Friday, April 27, 2007

It is finally over!!! Today we had our WSE 187 presentation. We all did so well and I have never been so proud. Everything that I presented was my hard work (from the diagrams to the graphs) which is probably why I stood by my poster with such pride. The weekend that just past was such a difficult one that at times I asked myself why I even chose this rotation. However, when I saw the first presentation, I came to the realization that all of the hard work was for a reason. We actually did our own research, took our own data, and created our own diagrams. This is what a real researcher does and it is good that I had this experience now since this is what I plan to devote my life to. This experience confirmed my wish to be a researcher.

I will always thank Dr. Noe for drilling me on the things that I should have known at the time, but now I will never forget. The LTC rotation is not only a true introduction to research, but an introduction to being a scientist.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Today was the URECA Celebration. It was really nice to see my poster and to compare it with the others. Many people had the big power point posters that looked all fancy, but were hard to read and not interesting to look at because of all the text or lack of organization. I was really disappointed that I was not able to stay the entire time because I had to go to class, but for the time I was there, it was challenging and yet fun to present to whoever came to my poster to inquire. Many people were surprised to find out that I was only a freshman. Hopefully, I will be able to participate in the celebration next year.

Check out pictures of the URECA Celebration 2007.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I just came back from the lab and it is after 10 PM. Even though I am tired, the poster is finally finished and ready to go for the URECA celebration. Today was spent proofreading and printing the material for the poster, which was later followed by sticking the pages onto the poster board. The finished product was well worth the work!!!

Take a look as I am working on my poster.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I spent the majority of the day working on a diagram of the NSLS beam line setup. I used the same program that I used to make the Bragg Law diagram (Xfig). A few more days and it will all be over.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today, I finished the Bragg calculations. I finished the Bragg 110 crystal plane and I went back and redid the Bragg 100 crystal plane (Bragg Graphs). I redid the 100 plane because after working with the apparatus for so long, I learned better ways to take data. I felt that it would be necessary to retake the data because of all the mistakes I had committed in the beginning due to my inexperience with the apparatus. I guess this is one of the fundamentals of research. You explore different ways of doing things in hopes of finding the most efficient way. If a scientist is lucky, they will find a method that is cost and time efficient while obtaining a good set of data.

Thus far, I learned that it is not only about collecting a good set of data. It is also about knowing what to do with all of the measurements. In other words, the goal is to produce a good graph with all of your measurements that provides you with the most amount of information. You want your data to work for you and you want it to be visually stimulating.

Also, today I had my first experience with the drawing program xfig. This program is for Linux computers only and because it is free, it has a few kinks. I spent the evening working on the Bragg diagram illustrating how the Bragg Law is derived. I did not leave the lab until the diagram looked like how I wanted it to look. I tried to draw it as close to scale as possible.

Learn more about the Bragg Law.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Today, I began to start the crystal plane measurements. I began with the 100 plane and entered the data into Quattro. After looking at my results, we thought it would be wise to go back and take measurements without the cube to see what the background is and thus we can see from my measurements what is real and what is not. Also, we also thought that at areas where peaks looked pronounced, I should take half degree measurements to make the data more clear. It was another long day, but it is now time to rest for tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

To my dismay, I walked into the LTC to see that Dr. Noe went and got me a new microwave set. The new information of the new microwave set is the following:

CAT No. 2643-A Microwave - Optics Ed-set Mark 2: For experiments in Electromagnetic Radiation Sargent-Welch Scientific Company Skokle, Illinios

I was happy that it was a better one, but I was not happy to see that I had to repeat wavelength measurements. This took me five hours to do and by the end of the day, we realized that it was the same wavelength of the last apparatus. This was so frustrating!!! It turns out that it is true that the wavelength of this apparatus is the same, but we were supposed to double it. Since the wavelength is squared, the troughs of the wave become positive and thus the number I originally found was supposed to be double. This means that the number for the wavelength in my abstract is wrong!!!! Well, the good thing was that I had a new nice graph nice graph. Sadly, on such a beautiful weekend, we have to spend our entire weekend in the LTC working on our projects since we are so behind. There is nothing like a deadline for motivation!!! (Quoted from John Noe)

Monday, April 16, 2007

The URECA celebration is right around the corner and all I have to show for it are some experiments showing the wavelength and the law of reflection!!! I do not like leaving things for the last minute because I do not like the additional stress, but this is last minute and I am starting to get really worried.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Today, is my first day back to the LTC since spring break. I did not come back to school until Tuesday afternoon because one of my good friends died over the break. It was hard to deal with at first, but I guess you learn to accept things for what they are and you learn that everything happens for reasons.

