Akron Phy sics Club


Archive 2017

  

            
2017
January  David Simmons - Insights into the Physics of Glass Formation from Molecular Simulation
February  Harsh Mathur - The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics
March  Carol Gould - Early Computers from a Lady who was There
April  Various Club members present topics of interest 
May 

Jay Reynolds - Our Evolving Universe 

September  Madeline Wade - Listening With Lasers For Ripples In Spacetime 
October 

Ernst D. von Meerwall - Canopy Dynamics of SiO2 Nanoscale Ionic Materials Probed by NMR 

November  Gary Catella - Lasers and You

     

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, January 23, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM



Dr. David Simmons, Assistant Professor Polymer Engineering, University of Akron

will be speaking on:

Insights into the Physics of Glass Formation from Molecular Simulations

Abstract:
Despite more than half a century of research, the fundamental nature of the glass transition remains one of the major open questions in polymer science and condensed matter physics. Molecular dynamics simulations have provided key insights into this problem, but their ability to firmly establish the underlying nature of glass formation have been limited by the extreme computational difficulty of directly probing the deeply supercooled regime most relevant to this process. Here we describe a new protocol for simulation of the glass transition enabling facile access to in-equilibrium segmental relaxation times approaching and exceeding one microsecond - well into the deeply supercooled regime of most glass-forming liquids. Coupled with a well-validated strategy for extrapolation to experimental timescales, this approach provides vastly improved prediction of experimental glass transition temperatures. Here we combine data acquired through this protocol for the deeply supercooled regime of polymeric, inorganic, organic, and metallic glass formers to robustly test several theories of glass formation and identify microscopic phenomenological features shared across all classes of glass-forming liquid in the deeply supercooled regime.

The Speaker:
David S. Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. His work combines computer simulation, theory, machine learning tools, optimization methods, and high-throughput experimentation to advance the understanding and rational design of polymers and other soft materials. Areas of focus include polymer glass formation and mechanical properties, dynamics and mechanics in nanostructured materials, next-generation molecular additives, dynamics and ion transport in ion-containing polymers, the nonlinear mechanics of elastomers, and the combination of machine-learning tools, optimization methods, high-throughput simulations, and high-throughput experiments for materials design. This work is supported by a research grant from W. M. Keck Foundation, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, funding from the Center for Tire Research, and supercomputing time allocations from the NSF Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

Dr. Simmons began his research career with internships in biomedical engineering startup companies and academic labs, where his work included biomedical device design, continuum fluid mechanics simulations, and polymerization reactor design and operation. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, with theoretical work in the phase and conformational behavior of polymers and polyelectrolytes, after which he engaged in postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology with support from an NRC postdoctoral fellowship.


Minutes, January 23, 2017

5 Graduate Students in Physics at the University of Akron introduced their work and themselves. 

We heard from David Sours that he is recovering slowly from serious medical procedures.

Treasurer Rick Nemer reported that we had 18 dinners at $17 each for a total cost of $306.  We had 11 members pay $20 for a total revenue of $220, for a net loss of $86.  The Treasury started at $349.45; after the $86 loss the new balance is $263.45.

Program Chair Dan Galehouse reported that arrangements for this year are now complete:
In March, Carol Gould will share her experiences with early computers.
In April, we will have a talk on the LIGO experiment
In May, Jay Reynolds will update us on the latest developments in the VESTA program.
We gave Dan a hand for keeping the programs interesting and planned well ahead of time.

Jonah Kirszenberg has the website up-to-date.

Secretary Bob Erdman reports that the Akron High School Science Fair is this coming this weekend at North High School; judges are always needed. Compared to the other 14 societies in the ACESS organization the Physics Club website is in much better shape than most in that we have programs planned well in advance.

Rick Nemer mentioned that the Akron Astronomy Club meets this coming weekend.

NOTES ON THE JANUARY PRESENTATION ON GLASS TRANSITIONS:

by David Simmons, University of Akron

Ernst von Meerwall introduced David Simmons as a Polymer Dynamicist, educated at University of Texas. In this field, glass transition is one of the most challenging problems today, and there are many different theories developed and being worked on.

Glasses are structurally disordered like liquids, and they behave like solids on experimental time scales. The transition is gradual, and as temperature is decreased from a pure molten state, there may be different curves of volume or viscosity vs. temperature, depending on the rate of cooling and other parameters. Thus unlike crystals which suddenly form at a specific temperature as temperature is decreased, the Glass transition occurs over a range of temperatures. Over this transition range of temperature, the material can be shaped, but it is nominally a solid; that is, it can maintain a form, but the form reacts to forces applied to it, as seen in glassblowing demonstrations. In addition to “glass” as we think of window or kitchen glasses and equipment, plastic, ceramics, some metals and even some natural substances glass state. An interesting example of this is the “rose of Jericho”, a member of the class of resurrection ferns which behave like glass in transition. This can be used to protect unstable medicines from damage during transport.

The mechanism of the glass transition is not well understood at the fundamental level. 7 different theories for the transition were cited. None of these apply universally, and all are difficult to experimentally prove. For example, in order to understand the mechanisms, it would be nice to observe and simulate the motion on a time scale of 1 picosecond to 100 seconds, in 3 dimensions with sub-nanoscale spatial resolution, at 1 picosecond per frame. It is not at all clear if any of these are a fundamental theory into which all the others would fit. Some simplifying techniques such as the “predictive step-wise quench”, wherein the sample is heated to a high temperature where the relaxation time is quick and easy to simulate, then extrapolate the relaxation time vs. temperature to the next decade of relaxation time, and keep doing this until a stable relaxation time is reached. This process is easily automated and takes much less lime to do than other methods of observing time function over many decades of time, typically picoseconds to hundreds of seconds. This has been applied to many materials successfully.

Using such techniques, relative time and relative “cage size” [the 3-dimensional space occupied by the molecule] can be plotted. This yields a fairly universal curve, which many materials obey. By generalizing two localization parameters, the equation has much more universality. Similar things are found in percolation theory, in that a molecule is contained in a box, but there are some external factors which impact exceptional cases. So much progress has been made, and there is more work to go to include all materials in a universal theory and simulation method.

We thanked Dr. Simmons with a round of applause.

Bob Erdman, Secretary

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, February 27, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM



Dr. Harsh Mathur, Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Physics

will be speaking on:

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics
 

Abstract:
The 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded for the discovery of states of matter and phase transitions between these states that could not be understood in terms of the conventional Landau paradigm. In this talk I will review the Landau paradigm and provide an overview of the specific discoveries for which the prize was awarded: the explanation of a mysterious phase transition in films of superfluid helium by Kosterlitz and Thouless; the discovery by Thouless that ideas of topology rather than symmetry distinguished the then newly discovered quantum Hall state of electronic matter from ordinary insulators; and the discovery by Haldane of additional analogous states of quantum matter. In more detail I will describe the use of topological quantum numbers (first introduced by Dirac in his pioneering work on magnetic monopoles) to characterize quantum Hall states and the new topological insulators. 


The Speaker:
Harsh Mathur is a Professor of Physics at Case Western Reserve University where he has been on the faculty since 1995. Prior to coming to CWRU he was a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. He got his PhD in 1994 from Yale University. His primary research is in the area of theoretical condensed matter physics and cosmology. On the side he has worked on problems ranging from the authentication of paintings by noted artists (including Pollock and Picasso) to the application of mathematics to analyze tie knots. Among noteworthy recognitions he was a Sloan Research Fellow and is a recipient of the Diekhoff award, CWRU's highest recognition for excellence in graduate teaching.

