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Scientists already experimenting at DSU's new optics building

 If you drive on Route 13 through Dover and pass by Delaware State University, you’re likely to spot a shiny, pointy building that looks like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie.

In a way, it’s a fitting look for DSU’s new Optics Science Center for Applied Research or OSCAR. Inside, scientists are tinkering with lasers and machines that can potentially revolutionize the way we live.

Assistant professor Mohammad Amir Khan runs one of its eight laboratories. He’s focused on developing devices that can detect greenhouse gases and locate the source of the emissions.


"We make these devices at OSCAR and we can even put them on helicopters that can profile a region and give us a map that says that says this much carbon dioxide and methane emissions are coming from these sources," said Khan.


From there, Khan and his researchers might be able to identify hotspots for gases, like carbon dioxide. Then, that data might be used to shape environmental policy and understand how local communities are affected by these sources.

Now, Khan has neighbors who are using optics to understand fields ranging from medicine to space.  One laboratory is using spectroscopy to study sickle cell disease. Another works with lasers to search for possible life on the planet Mars.


"It’s important to bring all of this research under one roof so that we can perform multidisciplinary collaborative research and so that when we come together we can do wonderful things," said Khan.


The new optics center is also an improvement on the Mishoe Science Center, where the researchers used to be located. Some of their equipment were sensitive to vibration in the older building. The optics building resolved these stability issues.

The university will cut the ribbon to its new optics science center next week on Friday, September 25th.


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