Posts tagged with “Integrative Exercise (Comps) Talks” (All posts)

  • Upcoming Comps Presentation Abstracts

    Volume 26, Issue 18 (February 24, 2020)

    Grae Betz
    Wednesday, Feb 26th 2020
    3:10 pm in Anderson 036

    The Physics of Spacecraft

    Ever since the first successful launch of a rocket into orbit in 1957 and the establishment of NASA in 1958, the science of rocketry has been shrouded in an ambiguous sense of uncertainty by the American people. The phrase “It’s not rocket science” is often used to show a task or subject is not as difficult as something so complicated as rocketry, which shows the American view of the subject quite clearly. Through this presentation, I hope to convince you that the physics of spacecraft isn’t as intimidating or ominous as it seems. I will begin by explaining some of the physical requirements for flight and introduce the two main types of engines used. I will then transition into the physics of the launch itself by explaining the forces and the calculation derivations required to understand the necessary amount of thrust. Once we have a basis for understanding the launch, I will then explain the required physics of ascension into orbit, mainly focusing on the ascent trajectory, escape velocity, and will touch on booster staging. Lastly, I’ll explain some of the complications presented by the environment in orbit and some of the steps taken to ensure a rocket can survive sustained exposure. This will touch on such things as the Sloshing Effect, atomic oxygen erosion effect, and artificial space debris. By the end, I hope to be able to leave the audience with less foreboding and a more transparent perception of the physics of spacecraft.

    Anthony Bouza
    Friday Feb 28th 2020
    3:30 pm in Anderson 036


    Photovoltaic (PV) technologies convert sunlight directly into electricity without any moving parts or chemical fuels. Using simple p-n junctions, we can generate free electrons from visible photons. While the fundamental operating principle may be simple, the complexities of the Shockley-Queisser (SQ) Limit dictate just how much electricity a given PV technology can generate from a given amount of sunlight. In this talk I will introduce the world of PV solar energy, explain the operating principles of PV, and evaluate current PV generation technologies using the SQ limit. I will also discuss the viability of PV solar energy and provide a simple method to return on investment for a rooftop solar array.

    Lawrence Lin
    Monday, Mar 2nd 2020                                                                                                                                                                                              8:30 am in Anderson 036

  • Upcoming Comps talk abstracts

    Volume 26, Issue 17 (February 17, 2020)

    Meritxell Colet
    Wednesday, Feb 19th 2020
    3:10 pm in Anderson 036

    Ground Penetrating Radar

    Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a device that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This geophysical method detects changes in the initial pulse due to subtle changes in the electrical conductivity of the ground and reveal the structure of the ground under your feet. GPR can lead to interesting physics questions such as how exactly does the GPR pulse discover buried roman architecture? Can you find a buried body or clandestine graves using GPR? How can you protect UNESCO cultural heritage sites using physics? In this talk, I will address these questions while also exploring fundamental principles of electromagnetic waves. I will also discuss wave propagation underground and in various media and show some interesting uses of GPR in various applied fields such as archaeology and geology.


    Serena Moseley
    Friday Feb 21st 2020
    3:30 pm in Anderson 036

     Advancements in Radio Interferometry

    Radio observations of astronomical sources from a single telescope suffer from inherently lower angular resolution than observations at shorter wavelengths. Astronomers have developed clever interferometry techniques to overcome this limitation. In this talk, I will discuss the mechanisms of radio telescopes and how they can be effectively combined together in interferometry arrays to resolve finer details of radio sources. I will then explore what happens when these telescopes are separated by trans-global distances in a technique known as very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). After investigating how astronomers use VLBI to construct high-resolution images, such as the image of the event horizon of a black hole recently released by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, I will conclude by discussing other significant applications of VLBI.


    Michael McClurg
    Monday, Feb 24th 2020                                                                                                                                                                                              8:30 am in Anderson 036

    Modeling the Galactic Spiral Structure

    Spiral arms dominate the appearance of most disk galaxies, like our own Milky Way, and appear to have a significant influence in the overall dynamics of their galaxies. In this presentation, I investigate theories of the spiral structure and the models we construct to investigate them. I start by introducing the spiral structure and the ways that we observe and learn about it from our place on Earth. I then use mechanical models to investigate the formation and evolution of spirals, particularly how they’re created and whether they are long-lasting. To do this, I introduce particle and fluid dynamic models of the galaxy and discuss their application to these questions.


  • Upcoming Comps Presentation Abstracts

    Volume 26, Issue 16 (Feb 10, 2020)

    Marshall Basson
    Wednesday, Feb 12th 2020
    3:10 pm in Anderson 036

    Physics of a Classic Rock Album

    The mixture of mechanical and electric audio processing techniques used in mid-20th century rock music recordings both transformed the aural landscape of popular music and provide unique physical insight into wave generation and signal processing. In this presentation, I investigate physical models of sound and the construction of instruments. I then discuss methods of recording and processing of audio soundwaves through the framing of rock music production, including transduction, audio effects, and sampling.

    Yueheng Shi
    Friday Feb 14th 2020
    3:30 pm in Anderson 036

    Laser Cooling

    Laser cooling is a groundbreaking technology that manipulates the interaction between light and atoms to decrease atoms’ temperature to nanokelvins. In 1997, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists who had developed the foundations for laser cooling and since then, laser cooling has been widely implemented in laboratories around the world to explore exhilarating physics laws at a microscopic scale. I will explore the fundamental theories of light-atom interactions in both classical and quantum pictures. Additionally, I will introduce the Doppler cooling technique which harnesses Doppler effects at an atomic scale to greatly decrease the speed of atoms. A theoretical temperature limit for Doppler cooling and how experimental results violate this theory will be discussed. I’ll also demonstrate how multilevel atomic structures and polarization of light could be manipulated to further decrease the temperature of atoms. Some of laser cooling’s applications such as Bose-Einstein Condensate and quantum simulator will be discussed.