The 64th Annual NEOSEF, a Science fair for all Northeast Ohio, which sends a few students to the International Science Fair needs qualified judges on March 7; sign up at https://neosef.stemwizard.com/ go to Registration, click on Judges.

Judges are also needed for the Western Reserve District 5 Science Fair, which sends winners to the Ohio State Science Fair. Sign up at http://uakron.edu/wrsd/judges.dot. Click on Judges.

We have recently upgraded the ACESS website at acessinc.org. We would like to list all STEM events, either student or professional, in Akron and surrounding areas. Please email me if you have event you want listed.  

Thanks, Bob Erdman, Secretary 

 

Minutes, February 27, 2017

We were delighted that in addition to our regular meeting attendees, 4 walk in visitors came to hear tonight’s lecture (no dinner).  Among them was Russ Hammond and his wife - visiting from Maine, a prior APC club member.

Four University of Akron students also attended the meeting.

Program Chair Dan Galehouse reported that for the next three meetings, two are confirmed while one is waiting.  They are:

In March, Carol Gould will share her experiences with early computers.  She was there at the start of the computer revolution.

Dan hopes that for April Madeline Wade will speak to us about LIGO, but that has not yet been confirmed.

Our speaker for May will be Dr. Jay Reynolds, Vice President of the Cleveland Astronomical Society, and of the Department of Physics at Cleveland State University.    

He will be speaking on the timely topics of; New Horizons satellite to Pluto (July 14, 2015 and now headed for the Kuiper Belt, to “2014 MU69” Kuiper Belt Object KBO), the Trappist 1 planets (b, c, d, e, f, g, and h are the real names!), and how to reach the Centauri star system using current technology. 

Dan also informed us that he is now booking talks for our (Sept 2017 – May 2018) school year.  If anyone has a topic they would like to hear about, and preferably the name of a speaker who can give it, please contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Treasurer Rick Nemer reported that our starting our balance was 263.45
We had 15 paying members for the 20 dinners that were served.  We also paid our yearly Access membership dues of $10.  Among our guests were 4 students.  So for tonight’s meeting were absorbed a $50 loss, and our ending balance is $213.45, very adequate for moving forward.

Web Master Jonah Kirszenberg reported that  “all up to date.”

Secretary Bob Erdman
informed us that we meet at the Tangiers with the Torch Club on the 4th Monday of the month.  But for January 2018 they want to meet on the 5th Monday.  That means we would have to move our meeting from January 22nd to January 29th.  Our group indicated that would be OK, although it was not preferable.     

Ernst von Meerwall, our Club Chair, reminded us that for our May meeting the slate of officers for next year needs to be presented for election. Nominations are now being accepted.  Ernst will not be standing for election at that time, after serving for 21-years.  Thank you Ernst for your great leadership!


Notes on Dr. Harsh Mathur’s presentation:


The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

Chair Ernst von Meerwall then introduced our guest speaker for this evening, Dr. Harsh Mathur, reading from the meeting announcement:        

Harsh Mathur is a Professor of Physics at Case Western Reserve University where he has been on the faculty since 1995. Prior to coming to CWRU he was a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. He got his PhD in 1994 from Yale University. His primary research is in the area of theoretical condensed matter physics and cosmology. On the side he has worked on problems ranging from the authentication of paintings by noted artists (including Pollock and Picasso) to the application of mathematics to analyze tie knots. Among noteworthy recognitions he was a Sloan Research Fellow and is a recipient of the Diekhoff award, CWRU's highest recognition for excellence in graduate teaching.

Dr. Mathur stated that his talk would be presented in two levels; one more introductory and the other more technically detailed for our diverse group of meeting attendees.

He then displayed the plaques (on the power point) presented by the Swedish Academy of Sciences in October of 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics recipients, David Thouless (1/2), Duncan Haldane (1/4) and Michael Kosterlitz (1/4).

David Thouless shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Phil Anderson in 1979, for now what is called “the Anderson localization.”

David Thouless (born Bearden, Scotland, 1934) completed his undergraduate degree at Cambridge, PhD at Cornell, and is currently on the faculty of (Birmingham, Yale, and Univ. Washington).

Michael Kosterlitz (born Aberdeen, Scotland, 1943, was awarded his undergraduate degree at Cambridge, PhD at Oxford, and is currently on the faculty of (Birmingham and Brown)

Duncan Haldane (born London, 1951), earned his undergraduate degree at Cambridge, and is currently on the faculty and also working at (USC, Bell Labs, San Diego and Princeton).

The prize was awarded “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

Topology is a branch of mathematics that describes properties that only change step-wise.

To understand more if this work Dr. Mathur introduced us to “going beyond” the Landau Paradigm, which he stated is the key to comprehending their discoveries. 

The theoretician then went on to explain that the Landau theory is an analytic work coupling phase transitions (the sudden changes between solid, liquid and gaseous states) related to a change in molecular symmetry.  The trouble with statistical physics in trying to understand the behavior of the macro state of material, at 1023 particles.  But we don’t know what states it will be in.  So fortunately, we can get around this by understanding the “average properties” of the states that it, can be, in by using the Boltzmann factor.  

The Boltzmann factor at low temperatures emphasis the ground state (the lowest energy state), but at high temperatures all states matter and contribute equally to the properties of the system. 

Dr. Mathur then explained the Landau Paradigm to us by describing how the melting of ice to water occurs with respect to lattice symmetry.

Landau Paradigm - For the different states of matter, what is different is symmetry.

So surprisingly, the solid state is less symmetric than the liquid state.  As liquids cool down, they pass thru transitions into states of successfully less symmetry. 

The 2016 prize is about showing that the Landau Paradigm is not completely universal. 

By referencing magnetic symmetry, our speaker pointed out that the system picks one of the many possible ground states, and sticks to it.  Those are the ones the dominate its properties at low temperatures.  At high temperature they point every which way and there is no magnetism.  That is symmetry rotational breaking. 

In 1972 Kosterlitz and Thouless discussed the Mermin-Wagner Theorem which predicts that there shouldn’t have magnetism is two dimensions, but experiments seemed to violate that.

The enigmatic experiment had to do with super fluidity of Helium.  Helium at 4° K becomes a liquid, and at 2° K a superfluid.  A superfluid flows effortlessly, with a viscosity of zero/infinity. 

For this discussion, it’s important to understand that super fluidity is not so different from the two dimensional magnet we discussed a bit earlier. 

They found that both the Mermin-Wagner Theorem and the Landau Paradigm was not working in their experimental case.  Why? That is the problem to Nobel Laureates investigated and found the answer to.

They learned that understanding vortices (a topological object) in superfluid Helium was a key.

Using mathematical precepts of topology, their theoretical work explained quantum states of matter, along with the quantum Hall effect and superfluid phase transitions.

Thouless and Kosterlitz realized that there are two different states for the system to have. 

At low temperatures these vortices cost you quite a lot of energy to produce.  So at low temperatures, if you have a vortex and anti-vortex and bring them close together, costs you less energy.  The net binding number for the vortex and anti-vortex is zero.  If you create these molecules of vortices and anti-vortices which aren’t very costly.  At low temperature lots of those are present.  When you increase the temperature, now you don’t care.  Even very energetic states can contribute to the properties of the system.  And so then you can also have isolated vortices present.  When that happens and the state of the system becomes fundamentally different.  So there is a vortex unbinding transition that happens.          

