Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fooling Around With High Speed Video
One of the tools that is used for research in the Physics and Astronomy department is a high speed video camera. Just in the process of learning how to use this camera, I took the following videos of a seltzer tablet being dropped into a beaker of water. In the first one, the camera is focused on the water in the beaker. Since the index of refraction of water is 1.33, this means that objects in the water will be slightly out of focus, so when the tablet falls in it get a bit blurry. However, it is still interesting to watch the splash in the water itself and how an air bubble "bounces" from the bottom of the beaker about half way through the video.


In the second take, I focused on an object inside the water so that the tablet would be in focus after it fell in. You can see that it is clearer now. It is interesting to note that the fizzing of the gas being liberated from the tablet doesn't start instantaneously, but seems to be delayed slightly even to the point that the large wave motion of the top of the water has died away by the time it really fizzes strongly.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Student Presentations at National Meetings

This spring our students are once again traveling to national conferences and meetings to present research done with our faculty.

A popular venue for undergraduates is the annual meeting of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research - NCUR. This year it is held in LaCrosse, WI, April 16-18. This year there are four students making presentations:


Ralph Herman "Shear stresses in a water/sand system partially fluidized by low-intensity vertical vibration."


Ryan Burke "Analyzing gas chromatography data using ROOT"


Patrick Hansen "Gas Chromatography"


Patrick McCauley and Daniel Simonson "Stellar Ages of the Debris Sample"
(Patrick is presenting)


In addition, Bruno Caputo is attending the APS March meeting March 16-20 in Pittsburgh, PA. He is presenting a paper titled "The Promotion of Au Adhesion on Polymer Surfaces Using Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsequioxane." His co-authors include Jonathan Wyrick and Ethan Rosenthal, two other JMU physics students.

Thus, altogether, there are eight physics students who are authors or co-authors on papers and posters at national meeting this spring.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009