In this section we describe the courses available for the summer. We ask you to choose your first and second choice of courses. We will do our best to give the participants one of these choices.
Introduction to Computational Physics
Open-source Linux makes it possible to introduce and do computational physics with simple resources. Using an Ubuntu open source Linux system, the calculation of projectile motion will be introduced using the C programming language. Examples of projectile motion include the trajectory of a launched rocket or the path of a baseball. Starting from a simple program, the effects of air resistance on the range of motion, different models of air resistance and elevation of trajectories can be calculated and analyzed. Finally, the results will be presented using open source graphics software-Grace and Gnuplot. Additional projects which can be investigated with extensions of the background developed here will be discussed.
Exploring High Temperature Superconductors
Superconductivity is one of the most fascinating phenomena in physics. A superconductor cooled below its transition temperature shows zero electrical resistance, making superconductors desirable materials for many technological applications. Another unique property of superconductors is that they completely expel the magnetic fields so they can be used for magnetic levitation and maglev trains. This mini-course will focus on investigating the superconductivity of yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO): a bulk pellet and a thin film. We will study a magnetic levitation with the YBCO pellet. We also use a ring of YBCO thin film with two weak junctions, called “Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID).” Finally, we will measure the resistance as a function of temperature from room temperature to the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, to measure the superconducting transition temperature.
Neutron Activation and Atomic Bombs
Buffalo State has a Plutonium Beryllium source which produces neutrons. In this mini-course we will irradiate Indium foils targets with neutrons from this source and produce a small amount of radioactivity. The radiation emitted and likewise the radiation dose from these targets is low, but it is large enough to be measured. The decay and half-life of transformed Indium(116mIn) nuclei will be observed by the count rate of the gamma rays using a Germanium or NaI detector. This will enable the study of the decay scheme of 116mIn. The first atom bombs were either Plutonium or Uranium based bombs. We will explore and study the structure of fission and fission bombs and discuss the process of making proper isotopes that are fissionable. Both North Korea and Iran are engaged in these processes at this time