By discovering how these unusual states of matter behave, new research into topological materials has been energized.

We then applauded this wonderful presentation by Dr. Dr. Mathur.  He then entertained some questions from the audience.

Thanks are due to Dr. Mathur for clarifying to us the important work done (by David Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, and J. Michael Kosterlitz) and why they deserved to get awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

John Kirszenberg

 

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, March 27, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM



Carol Gould

will be speaking on:

Early Computers from a Lady who was There

Abstract:
As a child fascinated with erector sets, puzzles, knitting, and music, it is not surprising that Carol was eager to be part of the early computer scene. She wrote programs with wires on plug boards, paper tape, and punch cards. She struggled with minimal memory and storage on IBM models 6400, 1401, 360, and 1130. She performed all the stages of creating a computer system - analyzing the users’ needs, writing requests for proposals, choosing vendors, testing software, training users, and writing documentation. She wrote a great deal of software herself. She declared that what a person doing her job needed most was "a good stomach lining".

Background of Carol Gould:
Carol Gould majored in economics at Wellesley College.  She went to New York in 1962 and worked for two major firms in the early days of computers. Carol started her own computer software and consulting business in 1972. She wrote software for major college alumni clubs including Harvard, Yale and Princeton in New York City for several decades. She wrote a book The Minicomputer Simplified; An Executive’s Guide to the Basics published by Macmillan in 1980.  Carol moved to Kent, Ohio in 2004 and married a KSU Chemistry Professor; Edwin Gould. She has been a senior guest for 33 semesters of KSU classes

 
Minutes, March 27, 2017

NOTES FROM THE MARCH 27 BUSINESS MEETING:

Ernst von Meerwall will not be at the April Meeting, but will be at the May meeting where he will present nominees for officer positions.  Perhaps the Secretarial position will be split into two parts.

Carol Gould introduced Hannah and Josephine Flannery who came to hear her talk, and presented her with a bouquet at the conclusion of her talk.

Dan Galehouse reviewed program plans:

In April, we discussed the idea of a “Members night out”. 3-4 people would each present a 10-15 minute talk, pre-arranged via email to Bob Erdman: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Dan Galehouse This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Dan will work with Suqui Liu and Bob Hirst, and may present a talk himself.  We agreed to try it and see how it goes.

In May, Jay Reynolds will update us on the latest NASA missions into space, per this Announcement.

Treasurer Rick Nemer reports that we have a total of 16 attendees of which 13 are paid. Beginning Treasury balance was $213.45, ending at $201.45 after the $12 net loss.

Jonah Kirszenberg announced that the Website is up to date except for one month for which the notes have not been issued. 

Bob Erdman reported that news from the ACESS meeting will be issued monthly. Kirszenberg said we will put on the site. 

ACESS used simply block type for our logo, since we do not have one. We are working on developing one.

 Carol Gould, our speaker, was introduced by Ernst von Meerwall from the CV in the announcement. Among the many things which she has done is that she attended over 32 courses at Kent State University as a Senior Guest in a wide variety of topics. She spent about two months in Africa with her daughter, who gave birth to twin boys in December of last year.

 Carol showed us a mechanical calculator which she used in college in the 1960s. Her family nicknamed it the “cranky ding dong”.   It did division by of a series of subtractions. When the divisor couldn’t be subtracted from the columns in the dividend, a bell went “ding” and the next column was employed.  She credited her father with giving her this machine at age 8 and getting her interested in all things mechanical!

 She worked a lot with an IBM 6400 machine which used a 407 plugboard providing 39 words of storage.  Wire connectors were used to link the operands to the logical steps. These wires could fail to operate properly due to internal breaks.  A completed plug board had so many wires plugged into it that it was difficult to affix the lid to it.  Once reopened, the wires expanded and it was nearly impossible to refasten the lid.  Carol coaxed the client’s electrical department to construct a tool for her.  This tool consisted of a battery, a doorbell, and two wire leads in a 3x5inch metal box.  This tool enabled her to identify faulty wires and trace logical connections once the lid was on the board.  This box became very popular and was used by many people. It was christened Herman DeBug.

Punched paper tape was a very difficult medium to use as it was very fragile.  Carol used an IBM 1401 which read punch cards and magnetic tape, and printed 6 carbon copies. The model she used had a total memory of 16k. Programming was done completely in a highly structured style using short subroutines. She also wrote COBOL programs with the IBM 360. She also wrote programs for the IBM 1130, which utilized Fortran with Commercial Subroutines.  The 1130 had a 1MB disk drive with no way to copy it except to print the data out on paper or to make punched cards.

Carol described the tedium of punching, verifying, and sorting the cards. The cards had to be arranged in a specific sequence, so if the box was dropped, the cards had to be resorted. She mentioned an early system developer named Dick Pick, who invented the Pick Operating System. This system allowed variable length fields and files with no wasted space. Dick Pick also avoided the Y2K problem in in 1968 by using a simple algorithm for the number of days since January 1, 1968.  The user could prepare dictionary nouns for the same data in any number of formats and widths, thus utilizing the limited space on the printed page to advantage.

Carol described file maintenance standards which have not changed since the early days. She answered many questions from the audience and we gave her a round of applause. Her friends brought flowers for the occasion. Carol Gould, our speaker, was introduced by Ernst von Meerwall from the CV in the announcement. Among the many things which she has done is that she attended over 32 courses at Kent State University as a Senior Guest in a wide variety of topics. She spent about two months in Africa with her daughter, who gave birth to twin boys in December of last year.

Carol showed us a mechanical calculator which she used in college in the 1960s. Her family nicknamed it the “cranky ding dong”.   It did division by of a series of subtractions. When the divisor couldn’t be subtracted from the columns in the dividend, a bell went “ding” and the next column was employed.  She credited her father with giving her this machine at age 8 and getting her interested in all things mechanical!

She worked a lot with an IBM 6400 machine which used a 407 plugboard providing 39 words of storage.  Wire connectors were used to link the operands to the logical steps. These wires could fail to operate properly due to internal breaks.  A completed plug board had so many wires plugged into it that it was difficult to affix the lid to it.  Once reopened, the wires expanded and it was nearly impossible to refasten the lid.  Carol coaxed the client’s electrical department to construct a tool for her.  This tool consisted of a battery, a doorbell, and two wire leads in a 3x5inch metal box.  This tool enabled her to identify faulty wires and trace logical connections once the lid was on the board.  This box became very popular and was used by many people. It was christened Herman DeBug.

Punched paper tape was a very difficult medium to use as it was very fragile.  Carol used an IBM 1401 which read punch cards and magnetic tape, and printed 6 carbon copies. The model she used had a total memory of 16k. Programming was done completely in a highly structured style using short subroutines. She also wrote COBOL programs with the IBM 360. She also wrote programs for the IBM 1130, which utilized Fortran with Commercial Subroutines.  The 1130 had a 1MB disk drive with no way to copy it except to print the data out on paper or to make punched cards.

Carol described the tedium of punching, verifying, and sorting the cards. The cards had to be arranged in a specific sequence, so if the box was dropped, the cards had to be resorted. She mentioned an early system developer named Dick Pick, who invented the Pick Operating System. This system allowed variable length fields and files with no wasted space. Dick Pick also avoided the Y2K problem in in 1968 by using a simple algorithm for the number of days since January 1, 1968.  The user could prepare dictionary nouns for the same data in any number of formats and widths, thus utilizing the limited space on the printed page to advantage.

