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ThePeculiarParticle

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  1. Anyone who is friends with me knows I love fishing of any kind. The one which I feel is the most labor intensive per cast is most certainly fly fishing, and know any of the friends I’ve taught even the most basic casts will agree. For those who aren't familiar with fly fishing, it separates itself from any other kind with the type of rod, reel, and cats the user makes. Regular fishing uses a reel where the user casts out in one fluid motion where they wish to go. In fly fishing, the flies, or baits, are so small that the caster needs to swing the line through the air in order to get it anywhere they want. So how are casts of over 100 feet possible with flies which weigh less than a gram? Well it is actually the same principle behind a whip. A fly cast begins with a person raising the rod tip behind them while keeping tension in the line. Then the caster rockets their wrist forward. This flick of a wrist is all the momentum that is required to rocket the line forward. The small quick movement on the end of the rod translates to an incredibly fast traveling rod tip, acting like a lever arm spanning anywhere between 8 and 10 feet, resulting in a large amount of torque. Once the wrist has finished its flick around 1:30 position, then the momentum is transferred through the rod and to the rod tip which bends similar to a whip. The momentum doesn't stop there though, and this is the secret to a far reaching cast: the line. The momentum is transferred to the line which weighs considerably more than the fly itself in order to travel the needed distance. As the momentum travels from the fisherman’s arm, to rod, to line, the law of conservation of momentum applies. So, when momentum is transferred between each part the mass decreases, resulting in an increasing velocity of said part. By the time it reaches the end of the floating line to the leader, it is whippings through the air at incredible speeds. As mentioned before, this movement parallels the end of a whip. This slowed down footage of a cast shows the momentum being transferred through all mediums in order to cast the fly. So, while I can explain the physics behind a cast, I still can't explain why whenever I have the prime opportunity to cast towards a fish, my fly always ends up snagged in a tree. That though is a problem to be solved another day. I'm guessing it's some kind of undiscovered attractive force between the two. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  2. Ever add too much food coloring or dye to water and wish there was a way to separate it out? “Yea it happens all the time TPP what about it?” I hear you say. Well I just wanted to show a phenomenon where the mixing of different fluids can be reversed, but it only occurs under certain circumstances. Laminar flows only occur in situations depending on the viscosity or velocity of a fluid. When fluids mix slower, there is less chance of a turbulent flow where the creation of eddies. Eddies are what cause substances to mix in other planes than just lateral. This action is immensely harder to reverse due to the chaos of mixing turbulence brings. When Laminar flows occur, the two parts of the mixture only flow in the lateral plane, allowing the layers to slide past one another. The result is that this mixing can be easily reversed by reversing the motion which mixed it originally. So, I’m afraid the dyed water will remain a cluster of colors, but, on the bright side, you now have a great party trick to show off and impress your friends. Here is a helpful video on the subject: As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  3. So, as a recap for mid year, I wanted to talk about two types of physics related media . These two sources have inspired ideas for blog posts, and are things I listen or watch for enjoyment. So without further adieu, here they are: 1. Twenty Thousand Hertz - What is it? Well, it is a podcast about sound. Wait don’t leave just yet... It is a lot better than it sounds, I swear. This labor of love connects the sounds we hear everyday to physics, psychology, ecology, and even history. The topics range, with subjects that could interest most listeners, and I cannot recommend this series enough. If you take anything away from this post, it would be give one a try. One of my favorites is simply titled “Space”, where sound is described interacting with different environments, including what a person’s voice would sound like on different planets. Whatever your taste is there is, an episode for it. https://www.20k.org/archive 2. The next channel is more for those interested in engineering. It is not as widely known as some other favorites such as VSauce or Mark Rober (both of which I cannot recommend enough), but that's because it is a specific niche. If you are more curious in the engineering designs which have shaped current society and how they work alongside physics, then this is the place to be. Whether you are sure of a future in engineering or only dabble, then this is a good place to find out if something like this is a path which interests you. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR1IuLEqb6UEA_zQ81kwXfg/videos As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  4. Inspired by AaronSwims’s blog post title, I wanted to make my own post on a completely different topic. I wanted to focus on resonance and, while we briefly touched upon it last year, I feel the need to write about it. Resonance, in its most basic definition, is “the condition in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a frequency close to its own natural frequency”. So how do we see this every day? Bang a pot, pan, glass, even sheet metal and you will find that a noise of a certain pitch emanates from it. If there is little dampening (energy lost in other forms), then this frequency is close to that material or objects natural frequency. This natural frequency is what a system oscillates at when not disturbed by a continuous external force. A glass breaker sings loud so that the amplitude of air molecules moving is quite large and transferring more energy. If the pitch matches the resonance frequency, then the amplitudes add up, with the common example being compared to pushing a kid on a swing. Small pushes, over a given amount of time, will eventually lead to the swing having a much larger amplitude than when it started. In a material, such as glass, where it is brittle and prone to imperfections, the frequency and volume of a person's voice has the resonance which results in it shattering into hundreds of pieces. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  5. “Alright stop, collaborate and listen Ice is back with my brand new invention Something grabs a hold of me tightly Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly Will it ever stop yo I don't know Turn off the lights and I'll glow.” Why would I start this blog up with Vanilla Ice’s song “Ice Ice Baby”? Well Ice is the subject of today’s blog. “BUT TPP, HOW MUCH CAN YOU TALK ABOUT ICE?” I hear you ask off in the distance from behind your computer… well, honestly, a lot. I love ice, from chilling hot summer drinks, to fishing through it in the winter. In the Northeast, we get so much of it that you have to not fully hate it to live up here. Did you know there is more than one type of ice? Actually, there are at least 17! Under normal atmosphere and temperature we see hexagonal ice (or ice I). By changing pressure and temperature, the other forms can be created from here. The table below shows how they are formed. And with hexagonal ice forming polar bonds, it is able to expand up to 9% of its original volume in freshwater. We have all seen the damage this can do in potholes in the road, but how much force does it have? Well ice can withstand 43,511 pounds per square inch before it turns into ice II. So it is very strong, to the point that instead of continuing to expand, it turns into another type of ice altogether. This table shows a few of the different types of ice and their required conditions they need to form. The first property I want to discuss is why ice is so slippery. The truth is dry ice is not very slippery at all. The problem occurs when melting begins. This can be either due to increasing temperatures melting the top layer, or the amount of pressure being placed on its surface. Pressure has much more to do with the phenomena than you think as the more pressure something applies to the surface the pressure increases and results in a lowered boiling point. This is an obvious problem for drivers in the winter who slip and slide due to the weight of their vehicles. But, while it can cause chaos on the roads, it is what gives joy in ice rinks everywhere. Ever wonder why skates are blades? That's because it centers all of one's body weight on an incredibly small area in order to maximize psi. The result is a smooth glide across a thin layer of water. The second property is that it floats on water. I'll gloss over this since it has been ingrained in us since 3rd grade at the latest, but the truth is that this property is one of the most important. If ice simply sank and became denser whenever it froze then it would make it much harder for life to survive during times of cooling. An example would be the microbes found underneath Antarctic ice which haven't seen the light of day in millions of years. The fact it floats helps us in the summer with our hot drinks, but also when I ice fish in the winter. I can confidently place myself on four inches of black ice (not white ice which is much weaker as air is trapped in it) and I know due to its strength and buoyancy my bodyweight will be safely kept out of the freezing water. Ice is never something I mess around with, just because ice is thick in one spot doesn't mean it is anywhere else. I guess I'm just trying to say don't do anything dumb… on a physics board… filled with incredibly bright kids. Anyways, that's my rant about ice. There's other topics I may touch in the future, such as the triple point of water, but for now I'm just going to chill out. I also have some awesome videos for you guys reading this far. This video, while sounding eerie and like the ice is breaking, is actually the sound of ice forming. As it expands and grows it creates tiny pressure cracks which give off these odd sounds. This clip shows the full range of the ice singing from bass tones all the way to high pings. This video is taken from planet Earth and shows another odd behavior of ice as it forms in salt water. As always thanks for reading! - The Peculiar Particle
