Athanor is one of the many light based art installations in the Photonics Center. It forms a continually changing splash of color on the wall of the Photonics Center's 7-9th floor atrium using a heliostat (a mirror on the roof that tracks the sun) and some warped dichroic glass plates (which reflect light only within a certain range of colors).
Janet Saad-Cook created the sculpture. The original installation in 1997 benefitted from considerable mechanical engineering support by BU astronomy professor Ken Janes. We recently refurbished the sculpture's mechanisms and controller to take advantage of closed-loop control systems that can keep it well-aligned throughout the year.
This dynamic photonics art piece brings us great pleasure on sunny days. The staff at the Photonics Center will vouch for my dedication to its preservation, noting the many hours that I have spent on the roof refinining its new control system. The video loop on this page shows a time lapse of the scuplture's colorful output on every sunny day during the month of September, 2022.