A sluggish afternoon on September 17, 2016 was made interesting by Santhosh Chidangil through his fun-filled talk on Biophotonics in Manipal. He began with a brief history about the Department of Atomic and Molecular Physics, which was conceived the Manipal Life Sciences department and later grew to its present stature in MIT. In a few simple words he put Biophotonics as ‘everything under the sun used to aid biology’ and explained how LASER is a tool and spectroscopy the technique. This was followed by a quick run-through of the basic types of electromagnetic waves and their applications in everyday life. After that, he talked about the invention of blue LED lights and the super resolve fluorescence microscope which won their inventors the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry in 2014. Sir C.V. Raman and his important contribution on inelastic scattering of bright light, which is now the basis of Raman Tweezer’s Spectroscopy (RTS), were also spoken about. Finally, delegates were divided into groups of 12 and taken to 4 different labs by rotation. The first lab consisted of the RTS (a combination of Optical Tweezer and Raman Spectroscope) machine which is used the pattern of Raman scattering in a live cell,with one LASER to trap cells and the other to probe them. This is instrumental in detecting malignant cells. The second lab consisted of the LIBS (LASER Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) machine which determined premalignant and malignant cells by separating and analyzing individual elements after cell breakdown. The third lab, the Femtoseconds lab, was used in the fabrication of various materials. For example, an optic material which has faster transmitting potential than an optical fiber was being fabricated at that moment. The last lab had an HPLC-LIF (High Performance Liquid Chromatography- LASER Induced Fluorescence) machine which examined the aberrations in body fluids and thus detects cancers.

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