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Photonic Puzzles

Hosted by the Department of Engineering Physics

Maximum number of teams = 30 (6 per timeslot)
Number of competitors per team is 4


In Photonic Puzzles, teams of 4 students will be assigned four tasks from below. Students will be instructed as to whether to do a) or b) in tasks 1 and 2 of the event. The photonic poem may be prepared in advance.

Task 1

  • Light Gymnastics
    pattern the light into an interesting shape points awarded for aesthetics and difficulty (Note: the US judge is notorious for giving low scores)
  • Optical Network
    using mirrors, beamsplitters and other optical elements deliver the lightbeam into a series of predetermined sites (almost like Nortel!)
Task 2
  • Splitting Photons
    using mirrors, beamsplitters, and a dispersive optical element construct an instrument that can separate light into its wavelength components (a little light work)
  • A little light work
    using the optical elements provided, students will need to measure the optical properties of an unknown element e.g., refractive index of a material, or number of lines on a grating
Task 3
  • Quantum Quiz
    attempt to answer short (but really hard) questions about the nature of light, the history of its study and its applications
Task 4
  • Photonic Poem
    compose a short poem (about four lines) with an optical theme
Note: Teams appearing to have a great time are eligible for bonus points.

Competitions (2016):

Note: Click on an event names
for more info

- Biotech to the Rescue!
- Chemical Forensics
- Civil Canada Arm
- Egg High Drop
- Global Water Challenge
- L.E.A.P.'s Keep it Hot
- Mechanical Transporter
- Mental Gymnastics
- Mini-Car Jump
- Oodles of Noodles
- Photonic Puzzles
- Physics Paper Triathlon
- Pictorial Essay
- Software Challenge
- Teachers Challenge
- The Speeding Brain
- Twists and Turns