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MXP Project Database

The database contains summaries of over 500 MXP projects going back to 1970. Data from Kurt's long-standing database was imported to MySQL running on a department server, and is accessed here using the Database2 DokuWiki plugin. Thanks to Alex Schumann for setting this up for us.

Search to narrow the results. Click the “Examine Record” button at right to show the complete record including the report location, and if invented at the time ;-), URL for the experiment webpage. When viewing the URL, Right-click the link and use Open in New Tab, since navigation back to the wiki can be annoying. Use the “OK” button at bottom of page to return from wiki record view to wiki list view.

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Date  Category  Project Name  Project Description  Students  Reference 
1 2017/05/08 Condensed Matter Physics Annular Resonator to Measure the Speed of Fourth Sound in Liquid Helium In this experiment, we measured the velocity of fourth sound, a pressure wave which propagates only through the superfluid component of liquid helium II, in an annular resonator packed with Al2O3 powder by inducing fourth sound waves in the helium within the resonator at frequencies between 200 Hz and 10 kHz and observing the resonance frequencies of the system which correspond to the frequencies of standing waves within the resonator. The velocity of the fourth sound waves was calculated from the location of the resonant frequencies along with the known dimensions of the resonator at each of ten temperatures between 2.17 K and 1.5 K. We were able to observe values for the speed of fourth sound which showed the correct overall trend as a function of temperature; however, they were systematically lower than the theoretically calculated values. Epstein, Amanda Hafner, Elena 1730
2 2017/05/08 Cosmic Ray Experiments Characterizing the Low Energy Response of the FOXSI silicon X-Ray Detectors The purpose of our experiment was to improve the characterization of the energy response of the Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) silicon X-ray detectors below 5 keV, as there have been observed discrepancies in this regime. We did so by using a 5.9 keV Fe-55 X-ray source to measure the variation in transmission of low energy X-rays through the detectors' nonuniformly crinkled thermal blanketing. We found that at 5.9 keV, a smooth blanket had an average transmission of .83 +/- .03 and a crinkled blanket had an average transmission of .83 +/- .02, indicating that there was no significant change in transmission with crinkling and that the crinkling cannot have caused the observed discrepancy Bergstedt, Kendra 1711
3 2017/05/08 Misc Daylight Experiment for Teaching Stellar Interferometry A quasi-monochromatic, spatially incoherent light source was used to simulate star light. A telescope fitted with masks containing pairs of pinholes was used to observe the simulated star, producing interference patterns. Increasing the pinhole separation produced a change in the degree of coherence of the light and fringe visibility of the interference patterns. Relating pinhole separation to fringe visibility using the van Cittert-Zernike theorem, the diameter of the light source was determined to be 2.33 ± 0.18 mm. This diameter agrees with the actual diameter of 2.31 mm with an error of 1.12% or 0.14sigma, though the data does not fit to the predicted equation. Hines, Adam Skuza, Nicholas 1792
4 2017/05/08 Atomic Physics Measuring the Refractive Index Using and Extended Cavity Diode Laser In this experiment, the index of refraction of a thin glass slide was measured using an Extended Cavity Diode Laser (ECDL). This was done using saturated absorption spectroscopy of a Rubidium cell combined with a change in optical path length inside the extended cavity. Using Snell's Law and trigonometry, the index of refraction of a thin piece of BK7 glass was related to path length changes in the laser. Using a least squares fit, the index of refraction was measured to be n=1.52±0.032. This value agrees with the index of refraction of BK7 glass found literature, 1.51. King, Brendan Stangl, Sarah 1740
5 2017/05/08 Particle Experiments Efficiency Measurement of thin Plastic Scintillator as an Electron Target We measured the detection efficiency of thin target scintillator for minimum ionizing particles in order to find the feasibility of an electron event trigger design for the Light Dark Matter eXperiment (LDMX) detector. Cosmic muons were used in place of high energy electrons since they have comparable energy scales. The detection efficiency was determined by comparing the energy deposited in the target scintilla- tor at the time of trigger, which is created by looking at the energy in two thick layers of scintillator on either side of the target scintilla- tor. An efficiency was taken for two scintillators with thicknesses of 3.0+/-0.1 mm and 2.2+/-0.1 mm. We measured efficiencies of 0.88+/0.01 and 0.78+/0.02 for each respectively. Preliminary results of our attempt to determine the location of the muon event in the plane by looking at the differences in energy in each SiPM are also shown. Our results from this experiment will determine if such an electron event trigger will be used in the final LDMX detector. Dorseth, Mason Poehlmann, David-Michael 1722
