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Physics 400 Progress Reports

Latest Posting 02/08/00.

February 7, 2000

Anthony Barry
Monday, February 7, 2000
Progress report:

Before the start of the semester, I was able to locate a sample problem dealing with capacitors that may provide some insight into what is necessary for my setup. The problem takes the parallel plate capacitor problem and shows how slightly changing the angle of one of the plates, causing them to be slightly unparallel, will affect the solution to the capacitance. I have also consulted with my project mentor Dr Plitnik, and we have located and reserved a spot in the experimental physics laboratory to conduct the project experiments. I have also acquired a digital multimeter capable of measuring capacitance that I will be using in my testing. Dr. Plitnik and I are currently scheduled to meet this week to run some preliminary tests on a new capacitor prototype that has been assembled, and to discuss in more depth what needs to be done. Basically we will try to get things started and try to setup a schedule to allow for smooth progress to begin.

Senior Lab Progress Report
"The Building and Testing of a Sackbut"
Joe Comer

This week the trombone that I ordered off ebay early last week is due in, probably sometime around mid-week. The source that I originally thought would have had a pre-manufactured sackbut mouthpiece did not. Currently I am looking to find another source, possibly the Woodwind/Brasswind Catalog or maybe a Vincent Bach or Dennis Wick catalog. Fabrication would be difficult, so I am trying really hard to find a source. Since the trombone that I ordered is a whole trombone, I do not have to worry about slide/bell section interfacing. This week, I plan to look into probe microphones that I can use to determine the pressure transfer function of the built sackbut.

Progress Report #1
Matt Ernst
Senior Lab

My project is building and analyzing bass-reflex enclosure systems, other wise known as a ported speaker or sub-woofer. I started my project the first week of January. I bought a program that allowed me see how the different inside volumes and the Thiele and Small Parameters would effect the quality of the sound. When I decided what I wanted my inside volume I then read up on the materials that I needed to have to make this project. I first bought the basics: the woofer, particleboard, screws, calking, weather striping, speaker wire, paint, connectors, plates, etc. After the supplies were bought, I started to make my cuts on the particleboard. After, I made my initial cuts I decided to use my second woofer to make a second ported box. I used some wood blocks to strengthen the backside of the box and carpenters glue on all the connection edges. As I was building my box, I had to look around the house to solve problems that came up, like with any construction project. I decide to make the back of the box a door, so I could not just have a speaker but a physical apparatus. I used weather-stripping between the back door and the outer rim and I used it around the speaker to seal the wood from the metal so there was no air leakage. Every place where wood was in contact with wood, I sealed it with calking, to prevent air leakage. I painted the outside of the back black, first by sealing it up with primer then a flat black. The holes cut for the woofer where 10 3/4 inches diameter. I used a 4-inch cut for the hole in the bigger box and a 2-inch hole for the smaller box. For box number one the outside dimensions are 17 1/2 X 17 X 24 1/8 inches. The inside dimensions are 15 7/8 X 12 5/8 X 22 3/8 inches. For box number two the outside dimensions are 17 X 15 1/2 X 16 5/8 inches. The inside dimensions are 15 1/2 X 12 3/4 X 15 inches. All dimensions were given: width X length X height.

Lesley McCorkle
February 7, 2000
Senior Lab Progress Report

To date, I have collected the equipment for and setup my apparatus. I have run into a few difficulties, such as how to firmly hold the razor and the reed in place, but both have been solved to my satisfaction. I would like to refine the methods for holding these two objects. I have not yet begun to take data, but hope to do so in the coming week. I am also having difficulty with the balance I have chosen and am considering using a different one. This balance seems to be awfully worn from previous use and does not seem to give true readings of balance. This will also be resolved this coming week.

Thermoacoustics Project
Luke Neiswander

I am currently performing research in a field known as thermoacoustics. My approach in research in this field is using a device known as a thermoacoustic refrigeration device. I have designed and built a working device already which operates at a frequency of 417 Hz. During the first time out when checking the performance of this device I found a temperature decrease of 5.9 degrees F cooler than room temperature which was 69.4 degrees F. Trying to decrease the temperature more I decided to build two more hot heat exchangers. The original heat exchanger was made from mild steel. The other two hot heat exchangers I have built are made from aluminum and brass. So far it appears that the greatest decrease in temperature came from the mild steel. After finding out that the other two hot heat exchangers didn't help matters much I decided to build a cold heat exchanger from a different type of material. The original cold heat exchanger was made of a copper mesh. I decided to build a new one out of stainless steel. The results from the new cold heat exchanger still remain to be seen because the thermo couple did not attach to the cold heat exchanger too well the solder broke. Finally I decided to test a fact I was told by a graduate student at Penn. State. He told me that the shorter the stack was the smaller the temperature decrease would be. My original stack had a length of 2.5 inches so I decided to build one that was 1 inch in length. After building this stack I then tested the fact and found that the decrease in temperature had reduced to 2.9 degrees cooler than room temperature. From this finding I am going to proceed onto building a new stack that is 3 inches in length and test it. As this semester continues my research using this device will become more analytical and descriptive as to why these changes using different components occurs. If any readers have any questions or comments about the research I am performing this semester feel free to E-mail me at novaspeed@hotmail.com.