  6. STAR WARS SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!! It's never a good idea to go to a science fiction film and look for scientific inaccuracies. That being said, a lot of things from episode VIII a lot of things left a bitter taste in my mouth, but I'm here to talk about one scientific inaccuracy which leaves a Death Star sized hole in the story’s plot for all movies. The one scene I am referring to occurs near the middle of the film when a large resistance ship, called the Raddus, aims itself at Snoke’s ship, called the Supremacy, and rams into it at light speed. This results in the ship being torn in two and a large explosion. Now everywhere I look people say the ships in star wars move through hyperspace, which is skipping dimension to dimension, but multiple times in the movie the term light speed is used. It's even used in the original trilogy by Han Solo. Also, if they were going through dimensions where they cannot interact with the mass of other things as the canon claims, in theory, the ship would not have hit the other ship. The point being is that I always shut my mind off to the idea of a collision at such speeds in order to enjoy the movies, but this changes all of that. Now, knowing that a ship can collide with another with such energy, it basically invalidates all the efforts of the rebels and the empire in the original trilogy. A shot of the scene where the Supremacy is struck by the Raddus. Let's assume that that the ships are going slower than the speed of light, even 95% (284,802,835 m/s). Also, let’s assume that an object does not gain mass as it approaches the speed of light which would make our energy value greater than it already is. Given the estimate for the mass of an X-wing is around 5500 kg, the kinetic energy of one traveling at this speed is 2.2306E+20 J. The energy of the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs was estimated to be about 1E+23 J. While that is on a different magnitude, it would only take a 25,000 kg object to have the same amount of energy. To put that in perspective, that is about 10 of the 2,300,000 limestone blocks which make up the Great Pyramid. So in this sense, a Death Star was never needed. Just strap a engine onto a random large asteroid and hurl it at a planet. No master death star plans, no single point to be used to blow it up., just a rock with a thruster on it. And as for the rebels, they could have done the same thing with the Death Star and lost many less lives. So there's the little rant I have about that scene, which while cool, puts a bigger hole in the plot than it did in that destroyer. I’m just going to get back to work and pretend that milk scene never happened… As always, thanks for reading - ThePeculiarParticle
  7. Second quarter was a much different quarter than last quarter, specifically the last half. Mechanics ended, giving way to the electricity and magnetism units, and in turn giving me a solid kick in the rear. All other classes are managing to heat up as well, in fact, they have been for a while. I tried doing something different by writing my blogs in a word document, separately from just posting them, to see if I want to add anything. This only resulted I'm me scrapping a few ideas which were mostly written because I had not liked them enough. It also didn't help with staying ahead because no blogs went out. There is a lesson and a half learned. I would say the major success of this quarter was doing a lab in less than 20 minutes because it was so well planned out, and honestly that is a big help for the future. Other than those things, and an 80 question WebAssign, I would say it was a pretty fun and challenging quarter, just as I’ve come to expect. Now that this quarter is coming to an end, it is time to buckle up and brace for the exams ahead. Good luck everyone! Thanks for Reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  8. On October 15th 1991, an event which challenged our scientific understanding of our universe occurred. The particle that was registered is now referred to as the “Oh My God Particle” after the statement blurted out upon detecting it. Under the night sky of Utah’s Cosmic Ray Detector, a particle was recorded going 99.99999999999999999999951% the speed of light. To put that in perspective, that is faster than even the highest recorded speed of a proton recorded in the Large Hadron Collider, which was 99.999999% the speed of light. It takes increasingly more energy to speed up a particle as it approaches the speed of light, making this difference quite significant. This means if we raced the OMG particle against a particle with plank energy ( 0.00000000000000000000049% speed of light), it would take 2.59×1010 the age of the universe for the particle with plank energy to gain 1 cm on the OMG particle. So how do particles naturally accelerate to these speeds in space? Well that's the question many scientists today are asking. Physicist in Argentina, in the Pierre Auger Observatory, believed they were on the right track when they saw that these types of particles emitted from the hearts of certain galaxies, but over time the data showed this assertion did not hold water. As of 2014, in the same state where the first particle was recorded, scientists working the Telescope Array, made up of 500 particle detectors found that these particles seemed to emanate from one portion of our night sky. This indicated a source much closer than previously thought. As of recently, no further findings have been published. Yet another space mystery we may have a chance of solving in my lifetime, but in the meantime we will just have to look up at the skies and wonder. