We almost lost him to history

News - 18 December 2019 - Communication ImPhys

Take an old webcam, remove the infrared filter, and just like that you have your own ghostbusters- inspired ‘detector’. It sounds easy, but we all know there is science behind this simple night vision trick. Thim Zuidwijk (ImPhys) is bridging the gap between practice and theory in the field of optics.  


Optics is for everybody

Two years ago, in celebration of their 70th anniversary, the optics department had their first symposium ‘Face2phase’ . In preparation Zuidwijk and Joseph Braat, retired professor in geometrical optics, dove deeper into the history of the department. Two years later, they are back again. This time exhibiting their findings about the works of professor Bram van Heel who founded the department. Braat was the last graduate of Van Heel: “Simply because of my age, I studied briefly under Van Heel”

In the exhibition you can find the personal work of Van Heel, his practical methods, and optical instruments from around the time just after the Second World War. Part of which was made by the department in their lens polishing workshop that has now been relocated to TNO. Zuidwijk: “Optics used to be quite mathematical, and the Netherlands had little practical knowledge. What Van Heel tried to do is make the field more accessible, not only for industry but also for a larger audience, which is why the exhibition is called Optics for all. Funny actually, I just realised, this is exactly what we are doing.”

The whole story can be read here.