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Twente Science Night

Usually, you only realize the importance of light if it's no longer there. The Twente Science Night, which was held at the beginning of October on and around the Oude Markt in Enschede during the national Science Weekend, was all about 'light'. Wiendelt Steenbergen, professor in Biomedical Photonic Imaging, made an important contribution to the event.

‘Light is a wonderful theme, one that I encounter almost daily in my research,’ Steenbergen says. He showed the visitors in the city centre that science is at the core of society, while at the same time also being very ‘cool’.

Steenbergen and three other UT professors each gave a presentation in the jam-packed Grote Kerk. In one of his experiments he showed how you can measure a heartbeat with a camera from a tablet. By aiming a light source and camera on a face, you can detect very subtle colour variations which are caused by the circulation of the blood.

‘In this church I would be able to measure who's not feeling very well, or who's excited. I think that this technique will be used for security purposes in the future, in screening large groups of people’, Steenbergen predicts. ‘MIT researchers can measure your heartbeat from a distance of a 100 metres.’

In part thanks to Steenbergen's contribution the University of Twente can look back on a successful first edition of the Twente Science Night. The various programme sessions were very popular and visitors responded enthusiastically to the event.