Carol described file maintenance standards which have not changed since the early days. She answered many questions from the audience and we gave her a round of applause. Her friends presented her with flowers for the occasion. . 

Carol Gould and Bob Erdman May 2017

 

 

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, April 24, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM 



Open forum for Club members

  

Minutes, April 24, 2017

NOTES FROM THE APRIL 24 MEETING:

Darrell Reneker, Vice Moderator chaired this meeting in Ernst von Meerwall’s absence. 

The May meeting will be the last for this academic year, and the last chaired by Ernst von Meerwall, after 21 years as Chair. Erdman reported that Dan Galehouse presented an overview of the Club to the 30 or so people at the meeting, representing some 13 societies.

We decided to have an “Member’s Night Out”, for this April's wherein a few members each give a short talk on a variety of subjects. There will be no Abstracts, and each speaker was asked to verbally give a brief bio.

1.  RICHARD ELLIOTT, of the University of Akron Chemical Engineering Department presented a slide show of his trip with his family to the Washington [DC] March for Science. They passed the White House on the way to the March, which went by Washington Monument on the way to the reflecting pool by the Capital building.  They carried a sign saying “Our power [read potential] = [the Resistance to] x [the current Administration]. There were a wide variety of signs. Elliott and his family had a good time, along with tens of thousands of others, in spite of the rain. One sign read “We are not the resistors, we are the transformers”.  Another read “Science is the poetry of reality”. Some were positive, some negative, but all were in the nature of raising awareness of science and its benefits to society.

2.  SUQI LIU [pronounce “soo tsi leeyu”] is getting her PhD under Dr. Reneker, in the University of Akron Department of Polymer Science. She comes from the Jiangsu province of China, which is adjacent to Shanghai. Her undergraduate studies were in Chemistry at the Nanjing University, in the city of the same name, which is a modernized ancient city, and was the capital of China for six dynasties in ancient China. She became interested in polymers at Nanjing then came to University of Akron to get her PhD.

Her work is focused on atomic-resolution electron microscopy for studying polyvinylidine fluoride [PVDF] for use in water desalinization. The material requirements for this use are that the material be chemically, thermally, and mechanically stable. She showed various varieties of the repeating structures of various form of PVDF. This work involves identification of the location of various atoms in the long-chain fibers of various configurations. This is done by examining the brightness of the atoms in the long chains and by varying the focus distance which provides third dimensional information. This provides x, y and z information on each atom. They also took images at various time intervals to exhibit the motion of the atoms and molecules.  By observing the behaviors of dipoles on the surface of PVDF they can test hypotheses of how desalinization occurs in PVDF structures.

3.  Ken [Skogschir?] Is a self-taught non-degreed software designer and coder. He runs a maker space for the Raspberry Pie $35 processor which has similar capabilities to cell phones. He is thoroughly steeped in LINUX programming which runs the Raspberry Pie, and runs a fast-turn-around prototyping operation and other operations based on Raspberry Pie and LINUX software [the language is free on line]. He does not use Microsoft in any of this work. His business is essentially a software consulting company who does some minor hardware based on extensions of the Raspberry Pie. He gave examples of situations where companies estimated a price for generating new software or changing software so they can use existing hardware. Their planned cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the projects and Ken brought the completed project in for decades less cost and better performance, using the Raspberry Pie computes with LINUX. He gave examples of some simple systems for use in physics experiments. For examples he built for $300 an exhaust gas analyzer that does what he wanted for the capabilities of a $3500.

He has websites which show how to use it, have a variety of code patches for a variety of purposes. Some of these can replace much more expensive systems. One of these observes information sent to manufactures such as Apple. Once observed, then you can defeat the connection to the subsystems which sends personal and confidential information.

4.  Bob Hirst presented a talk on the solar eclipse August 21 2017. The path of total eclipse projected onto the earth’s surface is only 70 miles wide. It starts about 10:00 AM in Oregon and travels to North Carolina in the afternoon. Probably less clouds in the west. TV will carry the event and is the safest and easiest way to observe it. Sunglasses are virtually useless. Special safety glasses are needed to observing the sun at any time.  Motels near the total path are already sold out.

5.  Dan Galehouse gave a “Poor Man’s Introduction” to particle physics, particularly related to Neutrinos. He wrote up a brief summary, which is below. Beta decay [an electron leaving the nucleus] has been one of the more difficult observations.  Pauli, around 1932, stated that there is another particle in addition to the electron which is emitted. Neutrinos have no charge. It many years to observe neutrinos. Many different particles related to an electron emission were discussed. Since there are 8 parameters each for neutrinos, electrons, protons, neutrons and positrons, some of which are prohibited, the matrix mathematics gets very complex rapidly. 20 numbers are needed to characterize each type of particle.

Dan Galehouse summary:


Dr. Galehouse gave an introduction to basic nuclear radiation theory looking then more closely at beta decay and weak interactions.  The existence of electrons in the nucleus has always been enigmatic.  More puzzling was the proposition of the neutrino as made by Pauli. 

The Fermi four-point theory provided an effective phenomenological description.  The prediction of parity violation and subsequent observations led to the modern theory of an axial-vector -- vector interaction.

New arguments were then offered by the speaker concerning the compatibility of these developments with geometrical theories such as general relativity.  A type of quark-lepton theory is implicit. Transformation of electrons into neutrinos suggests a dynamical theory of quark mass and charge. 

The latter part of the talk is available as the first seven slides on the web page <http://gozips.uakron.edu/~dcg> under the heading "Neutrino Optics".  This discussion may be continued at a later meeting according to club interests.

Bob Erdman, Secretary


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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, May 22, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM 



Dr. Jay Reynolds, Vice President Cleveland Astronomical Society, Department of Physics, Cleveland State University

will be speaking on:

Our Evolving Universe


Abstract:  
As the Cassini Mission nears “end of mission”, NASA begins to take more risk. This presentation will reveal the newest data of Saturn’s atmosphere, satellites and ring system. Then, hold on tight, as we will reveal, serious plans (and problems), for a “Journey to another Solar System!  (Some images in 3D & less than 5 days old).

The Speaker:
Since 2003, Dr. Jay Reynolds has served as Research Astronomer at Cleveland State University. 

In 2015 he worked in cooperation with WKYC to develop “In the Sky”, Northeastern Ohio’s only regular science broadcast of its kind. He serves as it’s co-host and creative producer.

This is also his 16th year providing media science content and will deliver his 700th interview, later this summer.


Dr. Jay Reynolds...
 

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Join us for this interesting presentation by a renowned local Astronomer.


Minutes, May 22, 2017

We were delighted that our meeting room was filled by 22 attendees for this special astronomy lecture.  That included two the walk-ins (no dinner), Ian Abbot and Norma who was here for the second time.

Four University of Akron students also attended the meeting. 

Secretary Bob Erdman was not present, so a secretary report was not offered


Treasurer Rick Nemer reported that our starting balance was $163.45

We had 15 paying members for the 22 dinners that were served.  Our income of $300 and expenditure of $374 for tonight’s meeting will leave us will a balance of $89.45

We are not completely broke but still have enough funds for moving forward. 

Program Chair Dan Galehouse then reported on our meeting line up for this coming fall (September) and winter.

For our September meeting Madeline Wade of Kenyon College will speak to us about LIGO, from a hardware detail standpoint, as opposed to gravitation wave data analysis which we heard earlier this year.

In October our Chair Ernst von Meerwall will give the lecture that he has held in reserve for many months, before it completely evaporates.