    Alex Kiral
    Monday, Feb 17th 2020                                                                                                                     8:30 am in Anderson 036

    Quantum Hall Effect

  • Upcoming Comps Presentation Abstracts

    Volume 26, Issue 15 (Feb 3, 2020)

    Rina Tanaka
    Wednesday, Feb 5th 2020
    3:10 pm in Anderson 036

    The Physics of Bees

     Bees are fascinating creatures, and it turns out that there are many bee-related fascinating physics questions we can ask such as: How can bumblebees expel pollen out from inside a flower’s anthers simply by vibrating the anthers? How can bees know where the sun is even when it is obscured by clouds? What’s the most dominant physical phenomenon that puts a limit on the eyesight of bees? If you find yourself curious about these questions, come to my comps talk!  I will explain some physical phenomena that are relevant to the life of bees, including buzz pollination, vision, and flight.

    Ann Isaacs
    Friday Febst 2020
    3:30 pm Anderson 036

    Gamma Ray Bursts

    Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are some of the most energetic events we observe in outer space. These brief, intense observations of high-energy photons can reach us from across great reaches of space. Discovered entirely by accident by Cold War satellites looking for nuclear detonation in space, there is much we still do not know about GRBs. We have only recently learned what we need to look for. In this talk, I will cover the general story of what GRBs are, including the initial bursts and the longer-lived afterglows. I will also discuss what processes produce such high-energy light and what that means for GRB sources. Finally, I will explore the leading theories of what produces GRBs, studying such extreme environments as newly-born black holes and neutron stars with magnetic fields trillions of times that of the Earth. I will conclude by asking why we study GRBs, and what they can tell us about our universe.

    Mid-term break!
    Monday, Feb 10th 2020

  • Upcoming Comps Presentations

    Volume 26, Issue 14 (Jan 27, 2020)


    Eric Biddulph-West
    Wednesday, Jan 29th 2020
    3:10 pm in Anderson 036

    A Hypothetical Concentrating Solar Dish Engine for Energy Autonomous Communities

    We, as a human race, already wield the technology and resources to not just provide for every living person on Earth, but to do so in a sustainable and peaceful way. The obstructions that persist are therefore largely social; out of habit and fear, we maintain systems of economic disparity, dependence, and exploitation of resources human and otherwise. However, as empowered and interconnected individuals, we can choose to now let go of the systems that serve only the few. One proposed approach, producing a decentralized network of energy nodes, can be realized by transforming the abundant power of the sun via thermal strategies. We will explore the physical principles of one such design concept: the parabolic solar-concentrating dish-engine system. A machine like this could power autonomous small-scale communities and true healing of the human-Earth relationship can begin.


    Spencer Weeden
    Friday Jan 31st 2020
    3:30 pm Anderson 036


    Spintronics is the sub-field of physics revolving around the manipulation of spin degrees of freedom. Used to augment or replace the role of charge in electronic systems, the quantized nature of spin makes it a strong candidate for information storage and processing encoded in binary digits. Spintronics has its roots in magnetoelectronics, which takes advantage of spin-dependent magnetoresistive effects to produce devices such as magnetic read-heads for sensing dense storage media. In this talk I will explore fundamental principles of spin, spin-related effects, and ferromagnetism. I will also discuss how spin-based devices may solve limitations of their charge-based counterparts, such as annoying heat dissipation, and show some exciting potential applications in transistor physics and logic.


    Sharan Ganjam Seshachallam                                                                                                   Monday, Feb 3rd 2020
    8:30 am Anderson 036

    Quantum Dots

    Quantum dots are tiny microchip structures that are created on the atomic size scale. Their unique properties make them highly prized for potential applications in modern computing, optics and electronics. Besides providing a general overview of fabrication techniques and technological applications, we will give special attention to theoretically modelling how electrons move through quantum dots. Thinking of certain shapes of quantum dots in terms of billiard ball tables, we are able to explore an interesting appearance of classical chaos in the quantum realm. In this project, we will outline the process of making semiclassical (high-energy) approximations when modeling electron motion through certain quantum dot shapes, and connect the classical notions of chaos to the behavior of quantum systems, bridging the intuitive picture of billiard ball dynamics with the less accessible idea of electron transport.


  • Upcoming Comps Presentations

    Volume 25, Issue 22

    Drop by Olin 141 on Wednesday to hear our final PHAS senior give their comps talk!  It will be Wednesday during 6a (3:10 pm).  Click for details and an abstract.

  • Comps Presentations

    Volume 24, Issue 21

    Max Burgess’ Comps Presentation Monday, March 26th 8:30 am in Olin 141 The Raman Effect and Raman Spectroscopy In the past few decades, Raman spectroscopy has emerged as one of…

  • Comps Presentations

    Volume 24, Issue 18

    Gerrit Postema’s Comps Presentation Wednesday, March 7th 3:10 pm in Olin 141 Planet Formation

  • Comps Presentations

    Volume 24, Issue 19

    Gerrit Postema’s Comps Presentation Wednesday, March 7th 3:10 pm in Olin 141 A Narrative of Planetary Formation:  From Dust to the Late Heavy Bombardment The formation of the Solar System…

  • Comps Presentations

    Volume 24, Issue 17

    John Scott’s Comps Presentation Wednesday, February 21st 3:10 pm in Olin 141 Josephson Junctions     Max Mattessich’s Comps Presentation Friday, February 23rd 3:30 pm in Olin 141 Energy Recapture…