Making 3D Plots in OriginLab OriginPro

When I first wanted to use OriginPro to make 3D plots for my Raman and photoluminescence data I struggled to find a solution for little problems for hours. It was not like I had no one to consult, but I wanted to figure it out myself because the same philosophy with learning things previously has helped me immensely in learning things with authority and developing my own characteristic style, by putting in an extra amount of time and hard work.

Check with your university, there’s a big chance that they offer you students a free copy of OriginPro. It is an amazing piece of software, easy to learn and can make plots beautiful enough to be published in Science or Nature.

However when I was toiling through things, I also wished someone who had gone through the same thing could have documented it somewhere. Not surprisingly, no one had. So I wanted to. Here it goes.

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A Layman’s Guide to Photonic Crystals

The first time I heard the word “Photonic Crystal” in a seminar, I was stumped. So I decided to read about it, understand and then write about it to make it explain better to me, and you of course. Even though it is a whole graduate level class to explain, it does not hurt to quickly look at how Photonic crystals work. I have not taken the relevant graduate class. However, after reading this amazing answer on Quora, and from a range of other literature out there, I was able to make some good sense out of it. My idea was that at least by doing a little reading you get to throw around a fancy word like “photonic crystal”. Moreover, if someone decides to test you on what it means, you even explain it to them. These kind of examinations, where it is incumbent upon you to perform well, happen all the time, everywhere. That’s why it is important to learn. And well, then there’s that whole argument of expanding your mind to exercise your creative muscle by reading and listening carefully to things and people that are out of what you do.

Featured image credit: Flickr, Steven & Courtney Johnson & Horwitz (Picture)

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Gravity Explained

By Anupum Pant

I’m always amazed by how teachers all around the world come up with fantastic ideas to make science easier for kids. A couple of months back we saw a video of Dan Burns using a trampoline to explain the space-time warping at a Physics Teacher SOS workshop in Los Gatos High School. In fact there is even a place on the web where you can learn it to do yourself [here].

Another explanation which came around much later just takes the cake. EdwardCurrent uses a “space-time stretcher” to demonstrate how gravity, well, stretches the space-time fabric. Moreover, the material he uses to construct this teaching aid comes mostly amongst all the old stuff lying in his garage.

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