Project Proposal for Physics 4052 Introduction You must begin to think about a possible experimental project to carry out next semester (Physics 4052). The reason for this is two-fold: first, it will introduce you to the process of proposal writing, which is an unavoidable and very important part of modern experimentation, and second, it will enable us to make any necessary plans for procuring equipment. To start you thinking about this process, the following few pages present a catalog of some past and some possible projects.
You are not squired to choose one of these projects, although there are some very good ideas buried in there which are worthwhile to pursue as projects. Some motivated student groups also have found projects of their own and these have often been the best and most interesting. Ideas for projects often grow out of the material covered in other courses, out of work in some laboratory, or from ideas described in print somewhere. It may be especially profitable to spend some time in the library perusing the American Journal of Physics. There are many interesting ideas to be found there. Browse this course’s WEB page (URL: http://MSP. Hicks. Mum. Du/sere) to see a list of previous projects, including their abstracts, to get an idea of the scope of the projects. Do not be over-ambitious; we do not expect you to push back the frontiers of science (yet)! The main purpose is to present yourselves with an interesting challenge, one that you can become enthusiastic about, and one that you will be able to complete in 10 weeks. Professional physicists are known to underestimate the time required to complete a project; you are no different and beginners are likely to be off y a factor 4 – 5 in their estimates for the time required. You should take this into account.
Of course, the instructors will be able to give you some guidance/advice. You must take into account that mechanical and/or electronic equipment often must be built, made operational, and then understood, even before you start taking any data. It is unlikely that your experimental equipment will work on the first try. It usually does not! Most research equipment is not built for a mass market. Equipment must be made to work, and this is part of the art of experimental physics. We have a fair mount of equipment already available in the lab, and we also have a modest budget for acquiring any additional equipment that you might need.
Do not hesitate to ask, but let us know as early as possible what you might need! Your instructors are always willing to discuss projects, I. E. What to do, how best to do it, where to do it, etc. Let us know your thoughts even before you write a proposal. There are many experts in various fields in this department. If the instructors are unfamiliar with a particular topic that you have chosen to study, they will suggest some other faculty member ho would be able to act as an adviser. On January 23 you will be required to submit a Letter of Intent, consisting of a one- page description of what you plan to do.
This is the first step towards an experimental project. It should state clearly what your project is, why it is interesting, and how you plan to do it; but you need not have worked out all the details yet. The program or Planning Committee (the course instructors) will consider each of these Letters and give a rapid response; either positive or negative, or requesting more information. The reason for such an approach is clear: laboratories generally have an verbal program into which any new research must fit; they must plan well ahead, and they also have to ensure that the needed facilities are available.
It also helps to weed out “off-they’ll” proposals before too much time is wasteland them. (Some really good ideas have probably vanished at this point, too. ) Proposal On February 18 you will be required to submit a 7 to 10 page (maximum) proposal for your proposed project. This must contain more definitive information, such as requests for specific existing apparatus, estimated costs for any new equipment or applies, and a 10-week timetable showing major milestones for the project, and when they will be completed.
This process of proposal submission is how it is done in the real world; proposals must be submitted to a funding agency, the management of a company, or to a national laboratory, and then a panel (usually of peers who are supposedly experts) makes a final decision as to the practicality of the project, and as to whether it should be funded. It is very common for this panel to request further work toward a final proposal, in order to clarify any uncertainties in the proposed approach. This will be the case here! Do not be dismayed if you feel that you have no ideas, or if your proposal is turned down.
Optics 1) Brownian motion by laser scattering: laser beam through suspension of small particles, analysis of time scales and correlation with characteristic distance scales. 2) Holography experiments. 3) Faraday effect: rotation of plane of popularization is rotated as light passes through matter parallel to a magnetic field. 4) Kerr effect: birefringence as a function of high electric field in matter, basis of Pocket’s cell used in high frequency optical data transmission. 5) “Frame grabber” linked to a 32 bit sorceresses: wide range of optics experiments without the use of photography.
Existing Equipment and Previous Projects 1) Torsion pendulum with servo: measurement of G, radiation pressure 2) Microwave experiments: Freeness lenses 3) High vacuum equipment: LED, RAGA, unionization process in rarefied gases 4) Stabilized Diode Laser and Photoluminescence Excitation Laser spectroscopy, Gag Laser and Spectrometer 7) Superconductivity: high temperature SQUID 8) Faraday rotation and magneto-absorption using an accustom- optic modulator 9) Spectroscopy of a semiconductor quantum well 10) Photon autistics, single photon detection 1 1) Anderson localization (KerrГ¶nigh Penny Model) 12) Pulsed NORM 13) Laser Doppler velocity measurements 4 What Constitutes an Acceptable Project? An acceptable project must consist of the following three components: prediction, measurement and analysis. First, you should have a reasonable idea what you will measure or observe; second, you should be able to observe and measure the predicted or calculated event; third, you should compare your results with the initial predications and draw conclusions. Projects that lack any of the three elements will be discouraged! As far as the first element is concerned, the predictions, you should have some idea about what you will be observing before you start assembling any of the equipment.
Either you derive the theory, or more likely, you will find an already existing theory that is applicable to your situation; or, you may be trying to confirm an observation of another scientist. Be sure you explain or cite relevant theory. In your predictions, you should be as specific as possible. State clearly the physical variable that you intend to measure, I. E. , is it a voltage or current; avoid vague descriptions such as “a signal” or “an output. ” If you are not able to predict from theory the magnitude of the observable signal, then you must state the sensitivity of the equipment used. Once you have decided what effect you want to measure, you should describe what method and instruments you will be using to measure it.
This is probably the most difficult part of the project because you can never be entirely sure what will work the best. In addition, various “tricks” may have to be used to coax the signal out of background noise. We don’t expect you to know all of them so please ask for advice if you are not sure. Getting the “apparatus” ready for the measurements and acquiring data are generally the most time consuming parts of the actual project. We expect you to set up and test the equipment and you, together with your lab partner, may have to build or modify part of the apparatus. If the building of the apparatus appears too complicated, we expect you to design the apparatus so that a qualified person can build it.