In November Gary Catella from Cleveland Crystals will speak, and next year possibly Walter Lambright and Charles Levan (not confirmed) to talk about the Aurora Borealis.

We have three openings, one that could be filled by members night as we did this year, and also we would like an astronomy lecture along with something on Bio Medicine.

Then the following proposed slate of officers for the 2017-2018 program year was presented by Chair Ernst von Meerwall; discussed, nominated, and unanimously approved:  


Officers 2017-2018

Chair

Bob Erdman

Vice Chair 

Darrell Reneker

Program Chair

Dan Galehouse

Program Vice Chair

Richard Elliot

Secretary

John Kirszenberg

Secretary of Reservations

Carol Gould

Treasurer

Rick Nemer

Name tag Marshall

Carol Gould

Webmaster

John Kirszenberg


Notes on Dr. Jay Reynold’s presentation:

Our Evolving Universe


Ernst von Meerwall, 
our Chair for this, his last presiding meeting, then introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Jay Reynolds.           

Dr. Jay Reynolds, returning to us once again for a new and delightful astronomy update, is Vice President of the Cleveland Astronomical Society and on the Cleveland State University faculty, Department of Physics.

Ernst then read from the abstract; as the Cassini Mission nears “end of mission”, NASA begins to take more risk. This presentation will reveal the newest data of Saturn’s atmosphere, satellites and ring system. Then, hold on tight, as we will reveal, serious plans (and problems), for a “Journey to another Solar System!  (Some images in 3D & less than 5 days old).

Since 2003, our speaker Dr. Jay Reynolds has served as Research Astronomer at Cleveland State University. 

In 2015 he worked in cooperation with WKYC to develop “In the Sky”, Northeastern Ohio’s only regular science broadcast of its kind. He serves as it’s co-host and creative producer.

This is also his 16th year providing media science content and will deliver his 700th interview, later this summer.

Dr. Reynolds started by introducing TV Chanel 3 programs “In The Sky,” in which he appears, and urged our Club members to watch whenever possible.  News from local astronomy clubs, science and sky observing events are presented.

He reminded us to not forget about the upcoming Aug 21st solar eclipse.  Here in the Cleveland area we will see a little over 80% of the Sun’s disc covering the Moon.  But in April of 2024, Clevelander’s will be treated to a full 100% Solar Eclipse.

Today’s topic, “Our Evolving Universe,” can be taken in two ways.  One, for the longest period of human existence all we had was our eyes.  And we didn’t know a lot about what was going on.  Or second, “Our Evolving Universe is us,” what we are learning.

In the past we didn’t know why solar eclipses occurred, and why does the wandering star Venus drop in the night sky. But thanks to the invention of binoculars and telescopes, we have learned allot about these objects.

Galileo was first to systematical use a telescope to draw sunspot, Venus and Jupiter with its four moons.

Today even backyard telescopes with attached cameras do valuable astronomy.

In the history of humanity, the Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most scientifically productive instruments ever.  We download 885 gigabytes of data from Hubble each month.  It will take decades to review and analyze all of it.

Thanks to space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 which are now currently leaving our solar system, we have extended our views with close-ups of Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn’s rings, and some of their moons.  The Mars exploration rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) in 2004 showed us the first glimpse of that planetary surface while researching its geology.

The Mission Status of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is available here, real time:
https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/

The Mars Opportunity rover was originally designed for 90-days of surface operation.  But as of today, Opportunity is still functional after spending more than 4,500 days exploring the Martian surface. Although it is somewhat arthritic and limp, Opportunity is still sending us amazing pictures and information.  What a monumental achievement for humanity.

Now we put on 3D glasses and were treated to spectacular space pictures.  Red lens on the left eye. 

Dr. Reynolds continued, we have sent space probe emissaries to Mercury, the Russian probe to Venus, and Dawn to asteroid Vesta.  We have visited comets and the dwarf planet Ceres, which has a protruding white salt dome in crater Occator. 

The New Horizons spacecraft photographed Jupiter’s rings, and 152 active volcanoes on the Moon Io.  Its blue eruption material travels upward of 200-miles above its surface before spewing downward.  This activity is the result of Jupiter tidal forces acting on Io. 

The Hubble Space Telescope first showed us that Pluto has some of the darkest, and some of the most reflective areas in the solar system.  No other solar system body has such a contrasting surface as Pluto.  New Horizons found a young surface with fresh nitrogen ice coupled next to very old surface.  We see craters and flat areas.  This is a living planet as things are changing.  It took over a year for New Horizons to download its Pluto data, via a 7K (not even 56K!) speed modem.   Pluto and its principle moon Charon, which in itself is half the size of Pluto, are tidally locked contributing to this geological activity.  With the quick flyby we were not able to explore the far side of Pluto.

New Horizons is now headed to Kuiper belt object 2014MU69.  It gets there in 2019.  At a visual optical brightness magnitude of 25 (bright star Sirius in magnitude -1.46), it is far too faint to be seen by Earth based telescopes.  The visual magnitude scale is logarithmic.  

Cassini as a very large space craft represents a great mission success for NASA and their many partners.  It contained the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe, which after a 2-hour descent on January 14, 2005, successful landed on the surface of Saturn’s largest moon Titan.  Pictures of the surface of Titan were returned to us along with other valuable data.

Cassini left the Earth, flew around the Sun, got slingshot by the Earth to pick up more velocity, then went around Jupiter taking spectacular photos of the great Red Spot and other features.

Dr. Reynolds then showed us a picture of a crescent Jupiter, something that we would never see at that angle from the Earth.  He commented, “his is the highest resolution photo shot of Jupiter to date.”

Cassini then went on to explore Saturn’s satellite Phoebe.  It is a captured asteroid that moves in the opposite direction to everything else.  The spacecraft had only one opportunity to study Phoebe on the flyby, and that was at the close distance of 20,000 miles.  There are fresh craters, old craters, and darker areas of powdered carbon on Phoebe.

Cassini performed a risky maneuver.  While traveling thru Saturn’s ring plane, the satellite turned around to use its 13-foot reinforced communications disk to point at the rings, serving as a battering ram against dust particles in the ring.  There is also a lot of water there.

Dr. Reynolds then played an electronic recognition version (not acoustic) of the impacts hitting the disk.  We then heard crackly sounds every time something hit the spacecraft as it traversed thru the ring plane. No one expected to see such a huge number of rings to be there.

The satellite Mimas looks like a sponge.  The moon Hyperion tumbles as it moves thru its orbit.  Pan, which looks like a ravioli.  This satellite travels in the ring system itself, so its picking up lots of stuff.

Enceladus looks like it has tiger stripes near its south pole.  Plumes of water and dust ejected from cracks in its south pole. Thus Enceladus is actively contributing material to the rings of Saturn.  This is one reason why the rings are not disappearing.  

Cassini has been in space since 1997, with 22 orbits around Saturn itself.  Cassini was not designed to detect organic molecules.  It has 3 plutonian canisters.  Hydrazine thrusters are used for movement changes.

The Cassini mission is scheduled to end on September 15, 2017, as it plunges into Saturn.

The pictures that Dr. Reynolds showed us of these planets and moons, are spectacular. 

Our attention then turned to current events.  Dr. Reynolds then told us about the Trapist 1 Star System, with 7 Earth like planets.  Those planets are so close to Trapist 1, as an analogy to our system we could say they would all fit inside the orbit of Mercury.