6 2017/05/08 Misc Electrodynamics and Mechanics of the Thomson Jumping Ring The purpose of our experiment was to construct a model for the motion of an aluminum ring as it undergoes an accelerating force due to a magnetic field from a solenoid coil. We achieved this by measuring a series of height dependent auxiliary functions, and then using second order Euler approximations and Newton's second law of motion to generate a model of the expected motion. We found that our model described the motion of the ring to within 0.42 standard deviations in the regime where the magnetic force is driving the motion. Chadwick, Taylor Twaites, Alexander 1791
7 2017/05/08 Particle Experiments Electron-Positron Pair Production The rate of detection of positron annihilation photons as a function of the thickness of a lead target slab was investigated. A Co-60 gamma ray source provided high energy photons for pair production. Coincidence detectors placed 180° apart on either side of the target were used to identify simultaneous 511 keV photons produced by annihilation. The detection rates were measured for slab thicknesses ranging from 1 mm to 15 mm, and were found to be in agreement with the theory. Moskowitz, Irene Schmitz, Ryan 1720
8 2017/05/08 Optics Exploration of the Ball-Rod Physical System Using an Optical Interferometer We use a Michelson interferometer with a 633 nm HeNe laser to investigate the motion of two steel rods of lengths 39.8 cm and 55.1 cm after being struck by a steel ball. The collision launches an elastic wave through the rod with observable displacements of the end mirror by interferometry. The speed of sound in thin, steel rods was found to be consistent with literature at 4830 ± 10 m/s for the 39.8 cm rod and 4870 ± 10 m/s for the 55.1 cm rod by observing rod lengths traveled within 43 round trip times of the induced compression wave. The evolution of the rod’s motion with time is also analyzed with position and velocity vs. time graphs for the two rods. The rods initially experience start-stop motion due to compression wave dominated movement with no gross rod motion between bursts and evolve to include gross motion as the compression wave transfers energy to the rod. Rod friction is neglected for short timescales less than 1 ms but play a significant factor in slowing the rod subsequently. Kaissi, Hosni Zhao, Long 1754
9 2017/05/08 Optics Analysis of a Vibraphone Bar Using Speckle Interferometry In this experiment, an electronic speckle pattern interferometer was built, then used to find the nodes of a vibrating vibraphone bar. The interferometer was tested by bending a metal plate and observing the number of fringes seen. The speckle pattern was created by diverging a laser beam and reflecting it off of the object in question and a reference object. To view the nodes or fringes, an image of the unaltered object was subtracted from the object while it was deformed or vibrating. After testing the interferometer by bending a plate, we found the observed number of fringes to match the predicted number quite well, with most predicted points lying within the observed points’ uncertainties. With the vibraphone bar, we calculated the fundamental node locations (as fractions of the total bar length) to be 0.224 ± 0.009 and 0.786 ± 0.004 from left to right. The left node lies within four standard deviations of the value of a tuned bar from literature (0.1929), and the right node lies within five standard deviations (0.8034). Igl, Alexander Schwartzberg, Levi 1750
10 2017/05/08 Particle Experiments Gamma Ray Spectroscopy Using a high-resolution, high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector, spectra of gamma ray emissions from radioactive isotopes in sediment samples from Lake McCarrons were taken. By comparing the spectra of sediments from different depths, it was found that there is no significant time dependence of natural radiation over the time frame the sample covers. In addition, no (unnatural) radiation from the fallout of nuclear testing could be detected. Holm, Tony Meeker, Evan 1721
— 657 records on 66 pages
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groups/mxp/projectdb.txt · Last modified: 2016/12/05 12:20 by wgilbert