IOSA’s Women’s Month STEM Activity for Girl Scouts

Las Friday, 9th of March, came to visit us Girl Scouts from Madrid with an activity called “IOSA’s Women’s Month STEM Activity for Girl Scouts” with the occasion that the previous day, 8th of March, was the International Day of Women.

A total of 29 girls could participate on several workshops and visit some laboratories on the Instituto de Óptica. The recived a passport at the beginning of the activity and they got a stamp on each workshop that they did.

Andrés explained them raytracing workshop, Franscesca showed them who fiber optics work, Geethika presented some examples of fluorescence and phosphorescence and Shrilekha talk about color.

Downstairs, James and Sara explained in the laboratories the work that they do in the Instituto de Óptica: James works with microscopy and Sara with Adaptive Optics. Really big and cool optic tables full of lenses and mirror used for two very different applications!!

In between workshops and laboratories, girls could experiment with balls that have the same refractive index than water, so they were invisible inside water!!!!

Also Ana, Juan Luis, Xoana and Clara where there to help all groups rotate, take photos, etc.

At the end of the visit, we talked about important women in the history of science and also some important scientific women nowadays. The take home message: YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!!!

Also, we want to thaks Girl Scouts, becouse they mount this amazing video:

We hope to had fun and see you again the next!

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Ciencia es femenino

Ciencia es femenino is the event that IOSA organized on the occasion of the International Day of Woman and girls in Science. We wanted to talk about who is the situation of women in science, starting with who children, the future of the society, think that a person who work on science is. For that, we contacted with the teacher of a school that IOSA will visit next month, CEIP El Vellón. They sent us 34 for pictures, really funny and interesting, but in only 9 of them appear women. These are the pictures:

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We invite some interesting women to talk about the absence of the women in Science that children:

  • Mª Jesús del Río Alcalde is the chief of the president office and she explain us differences between girls and boys in a pre-university period.
  • Pilar López Sancho, form Comisión de Mujeres del CSIC, told us about numbers of women in science, and in CSIC specifically.
  • Juana Bellanato Fontecha, who used to be professor at CSIC, remember her experience since she started the scientific carrier on 40’s.
  • Mª Luisa Calvo Padilla could provide us her point of view as professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • Susana Marcos talk about her experience as a woman in science.

Mª Jasús del Río Alcade explaning us about pre-university period

Pilar López Sancho talking about numbers in CSIC

Also we could talk about different topics, such as the representation of women on textbooks, the importance of having references and good teachers. We knew some studies about the perception of girls and boys about themselves and some survey about the time that women and men spend looking after others.

There was an enthusiastic public that made lot of questions and share their opinion and experiences.

At the end, we could eat some sandwich to continue talking and meeting us and we could observe all pictures more relaxed:

Thank you so much to everybody for coming and see you next time!

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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Next 11th of February is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

For this reason, IOSA is organizing “CIENCIA ES FEMENINO”, a round table on 15th of February where we will learn about several initiatives that are being carried out. Also we will debate about different topics related to Women in Science in order to make us think both men and women.

For this round table we will count with extraordinary women: Juana Bellanato, Mª Luisa Calvo, Susana Marcos, Mª Jesús del Río, Pilar López Sancho and María Viñas

Save the date!!! 15th February 2018, 11:00h, Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano

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IOSA @ CEIP Antonio de Nebrija

Last week IOSA visited CEIP Antonio de Nebrija, in Alcalá de Henares. We bring different workshops for students aged from 10 to 11 years old. They learnt about the difference between phosphorescence and fluorescence, about why objects have different colors and about the kind of lenses there are and how we can use them to correct visual problems. Everybody could touch and experiment with all workshops, so they really enjoy them!

We also elaborate a survey in order to know which one is their favorite workshop or the most difficult one. In this way, we also learnt about how to improve our workshops.

Following you can see some photos we took:

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Prof. Ursula Keller visits us for the IOSA Scientific Seminars!

Last December we were pleased to host Prof. Ursula Keller’s at the IO-CSIC Student Chapter. The day started with lab visits, to show her the research being carried out at the Institute of Optics (IO-CSIC). Then, at the conference room, Prof. Keller gave her talk, titled Attosecond Ionization Dynamics and Time Delays. It was a very interesting look over quantum mechanics progress and the research done in her lab related to this topic. The audience, which included researchers from IO-CSIC as well as from other universities and institutes, was lively and showed their interest in the topic by asking many questions at the end.

Prof. Keller’s lecture was the kickoff to our IOSA Scientific Seminars. These one-day Seminars consist on short talks given by the researchers (pre-doc, post-doc, and tenured researchers) of the Institute, and the goal is for researchers to explain their current work in a lively, concise manner. These talks followed Prof. Keller’s talk and a coffee break intermission. They were a nice overview of the research that is being carried out at the IO-CSIC. Many questions from the audience came up as well.