The James Web infrared space telescope is expected to be launched in October 2018, and will give us a closer view of the Trapist 1 system.

Our nearby neighbor Proxima Centauri (4.24 light years’ distance), a red dwarf star, has an exoplanet called Proxima B which is in the habitable zone. But unfortunately, Proxima B appears to be tidally locked (like our Moon that keeps the same face toward the Earth) making the possibility of life very remote. 

Voyager 1, the fastest spacecraft right now, would take 73,000 years to get there.  But Operation Breakthrough Starshot aims to use gigawatt lasers to propel spherical sails (4-meters across) with a micro-chip processor payload (1cm by 1cm) to Alpha Centauri (4.37 light years).  It would accelerate to 20% the speed of light and get there in only 13-years.  Since it can’t slow down, it will have only two hours during its rapid flyby to measure and collect data, which will then take about 4-years in total to send back to us here on the earth.

That concluded the talk by Dr. Reynolds, and the floor was then opened to questions.

We then thanked our local astronomer Dr. Reynolds for tonight’s wonderful presentation.

John Kirszenberg, Secretary   


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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, September 25, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM 



Dr. Madeline Wade, Assistant Professor of Physics, Kenyon College

will be speaking on:

Listening with Lasers for Ripples in Spacetime

 

Abstract:
Gravitational waves were directly detected for the first time 100 years after originally predicted by Einstein in his theory of gravity: General Relativity.  The detection was made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).  I will give an overview of why we use lasers to detect gravitational waves and how we can build an instrument sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves on Earth. 

The Speaker:
Madeline Wade is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Kenyon College.  She joined the Kenyon faculty upon completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  Madeline has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2010.  Her research currently focuses mainly on calibration of the LIGO detectors and using machine learning algorithms to predictively remove noise from LIGO data.  


Minutes, September 25, 2017

For this first lecture of the school year on such a fine September day, we were happy to see a total of 27 people present.  Along with our guest lecturer Dr. Madeline Wade and her husband Les, six students and 21 members rounded out the ranks.

Our club Chairman Bob Erdman started out the meeting by welcoming everyone and then calling on the officers for a brief update of our current state of affairs and what to expect for future programs.

Program Chair Dan Galehouse then reported on our up-coming meeting line up.  Next month for October we will have a presentation by our very own Dr. Ernst von Meerwall.  Ernst will discuss a favorite topic of his, the behavior of canopy dynamics on nanoscale ionic materials – specifically SiO2.  

For our upcoming November meeting Gary Catella from Cleveland Crystals will enlighten us on Spectroscopy and Lasers.

For our February 26th meeting Alper Buldum, Professor of Physics, University of Akron, will be returning to us for an update on his research.  In March 2002 he presented Carbon Nanotubes: New Materials for Future Applications.

On March 26th Mark Millis will talk to us. Formerly at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and now with his established Tau Zero Foundation.  At NASA among the many things that he worked on was the “Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) Project.  That’s what he will be speaking about. 

On April 23rd Rouzbeh Amini, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Akron.  On muscle structure.

On June 4th possibly Walter Lambrecht, Professor of Physics, Case Western Reserve University will address us.

Treasurer Rick Nemer reported that our starting balance was $89.45
We had 20 paying members for the 22 dinners that were served.  Our income of $370 and expenditure of $414 for tonight’s meeting will leave us will a balance of $45.45
With such a low balance we would appreciate any member(s) stepping forward with a monetary contribution to our treasury.  

Secretary Jonah Kirszenberg then commented that during the past August 21st total solar eclipse new “bracketed” photo techniques captured for the very first time, the image of the Moon against the Sun. 

Jonah also commented on a new dinner registration process for upcoming meetings.  Instead of continuing with the current method of emails back and forth, a new module on our AkronPhysicsClub.org website will handle all of it. 

Registration is easy.  Just click on the akronphysicclub.org menu link “Meeting Registration” and fill out the form. Enter your name, email address, comments, dinner preference, and whether you are an Attendee, Student, of just coming to hear the lecture with no dinner.  You will then get an automated confirmation email message.  

A demo of this new procedure will be presented at our next meeting.


Notes on Dr. Madeline Wade’s presentation:

Listening With Lasers For Ripples In Spacetime

 

Dan Galehouse, our Program Chair then introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Madeline Wade.

We are delighted to have here today from Kenyon College, Dr. Madeline Wade and her husband, Les.  We appreciate you making the 92-mile journey to visit us here in Akron. 

Dr. Wade is from Kenyon College, and an Assistant Professor of Physics.  She completed her PhD. at the University of Wisconsin.  Also a Bates college graduate.

Madeline has been a member of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) calibration committee since 2010, and has been chairman for the past 3-years, and works on photon calibration techniques.

Gravitational waves were directly detected for the very first time on September 14, 2015, 100 years after originally predicted by Einstein in his theory of gravity; general relativity.  The detection was made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) which consists of two United States based instruments, one in Livingston Louisiana, and the other Hanford Observatory in Richland, Washington. 

Madeline will give us an overview of how lasers are used to detect gravitational waves.  Thank you for coming.

Dr. Wade thanked us for the introduction and the invitation to speak at our Club.  She said, “since you folks wanted to hear a little bit more about the detector and the data analysis side of things, where I spend most of my time these days, that’s what will be presented today.”

The following photo of the LIGO Hanford Washington Observatory detector, with its two 4-km interferometer arms, was presented to us for view.


09 25 2017 LIGO 1

Madeline iterated that we learn the theory of gravity in high school or college. The story goes that an apple fell next to Newton and he wondered if the same force that made the apple fall is what makes the Earth go around the Sun.   And from there he theorized about gravity and went on to explain it as an attraction force between two masses. 

So if the Earth moved around the Sun there would be an attractive type of reaction.  But what we now know to consider that there is a speed limit on which information travels.  The information about the relative position of each mass, as each has to the other, cannot happen faster than the speed of light

Luckily Einstein had to come along to reimagine gravity.  He started with his theory of special relativity and then developed general relativity.  Einstein’s paradigm was that gravity is a geometric property of space/time.  Objects travel across the bend of space/time, which we call gravity. 

John Wheeler, the famous American physicist, summarize this by saying: “Matter tells space/time how to curve, and space/time tells matter how to move.”

Dr. Wade then showed us a picture similar to the one below…


09 25 2017 LIGO 2

Madeline iterated that we learn the theory of gravity in high school or college. The story goes that an apple fell next to Newton and he wondered if the same force that made the apple fall is what makes the Earth go around the Sun.   And from there he theorized about gravity and went on to explain it as an attraction force between two masses. 

So if the Earth moved around the Sun there would be an attractive type of reaction.  But what we now know to consider that there is a speed limit on which information travels.  The information about the relative position of each mass, as each has to the other, cannot happen faster than the speed of light

Luckily Einstein had to come along to reimagine gravity.  He started with his theory of special relativity and then developed general relativity.  Einstein’s paradigm was that gravity is a geometric property of space/time.  Objects travel across the bend of space/time, which we call gravity. 

John Wheeler, the famous American physicist, summarize this by saying: “Matter tells space/time how to curve, and space/time tells matter how to move.”

Dr. Wade then showed us a picture similar to the one below…

09 25 2017 LIGO 3
 

But here is the wrench in the system – research at LIGO started in 2002 and at that time the equipment was only able to measure gravitational-wave strain down to about 10-19.
They collected data from 2002 – 2010 but no gravitational waves were detected.

