poetry

Since late last year we have been machining microscopic poetry onto different objects. This was a joint project with The Photon Factory in the Faculty of Science and the English department at the University of Auckland called Poetry off the Page.

So what is cool about the project? Well, we took ten objects that are not usually machined and were able to machine them all using our laser technology (femtosecond ultrafast lasers and nanosecond excimer lasers). The diversity of objects gave us a real challenge and we showed that you can machine anything using the ultra-fast laser technology (thanks to Fraser MacMillan for teaching me how to use the system).

Secondly, we were able to get people involved with science as well as engage with students and lecturers from the English department. This is one of the ways we are getting the word out about the laser machining technology we have available and seeing how our laser technology can impact different fields. We will be exhibiting the work in the entrance to the library at the University of Auckland over September, which will give everyone the opportunity to engage with laser micro-machining and poetry.

Thirdly, thanks to Robert Carter I got to have some fun with a Zoomable User Interface (ZUI). With a ZUI you can embed content at different zoom levels, kind of like zooming around a photo on a tablet. We have been using this technology for keeping zoomable lab notebooks which allows for a general overview of data as well as detailed information embedded within the document.

Finally, it gave me the perfect cover for machining the proposal onto the ring for my fiancee without any suspicion.

You can check it all out at So have some fun!

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