I just spent some time further familiarizing myself with the microwave apparatus and trying to figure out what experiments I will be able to do with it. This resulted in me doing an experiment on the law of reflection. In the end, I obtained a graph that showed a peak where the reflection occurred. This is important because in Bragg scattering, electromagnetic radiation is reflected, but only at certain angles in which they constructively interfere. This experiment will give me further insight on how the atoms will reflect the radiation.

Friday, March 30, 2007

My URECA abstract is finally submitted!!! I did not realize that writing an abstract would entail so much work and revision. I have written abstracts before for my other research experiences, but this abstract was a bit longer and detailed than the others. In addition, I found it to be a challenge to work on something with two different people. Dr. Noe felt that the abstract should include certain things and Dr. Stojanoff (NSLS mentor) did not necessarily agree and vice versa. I think that the main stressor was that it was kind of at the last minute so everyone just wanted it to be correct and submitted. I wonder if they have a class on science writing because I would definitely enroll!

Learn how to write an abstract.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I believe that the URECA abstract was due today, but we are not even close to being finished even with their two week extension. Good thing Karen gave us extra time!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I came in today instead of Monday because I wanted the WSE 187 class time to study for my women studies midterm. That is another plus about this rotation. It is a little more flexible. However, something tells me that I am going to spending a lot more time in this lab than what I would have expected at the rate things are going. I am okay with this because I am passionate about doing research and even it takes me all night and day to get a result, then I will stay all night and day.

I measured the wavelength of the microwave apparatus and found that it was 1.47 cm long. I did this by first recording the distances at which each max and min occurred and then I went back and recording the intensities at each millimeter separation so that I could get a good graph. Although this was time consuming, I was successful.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Today was my first introduction to the microwave apparatus that I will be using for perhaps the rest of the semester. It is an EG-25 Microwave Optics Apparatus (Daedalon Corporation) that comes with a receiver, transmitter, goniometer, a Styrofoam block (crystal), and different types of metal plates. I am so excited that I have a new toy!!! The next time I am here I am going to measure the wavelength of the microwaves.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Today, we further discussed project possibilities. I asked if I could possibly do something related to a monochromator since that was related more to my research at BNL and Dr. Stojanoff recommended it as a project. We discussed possibilities which were basically narrowed down to two possiblie topics: using a monochromator with visible light and relating sound waves with a monochromator. In searching for possible topics I found the following website: which had geometrical optical illusions that perhaps Eva may be interested in. In addition, we embarked upon an experiment to measure shadows, distances, and we also studied the shapes of the source of light and the distances in which the shape of the shadow became distorted. Other things that we did during class were that we spoke about Braggs law, looked at a monochromator, and also looked at the other LTC student's websites.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The beginning of the class was spent in discussion with Azure on what particular aspects of science interests us, followed by some of her recommendations of course work and possible research topics at the laser teaching center. I first begun telling her that I was more of a hands on person and enjoyed the physical work aspect of science. As a result, she explained to me that maybe I would find material science fulfilling. After, Azure also explained how research internships works in SBU (as in credits and credit limitations) and she also told us about the physics society in SBU. She mentioned that she is the only female and feels that we should join to start balancing out the gender within the club. Next, Azure explained the difference between (i think this is what she said) wave optics and geometric optics. She said that geometric optics was more simple because the math was easier and she said that waves optics was more difficult because the math was more complicated. In the end of our session with her, she said that we could do something with lasers. It entailed two reflecting surfaces in a laser and how we could alter the beam through altering these reflecting surface (i think this is what she meant). We were able to see the idea later in the hallway with the reflecting display. In the display, it was seen how the laser went from the source, reflected off another mirror, then refected off that mirror to another pair of mirrors in a parabolic shape. We were also able to see how the laser disperses.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Today, we furthered our discussion on optics by taking another look at Sriya's project, the pig toy. We spoke about how at first it [the mirror] was thought that it was spherical, however, it was later found that it was not. As a result, we learned that you can find the radius and the focal point by taking the measurement of a chord of the reflecting surface. This is called the Sagitta Method. The same method could be used in calculating the focal point of the reflecting surface in the hallway. The placement of your head and thus your voice, will determine whether the sound reflects back to the source or it reflects outward. Finally, we tried to narrow down the type of project that would interest and benefit both me and Eva.