Saturday, October 9, 2010

Physics Projects

I love Advanced Lab. PHYS 427, is easily my favorite class this semester. I have to stop myself from spending too much time on it, like I am doing right now.

For the class we have three remaining projects, two small labs, and one major project. I have about five to do.
1. Finish the vacuum chamber. This is an ongoing process. It's about 96% done. Still have a few little things left to tweak. Hopefully I can find time to post about them as I move along.

2. Finish the thermal evaporation plate. This one is a really fun project. I am making a thermal evaporation system for the vacuum chamber. We'll be using it in lab to make a half silvered mirror and some Hall effect samples. I am making it essentially from scratch, most of the design is original, with a lot of inspiration from google image searches. I'll continue to post about that separately from the vacuum chamber as we go along.

3. Make a half silvered mirror. This involves finished the evap system, and will serve as a test for it. If we can successfully make a mirror I think I can say the build was a success.

4. Inverted pendulum. For our PID loop project I choose to make an inverted pendulum. Initially I plan to use LabView to implement the algorithm, but maybe later this semester I'll program an Arduino and make the unit self contained.

5. Hall effect. This one is a doozie. I am currently working to set up a hall effect measurement experiment. Right now that involves a lot of research into techniques and methods for doing it. Hopefully all that knowledge will coalesce into something tangible over the next few weeks. I hope to have something physically established for it by the end of October, giving me plenty of time to work on actually getting it to work before the end of the semester.

Some pictures from the lab.