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  9. The objective of the lab TheNightKing and I performed this week was to create a functioning top with the given materials of a pencil, 2 paper plates, 6 pennies, and tape. In relation to the engineering design process this would be the problem or objective we need to focus our ideas around. Our next step would be research, but , due to our lack of time, we pulled from our knowledge gained throughout this past unit and our previous year physics. One of the main principles to keep a top up is angular momentum. The equation for spinning angular momentum is rotational inertia x angular velocity. So we need to spin it as fast as possible and, most importantly, we need to give it the largest quantity of rotational inertia possible. So, ignoring the pencil rod at the moment and plates, we knew we needed to get the pennies as far away from the center as possible since the equation of a mass away from the axis of rotation for a given mass is mr^2. So, by increasing the radius, we could get a larger quantity of spinning angular momentum. Stating and listing the requirements would be the next step in the engineering process, but we were already given them in the objective. The next step is to brainstorm, evaluate, and choose solution. We chose to use the pencil as our main post and then centered and poked it through the two plates. We then taped the pennies to the outskirts of the plate as this would put their mass at the farthest points away from the center of mass as possible. Our prototype was created and now we began testing. The top originally wobbled so much that it wouldn’t spin so we adjusted the pennies. We Adjusted until we had the top balanced which decreased the wobble dramatically. That being said, it was not as stable as we ideally would like. This is when FizziksGuy gave us a nudge in the right direction by asking which part was the most unstable. We both noticed that it was the very top of the pencil. In our efforts to make the top more stable, we broke the pencil to a fourth of the size and therefore dramatically lowering the center of mass. Now the top was much more stable as the distance of the center of mass from the ground is substantially less than before. After all this testing, we felt our top was substantially more stable and adequately addressed the problem, being able to spin for longer than 30 seconds at a time. The last step in the engineering design process is communicating our results which coincidentally are all explained above. Engineers are used not only to create solutions, but to improve on the efficiency of current ones, so to this effect, had we had a longer time frame I am sure the results could have been even better. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  10. When I look back to past Thanksgivings, I remember the smell of turkey baking, my sister leaving after the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and clicking over to the Science Channel to watch one of the most prestigious competitions of the year: Pumpkin Chunkin. The goal of the competition is to use a variety of heavy machines to blast pumpkins as far as possible. The different divisions consisted of air cannons, trebuchets, torsion, and “centrifugal” machines. While the trebuchets and torsion divisions are the flashiest, and the air cannons blast pumpkins the farthest, the “centrifugal” machines are what I wish to focus on. Now we are aware that referring to the forces exerted on the pumpkin being referred to as centrifugal does not make sense. The net force acting on the pumpkin as a result of its rotation is actually referred to as centripetal due to it being directed towards the focal point of the machine (center of the circular path). The reason the pumpkin flies is because once it's released, wherever that may be on the rotational path, the instantaneous tangential velocity dictates in which direction the pumpkin will travel. This diagram shows the behaviors of an object on a rotating path which I mentioned above. This team is titled “Bad to the Bone”, and besides having a machine which terrifies me from behind a computer screen, their contraption can fling a pumpkin up to 3,245.58 feet. I’ve been doing my research, trying to find a measurement for the pumpkin’s initial velocity, even trying to see how fast the arm gets before it launches the pumpkin, but nothing shows up. I even tried to look at numerous videos, but the arm is always swinging too fast to make any reasonable assumptions. In fact, there is little to no data on ANY of the machines for that matter. I would have loved to calculate the pumpkin’s initial speed or revolutions per minute, but there are too many uncertainties. Oh well, sometimes you are the pumpkin and sometimes you are the ground. In this case I guess I am the pumpkin as knowing so little leaves me a little… crushed. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
  11. Congratulations!!! That was an awesome game to watch! I feel like, in volleyball, having smaller teams on such large courts makes it one of the hardest sports to change momentum in, especially if the team members start getting in their heads. From what I saw last night though, it was obvious you guys had no problem shaking things off and moving onto the next play. That definitely puts your team above many others regardless of skill. I wish you guy the best of luck moving forward!
  12. Whenever I see saw waves I cant help but think of the synth pioneers and how much the synth has affected music since the early 70's. It's a truly unnatural sound. If you ever wish to check out another example of the "futuristic/robotic" sound you were describing in action, check out the original Blade Runner OST.