Before having lunch, we gave Prof. Keller a short tour around our campus and talked about its history. She was quite excited to learn more about Spain’s history and culture, which she already had an affinity for.

Afterwards, the Student Chapter as well as our advisor, Prof. Susana Marcos, had lunch with Prof. Keller, and had the opportunity to talk to her about women in science and share different points of view. Ursula Keller was positively surprised by the high amount of female scientists that there are in our Student Chapter. We gave her some presents as souvenirs of her visit to our Chapter.

After lunch, we showed Prof. Keller another lab. This was the end of the “official” visit. Then, she invited us to have a drink in a bar. Besides her incredible resume, Ursula is a very approachable, kind and straightforward person and told us about her background and how she worked to get her current position. She also asked us about our career expectations and gave us very valuable advice.

Prof. Ursula Keller’s visit was great and we thank her for finding a spot in her tight schedule to visit us. We’d also like to thank the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program for giving us the opportunity to invite Ursula Keller and being always so helpful with our inquiries.

Prof. Ursula Keller during her talk

Ursula Keller with IOSA and the Scientific Seminars’ speakers

Free hour with Ursula Keller!

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Very interesting talks at the IOSA Scientific Seminars

The IV edition of the IOSA Scientific Seminars were a success, as all the previous editions. Below you can find the abstracts and pictures of the event.


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4th edition of the IOSA Scientific Seminars

On December 14th the 4th edition of the IOSA scientific seminars will take place. As in the last years, these seminars are open to all the staff of the Institute of Optics: pre- and post-doctoral researchers, technicians, as well as senior researchers, and, of course, all the IOSA members or IO members. The aim is presenting the different lines of research developed in the Institute and promoting discussion between the different groups. Moreover this year, thanks to the OSA Travelling Lecturer Program, we are delighted to inform you that we will count on the presence of a renowned speaker, Prof. Ursula Keller, from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), who will give a seminar on “Attosecond Ionization Dynamics and Time Delays”.

Save the date:

14th December 2017 at 10:30am
Salón de Actos IQFR-CSIC

Abstract of Prof. Ursula Keller’s talk:

The basic motivation is to understand and ultimately control how matter functions at the electronic, atomic and molecular level. Initially our focus is on the question how quanta of energy and charge are transported on an atomic spatial and attosecond time scale. In principle, time dependent-processes in quantum mechanics are described by the time-dependent Schrödinger Equation (TDSE). The challenge is that the TDSE in most cases cannot be solved without approximations and that time is not an operator and therefore not a direct observable. This talk will review the recent progress in attosecond ionization dynamics and time delays in photoemission and tunnel ionization. Following the peak of an electron wavepacket for determining time delays can be tricky and often misleading.

See you at the Seminars!!

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Week of Science 2017 – Understanding the reality beyond perception

As a part of Week of Science, conducted in collaboration with Community of Madrid and IOSA student chapter, students and families from Madrid participated in workshops aimed at introducing the magical world of optics to the younger generation.

It is something that surrounds you, some of which you can’t even see, touch or feel, yet something that you use everyday and depend on it: The Electromagnetic radiation. Thus we came up with the theme of this time’s exhibition as “A journey through Electromagnetic Spectrum”. Workshops were focused on explaining and demonstrating different regions (visible and non-visible) of electromagnetic spectrum in an experimentally oriented, fun and interesting ways. Laser maze and Passport to all the participants with cool pictures and interactive activities added colour to the whole event.

Missed this year’s week of science workshops? Don’t worry. Stay tuned and save the date for next year.

Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Week of Science optics exhibition.





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Week of Science

As every year, IOSA participates in the  Week of Science, with the famous Laser Maze, that every year has fun from the youngest to the not so youngest adventurers.

Last year was a success, both the Laser Maze and the workshops we do, here we leave some of the most relevant photos remembering the moment.

This year more and better with a new topic and new workshops … Wait for us in the new post






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IOSA brings Light to Medina del Campo

Last month we went to Medina del Campo as a Ciudad Ciencia activity. It was the patron saint festivities, San Antolín, and our workshop Discovering Light was part of the celebration schedule. We carried out the workshops Human vision, Ray tracing, Fluorescence and Optical fibers. The audience that attended were mostly children and they were very interested and very surprised with the workshops we showed them. They were very participative and looking forward to repeating next time.

The previous day (4th of September 2017), Onda Cero Medina del Campo interviewd us in order to promote the activity among Medina’s inhabitants!



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