After that a number of engineering / physics upgrades were made at a total cost of 620-million dollars, completed before the end of 2015 = Advanced LIGO.  

So we now have one Advanced LIGO detector near Richfield, Washington (the LIGO Hanford Observatory), and another in Livingston, Louisiana (the LIGO Livingston Observatory).  A smaller one exists in Germany, VIRGO in Italy that just went on-line in 2016, and the Habra Japanese interferometer which has been approved for construction by India.  

As a gravitational wave passes through earth it should affect all of those detectors.  The detector in Germany is much smaller so it could not detect the 4 gravitational waves that have so far been found. 

It takes a lot of people to do this work.  There are over 1000 members in the LIGO collaboration. 

Institutions from all over world contribute scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and others.

In February 2015 we announced the first gravitational wave, which was two black holes merging together.  A confirmed other strong suspect was also noted.  LIGO thusly showed us that there are more black holes in the universe than originally thought.

Let’s now explore how the gravitational-wave strain was brought down from 10-19 to 10-23.

The LIGO interferometer (50-50 beam splitter) has laser hair beams coming down and recombining light at the photodetector.  A gravitational wave coming through will change that distance, and we are looking for a very specific pattern on how the light changes.

For the Advanced LIGO upgrade, we can’t make the 4 km arm line any longer. 

As an aside, a 1-meter height adjustment due to the curvature of the Earth over that 4 km distance, was necessary during original construction.    

But by using additional mirrors to increase the “effective” length, and by building a cavity into each of the micrometer arms, the laser will bounce back and forth in the cavities several times; then leaving the cavity and going out to the beam splatter - that increases the distance beyond 4 km.

But we can’t expand the “effective” interferometer arm length past 1,000 km because of various limiting factors. 

The speed of light for one, and we don’t want the light to stay in the arms for longer than the period of the gravitational wave.

But still, we can also increase sensitivity of the system by not waiting to see the entire photometric wave.  Detecting just the first photons is enough. 

Based on quantum mechanics we asked the question, what is the smallest change of light detectable, which is some fraction of the wavelength of the laser?  Putting this into effect decreased our gravitational-wave strain even further.

By adding power recycling to the main mirror we got down to 10 to the -24.  But with that we need to be careful since the mirror will heat up (e.g., Brownian motion of particles on the surface).  So the mirrors were made with 40 kg of fused silica, and a special CO2 laser was added to counteract any changes in the mirror from heating. 

To operate LIGO the entire 4 km arm inside vacuum tube needs to be evacuated to 10-9 torr.  Since a total 4 km arm volume of 10,000 m³ gets evacuated, it becomes the 2nd largest vacuum in the world!

Dr. Wade pointed out that there are other things that will cause the beam splitter mirrors to change, other than gravitational waves.  The Livingston Observatory is 45-miles from the city of Baton Rouge.  We detect their rush hour car traffic.  Airplanes cause motion on the ground, and even pretty tumbleweed has a noticeable effect.  And there are earthquakes every day around the world that can contribute also.

Once a telephone was off the hook at our observatory, and testing at a nearby nuclear power plant was recorded and needed to be accounted for.  To minimize outside disturbances, our maintenance road has a 10mph speed limit, and can only be used on Tuesday’s. 

And also, there is an active mirror compensation system for all of these extraneous noises and vibrations. 

Dr. Madeline Wade then thanked us for listening and the floor was opened for questions.

After the questions…

We then thanked Dr. Madeline Wade for tonight’s wonderful presentation with a hearty round of applause and heartfelt thanks.

John Kirszenberg, secretary

 

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, October 23, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM



Dr. Ernst D. von Meerwall, Associate Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering ret., Physics Department Charman ret., Professor of Physics ret., University of Akron 

will be speaking on:

Canopy Dynamics of SiO2 Nanoscale Ionic Materials Probed by NMR
 

Please give a warm welcome to our very own Dr. Meerwall, long time president of our Akron Physics Club, and supporting member for years before that.
This will be very interesting pivotal lecture that you will not want to miss.
Please attend in numbers approaching in order to show our appreciation for his dedication to our Club and longtime service...  

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Abstract:
Nanoscale ionic materials (NIMs) are organic-inorganic hybrids prepared from ionically functionalized nanoparticles (NP) neutralized by oligomeric polymer counter-ions.  NIMs are designed to behave as liquids under ambient conditions in the absence of solvent and have no volatile organic content, making them useful for a number of applications. We have used nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation and pulsed-field-gradient NMR diffusion measurements to probe local and collective canopy dynamics in NIMs based on 18-nm silica NPs with a covalently-bound anionic corona, neutralized by amine-terminated ethylene oxide/propylene oxide block copolymers.  Our work has elucidated several interesting and useful details about the interaction between the corona and the NPs on which they are based.

*Collaborators:  Michael L. Jespersen, Peter A. Mirau, Hilmar Koerner,  and Richard A. Vaia USAF-MRL; Nikhil J. Fernandes, and Emmanuel P. Giannelis, Cornell Univ.

# Macromolecules 46, 9669-9675 (2013); DOI 10.1021/ma402002a.  


The Speaker:
Dr. Ernst D. von Meerwall obtained his BS and MS (Physics) from Northern Illinois University (1963; 1965), and his PhD (Physics) from Northwestern University in 1969. After two years as Research Associate in the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois in Urbana, he joined the Physics Department of the Uni­versity of Akron, later chairing that Department from 1993 to 2000.  He was Associate Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering from 2000 to 2008, when he retired from full-time service.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics, Chemistry, and Polymer Science. His research involves polymers and chemical/biomedical physics, particularly diffusion and molecular motions via nuclear mag­netic resonance, but includes structure-property relations and numerical methods.  He continues collaborative research and professional activities as Emeritus and Research Professor of Physics.

 

Minutes, October 23, 2017

After finishing our delicious dinner at the Tangiers, our club Chairman Bob Erdman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Vice-Chair Darrel Reneker had his two students, Suqi Liu and Zlllhao Shang, introduced themselves.   Suqi Liu, here for the second time, is getting her PhD under Dr. Reneker.  This was the first visit for Zlllhao Shang, and we were glad to see him.

Dimitri Melnikov, an Akron High School student, also joined us eager to learn.

We also welcomed Bill Reitz, who had taught high school physics for 43-years.  He is currently an adjunct at Mt. Union College (Alliance, Ohio) helping in the physics lab, and is our sectional representative for the Ohio Association of Physics teachers.  We were honored to have him present.

We were also glad to see Marianne, the wife of today’s featured speaker, our very own, Ernst von Meerwall.

Long time club member and former officer Bob Hirst, brought his wife Brigitte to the meeting.

Treasurer Rick Nemer reported that our starting balance was $45.45

Today we collected $510 from 15 regular paying members, 3 students, and a generous money contribution to the student fund.

We also donated $10 to Acess (Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies)

That left us with a whopping $195 dollar treasury balance. 

Our Program Chair Dan Galehouse was not present, so we reconstruct from memory and web site notes what our upcoming lecture series looked like:
November – Gary Catella on Lasers and You

December – no meeting

January – Bruce Taylor, Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering, University of Akron, on the Great 2017 Solar Eclipse.

February 26, 2018 - Alper Buldum, Professor of Physics, now Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron

March 26, 2018 - Marc Millis, Tau Zero Foundation

April 23, 2018 - Rouzbeh Amini, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Akron

June 4, 2018 - Walter Lambrecht, Professor of Physics, Case Western Reserve University

Our Secretary and Web Master Jonah Kirszenberg mentioned that next month we will start using the new meeting registration system.

