Instrumentation Physics Laboratory

IPL Logo

About us

The Instrumentation Physics Laboratory (IPL) is one of the research laboratories of the National Institute of Physics (NIP). It promotes an atmosphere of learning and collaboration among teachers, graduate, and undergraduate students in building a scientific tradition in the Philippines. IPL started as a laboratory working on optics and signal processing. Now, it has expanded into other fields in the theoretical and applied physics as shown by its division into different sub-groups.


Complex Systems Group

Complex systems include a wide range of systems whose emergent features upon interaction are not predictable from isolated components. Our group combines theoretical and experimental approach to make high impact contributions in understanding the dynamics of granular materials, social and complex networks, and synchronization patterns.Complex networks, neural networks, differential equations, agent based modeling, and cellular automata are some of the techniques used to describe complex systems under study.

Granular Materials: Landslides, debris flows, and avalanches among others are examples of processes in which our understanding of the dynamics is quite limited because the physics associated with granular matter is still unresolved. Describing granular material is still a challenge owing to the fact that the collective behavior of an ensemble of numerous solid grains does not obey any known hydrodynamic equations. Our group looks scaling principles that will allow the statistics of large events be replicated in table top set-ups. Our current experimental and theoretical work on landslides, granular mixing and clogging, and miniature granular mounds are getting good reviews from the international community.

Complex Networks: Our group intends to utilize the tools that have recently been developed in the field of complex systems (e.g. neural networks, self organized criticallity, simplex projection, etc) to quantify the forces that drive the evolution of social systems - a field referred to as sociometry. Understanding how each of these forces interacts might lead to insightful institutional policies that will allow a more efficient design and implementation of community projects, disaster management initiatives, and other social networks related activities. We aim to catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations among social and natural scientists and serve as the major gatekeepers of critical information relating to social attributes of Philippine culture. It has to be noted that many organizations in the USA attempt to improve their efficiency through sociometric analyses. Among our interests include dynamics of: (1) interaction in a classroom (Complexity 2008), (2) multilevel marketing (Physica A 2008), (3) Gossip propagation, (4) Public opinion, (5) Family planning and (6) Social networking.

Synchronization: Network elements communicate and exhibit collective behavior for efficient functioning. Our group looks into the adjustment of the rhythms of natural and artificial systems due even if the interaction is weak or even below the detectable threshold. Current research thrusts of the group include noise induced pattern formation, spatial mode, time series analysis, particle tracking, transverse stability and synchronization of spatial modules in semiconductor lasers. The synchronization group seeks the application of synchronization from quantum systems to its application to industry.

Group Leaders:

  • Caesar A. Saloma, PhD Professor
  • Christopher P. Monterola, PhD Associate Professor
  • May T. Lim, PhD Associate Professor
  • Giovanni A. Tapang, PhD Associate Professor
  • Johnrob Y. Bantang, PhD Assistant Professor

Photonics Group

The Photonics Group has 2 subgroups, namely the Laser Microscopy Group, and the Wavefront Engineering Team.

The Laser Microscopy Group develops and constructs advanced microscope systems for rapid and non-invasive characterization of embedded defects inside semiconductor microchips. This has led to investigations on semiconductor defect localization using their absorption properties (via near-IR spectral imaging), thermal gradient mapping of integrated circuits and thermoreflectance imaging using a custom-built spectral microscope. Current research thrusts have extended the application to biomedicine. These include five-dimensional imaging of mouse embryos using two-photon excitation spectral microscopy; biomedical optics applied to pathology; spectral microscopy applied to biophotonics and forensics; and near-field scanning microscopy.

The Wavefront Engineering Team (WET) is interested in the application of recent advances in optical technology to various instrumentation research ventures. In particular, we are concerned in addressing two-dimensional phase, amplitude and state-of-polarization patterns of a coherent beam using programmable spatial light modulators to generate novel three-dimensional (3D) light patterns. The possibilities of these complex 3D optical fields point towards applications in optical microscopy; multiple beam optical trapping; micro-fabrication via nonlinear photo-polymerization; complex field coupling to advanced optical waveguides coupling for fiber sensors and more. Generation of the 3D optical fields makes use of a blend of interferometry-based techniques, in particular phase contrast and computer generated holography.

Group Leaders:

  • Caesar A. Saloma, PhD Professor
  • Giovanni A. Tapang, PhD Associate Professor

Video and Image Processing Group

The group works on improving and developing new methods of acquisition and manipulation of images and other signals from cameras and microscopes to extract and enhance information. Currently, the group concentrates on the following applications: spectral imaging (bioluminescence and spectral microscopy); marine signal and image processing (coral reef classification and optical properties of coastal waters); human color vision; biometrics (gait imaging and human tracking); and art conservation (onset of surface defects, color rejuvenation, and texture analysis of paintings).

Group Leaders:

Contact us

Johnrob Y. Bantang, PhD Associate Professor
Laboratory Coordinator
Instrumentation Physics Laboratory

R401, National Institute of Physics,
University of the Philippines,
Diliman, 1101, Quezon City, Philippines

See also