Progress Report
Monique Ramos

This report covers the progress that I have made on my senior lab project. For this project, I plan on working with the Scanning Electron Microscope to test the resolution of Frostburg's SEM, and to study the structure of tungsten filaments. Dr. Morton and Dr. Hoffman have agreed to assist me in order to complete this project.

Work Completed
Over the winter break I visited the University of Maryland Baltimore County and worked with Dr. Reno in order to make the samples for my experiment. The polystyrene solutions was placed on aluminum studs, so that the molecules of the substance could be examined. Dr. Reno and I first buffed the aluminum studs, so that we would not confuse a scratch or an imprint of a molecule. There were four different solutions that Dr. Reno was supplied with, the different solutions had polystyrene sphere sizes ranging from an average of 0.025 mm to 13.5 mm. We then put a drop of the each solution on one stud which supplied me with 4 different samples. The studs were then placed under a heat lamp for the solutions to dry. After the solutions dried we placed the samples in a vacuum chamber to clean extra dirt or dust particles off of the surface of the sample. We then sputtered gold particles on the samples in order to gold-coat them. Dr. Reno then tested one sample to see if we could actually see the molecules by examining the sample in his microscope at UMBC. We could see the molecules, which looked like tiny spheres, therefore we knew that we made the samples correctly. I also spoke to Dr. Morton, who has been on sabbatical all last semester. We set up a time to meet on Tuesday morning so that he can examine the samples that I made with Dr. Reno. Dr. Morton said that I may not be able to get on the microscope until the end of February, because he is catching up from last semester and he recently had a death in the family. I hope that I am successful on talking him into working on the microscope with me sooner. Dr. Hoffman and I have also discussed schedules and when we are going to meet.

Work to be Completed
This week I hope to get familiar with the SEM after spending sometime learning how to use it with Dr. Morton. After leaning how to use the SEM I will have to find the resolution of the microscopes by examining the samples made at UMBC. I then will have to burn the tungsten in the light bulbs for the second part of my experiment and I will have to examine the tungsten. I predicted that I would make the tungsten light bulb samples at home, but in fear that the samples would get ruined in the trip back to school I decided to make the samples up at school.

Work Schedule
By week three I should be familiar with the SEM and ready to begin looking at my samples that were made at UMBC. By the fifth week I should have the resolution determined and I should have the first of my tungsten sampled created. If I examine three tungsten samples per week I will be done collecting data by the ninth week. This will leave me two weeks to tie up loose ends on my project.

Progress Report 1
From: Dave Schofield
To report what I have done so far toward my senior research project is not all that much different from last semester. I have the three teachers that are assisting me in administering the tests selected and I am just waiting for the date to give the tests. Another major issue that I am waiting for what information will be covered on the tests so I can begin work on creating different questions with different difficulties. I did keep in touch with the high school teacher who is helping me to administer the test in his classroom, Charie Plauger at Southern Garrett High School, and since his semester has just begun, he will inform me as to when the test can be administered. The middle school teacher who is assisting me for the tests, Krista Rose at Braddock Middle School, has not spoken to me for quite some time now, so I need to get in contact with her this week to make sure that the study still is not a problem. Finally, I called the college instructor who is assisting me, Dr. Ken Witmer of Frostburg State University, and I left a message to set up a meeting with him in the next week or two to prepare for the test for his course. That is all the work that I have completed to date.

Progress report
Jeff Warner
First Progress Report for Senior Research Project

My senior research project is a study in Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos. I will be analyzing the motion of an EM-50 Chaotic Pendulum to verify that the pendulumís motion will enter a chaotic state under certain initial conditions. Thus, the purpose of the project is to construct a bifurcation diagram to show the pendulumís period doubling route to chaos. I will perform some calibration procedures to become familiar with the apparatus.
So far I have been reading books on Chaos over the winter break to become familiar with the topic. On Feb. 6, 2000, I started to become familiar with the pendulumís software. I also started collecting some data. The data collected will be used to determine the pendulumís natural frequency. I ran into some problems importing the data from the EM-50 pendulumís software to Excel. I eventually figured out how to import the data. I worked quite some time on trying to determine the pendulumís natural frequency from the data collected. At this point, I have not had any success on determining the natural frequency. I will have to discuss the issue will my mentor, Dr. Steve Luzader.

Progress report 1
James Wheeler

On Wednesday February 2nd I meet with Dr. Doyle to discuss plans on what needs to be done to Frostburg's Dobsonian telescope. We set down and wrote a time schedule for the work to be done. The first thing that we are going to do is point the telescope at the radio tower on Savage Mountain to test the eyepiece focus. We had planned on doing the eyepiece testing that day but the weather did not permit it. I will be going to Dr. Doyle's house to pick up his 13 inch Dobsonian to compare the 19-inch's performance with. After we have determined which eyepiece performs correctly I will need to work on the support of the telescope. The telescope moves easily, which is not desirable for a telescope so I will develop brakes for the wheels to keep it from moving. After those two projects have been completed the installation of the digital setting circles will begin. We have decided to keep the telescope in the Physics workshop so tools are available to me. I begin work on the project February 7th at 2:30 PM.

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Last Revised 02/08/00.