               Notes on Dr. Ernst D. von Meerwall’s presentation:

               Canopy Dynamics of SiO2 Nanoscale Ionic Materials Probed by NMR 

Chairman Bob Erdman then introduced our speaker for tonight, Dr. Ernst von Meerwall.  Bob mentioned that he first met Ernst about 20-years ago.  Bob was then working for Keithley Instruments (Solon, Ohio) and had some questions about polymers.  That brought him to meet Ernst at the University of Akron.  A few years after that Bob’s encounter with Charlie Wilson brought him to his first APC meeting.

Bob Erdman read some of our speaker’s bio, but he emphasized that we all know him as Ernst, who just stepped down from being the Chair of this organization for 26 years. 

Ernst started his talk by welcoming everyone, and pointing out that “I stepped down to turn the Club over to a younger generation.   I am 76 and Bob is 78 so we are going in the right direction.”  Everyone smiled.

But now more seriously, we were introduced to the topic of today.  Of interest were the properties of nanoscale ionic materials.

His research was in collaboration with Cornell University’s Department of Material Science and Engineering and the US Air Force Research Department’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate in Dayton Ohio

Ernst conducted the NMR nuclear magnetic relaxation and pulsed gradient diffusion measurements at our University of Akron.

NIMS (Nanoscale Ionic MaterialS) are an emerging class of materials that have generated a lot of interest in recent years due to their unique set of properties.

Some common examples are metal oxides (SiO2, ZnO, TiO2, Fe3O4), and metal based (Au, Ag, Cu, Pd, Pt, Rh)

With regard to our research topic today, at the atomic level we can better understand what is happening by talking about three transition boundary areas.  For example, the compound Ludox (HS30 colloidal silica) with SiO2 has an 18-nm core, an outer negatively charged layer composed of ionic SO3 called the corona, and a surrounding layer of H3N (Jeffamine M-2070) called the canopy.

  

   Oct 23_2017  1.png


And to delineate further, the corona is an adsorbed phase (covalently bound) of a surfactant or a polymer on a nanoparticle.  The corona is able to attach ionically to molecules that can float around on the outside (ionically-tethered) of it leading a more or less independent life – which is a subject of this talk.

Ernst emphasized that to study the properties of these three states, he used two different NMR techniques; nuclear magnetic relaxation and pulsed gradient NMR diffusion.

As a reminder, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an analytical chemistry technique used in research for determining the content and purity of a sample as well as its molecular structure.  It utilizes magnetic resonance.  

The foundation behind NMR is that a lot of nuclei have spin, while all are electrically charged. When an external magnetic field is applied, an energy transfer is possible between the base energy to a higher energy level. The energy transfer takes place at a wavelength that corresponds to radio frequencies. When the spin returns to its base level, energy is emitted at the same frequency. The signal that matches this transfer is measured in many ways and processed in order to yield an NMR spectrum for the nucleus concerned.

A second subject of this study is, what are the canopy molecules doing, and how do they get along (or not) with the corona NIMS particles 

pH (a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution) can be used to help understand the ratio between the particles in the Corona, verses those in the canopy.  And we can also add ions to see if the interaction properties between the canopy and the Corona changes.

Turning our attention now to NMR relaxation, it’s the processes by which an excited magnetic state returns to its equilibrium distribution.  How signals change with time.

And specifically, relaxation is the conversion of this non-equilibrium population to a normal population. In other words, relaxation describes how quickly spins "forget" the direction in which they are oriented.

There are standard ways (T1 and T2) to measure NMR relaxation.  

T1 relaxation is the process by which the net magnetization (M) grows/returns to its initial maximum value.  The spin lattice relaxation time.

When T1 short, relaxation is immediate

When T1 long, takes forever for relaxation to take place

For T1 the temperature tells us where the spin lattice relaxation is the same as the spectrometer frequencies.  So the T1 minimum will be at different temperatures when you we use different NMR frequencies. 

With regard to T1 near minimum and the corona, we found that a) in polymers the C13 spin-lattice relaxation is dominated by dipolar interactions of the carbons with their directly bonded, and b) that the ionic effect (we spiked NIM’s with NaCl) on T1 relaxation is nil.  

We did not expect this, but did find that the presence of the nanoparticle does not affect the molecular-level dynamics of the canopy, unless the system is sufficiently starved of canopy to allow interactions with the NP surface.

So then we were challenged to understand what brings this about.  We suddenly had to consider the possibility that the corona spacing (Rg) had something to do with it.

T2 relaxation corresponds to a de-coherence of the transverse nuclear spin magnetization. 

Self-Diffusion describes the slow dynamics associated with center-of-mass molecular Brownian motion.

So what did we learn from all of this?

Consider the fact that you have some NIM’s and that there are canopy molecules which may or me not be attached for any length of time to their coronas.

If you were to look as there was no exchange, in other words things stay attached the way they are supposed to be, then you would expect two the fusion coefficients - namely free canopy molecules that happen to be in transit, and other canopy molecules which are attached.

Does each nanoparticle “carry” its share of the solvent or suspended medium?  No.

The canopy-corona interface is dynamic, and each ion pair is a transient species. 


   Oct 23_2017  2.png

So in summary:

a) Fast local dynamics are not affected by the presence of the nanoparticle, unless one or both of two things happen:  system is canopy molecule starved or else the canopy has a small radius of gyration.

b) Inter particle exchange at the outer canopy molecules is rapid.  That means these materials are liquids with ion pair formation which is very fast.

c) The diffusion experiments, much slower in mode, showed two different population of canopies.  Different translational diffusion not exchanging even on the very long time scale of the diffusion experiment.  The canopy polymers so therefore strongly tethered to the surface.  

d) They are like hard sphere diffusion. We are looking at the entire nanoparticle moving around, and that’s what the slow diffusion coefficient is.  It’s 2.5 orders of magnitude slower than the fast one.

What does the future hold?  The single thing that remains here is that we have a great view of our canopy crowding two component model.  

That concludes what we have done and the investigation is going on largely without our contribution at this point.

Everyone gave Ernst a hardy round of applause, and the he opened the floor for questions.

John Kirszenberg, secretary

 

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Akron Physics Club

Newsletter

Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, November 27, 2017 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM



Gary Catella, HyVel Corporation

will be speaking on:

Lasers and You

Abstract:
Lasers and You - A summary and review of the application of laser technology to common and not so common products and research.  An underlying theme will be the history and use of crystalline optics and devices with special properties for lasers.  There is a local Northeast Ohio connection to the basic and applied research and related commercial production of these critical technologies. Small and large scale examples of the uses of crystals in lasers will include a discussion of the National Ignition Facility and the status of laser driven fusion experiments.


The Speaker:
Born and raised in Oneonta, NY (rural with plenty of room for unauthorized chemical experiments involving rapid loss of containment)
BS Physics - University of New York Stony Brook (concentration in Astrophysics) 
MS Physics/EE work at the University of Michigan (Fourier Optics under Dr. Emmet Leith) 
Senior Scientist/Manager Optics Working Group - KMS Fusion (Focusing and Diagnostics Optics and FEL lasers) 
VP of Technology - Cleveland Crystals/G&H - Ohio (Optical physics, crystal growth, and NLO/E-O development and production) 
President/CTO - HyVel Corporation (FIR device development/production and contract research)

 



Minutes, November 27, 2017

Wexxx