  13. This was a very interesting blog post. I just wanted to add that there was one commercial airline that went above the speed of sound that I can think of off the top of my head. It was retired in 2003 and was known as the Concorde. It flew at Mach 2.04 (1354 MPH) and could hold up to 128 passengers!!!! It was known for crossing the Atlantic Ocean from NYC to London in 3.5 hours. It was definitely a more expensive option than most flights, but could hold large numbers of people. The engineering behind it is fascinating from its drooping nose, to the structural expansion and compression it needed to withstand, and how it endured high temperatures. If you are interested, there are a lot of great videos on the science behind it on YouTube. I agree with you totally on your point that if Mach travel can be achieved commercially, and most importantly cheaply, then a new age of transportation will begin. Who knows, maybe you can be the guy to figure it out.
  14. Question: Was the smurf put in the box before or after the bottles? In all seriousness, this is a awesome post with an interesting idea behind it! Good job keeping it holiday themed as well.
  15. There is a very interesting phenomena I saw in a video recently where olive oil is used to calm a lake's surface. It works on the principle that the oil thinly coats the lake's surface and the wind does not have the same amount of "grip" on the surface as it would water due to a lack of friction. The result is a calm lake under windy skies. Video:
  16. Our group took far too long on this lab as well, and had the exact same problems. We also made a mistake our first time collecting data, but it worked itself out. We learned the exact same lesson, so don't worry, you are not alone.
  17. Thank you FizziksGuy! It sounds like you have a lot of passion for the field. I look forward to talking with you and hearing about your past experiences.
  18. This is a very interesting blog post, but can you please explain why the moon rocks are so important for this process? I'm asking for a friend who currently works for Black Mesa.
  19. So, knowing that Onix has a mass of 210 kg, and the volume of a Poké Ball is .000134 m^3, and say this monster could magically be compacted into that space without any damage, then the density inside that filled Poké Ball is 1,567,164.179 kg/m^3. Besides needing to carry a 210 kg ball around everywhere there is another problem. To put that in perspective our sun's inner core is calculated to be 150,000 kg/m^3. YIKES... there must be another way they need to be stored without carrying around a pocket nuclear fusion reactor.
  20. I was a fan of Pokémon for a very brief time as a kid, but it stopped the same summer it started. So, when a recent post went around about an Onix’s size compared to a Pokéball, courtesy of etracey99, I was a little interested in the subject. I began wondering, what exactly is this rock monster made out of? The answer shocked me. In order to do this, we need the density of the Pokémon. The first step is to find the volume of this behemoth. To do this, I gathered information such as that it is 28’ 1’’ in length. Now this is nice, but since it is made up of a series of boulders, I can’t easily calculate the volume like a cylinder. Instead, I made the assumption each part of the Pokémon was a uniform sphere. I know it is an estimate, but just remember it is an animated monster so please just relax. Anyways, from the picture above, some string, and some guess work, I calculated the diameter of a single bolder to be the length of Brock’s leg. His height is never given, so, knowing that the average height for a 15 year old is 5’ 7’’, it can be estimated that the diameter of a single rock is 33.5 inches. From there the length of the Onix at 28’ 1’’ can be converted to 337’’, and divided by 33.5’ to give us a rounded 10 whole boulders which make up the body. The volume of a single boulder is 19,684.89 in^3, so, multiplying by ten for each bolder results in a total volume of 196,848.9 in^3. This seems like a lot, but when translated to metric it results in 3.22577 m^3. Now, as for the mass, we can get this information from the official Bulbapedia which etracey99 used to gain his information. The mass is 210kg, which seems very low, but I used it in my calculations anyways. The calculation for density is mass/volume so plugging in (210kg)/(3.22577m^3) resulted in a density of 65.1 kg/m^3 . Now came the time to look it up, and the results shocked me. The closest values it came to were sawdust (64.1 kg/m^3), carbon black powder (64.1 kg/m^3), peanut shell refuse (64.1 kg/m^3), and talcum powder (64.1 kg/m^3). So there you have it, the rock Pokémon made out of BABY POWDER!!! The science doesn’t really give any closure here. It just proves that things are not always what they seem, but then again, I’m a student trying to rationalize a rock monster. As always, thanks for reading! –ThePeculiarParticle
  21. Thanks etracey99! Yea, that may be a good idea for the future... In the meantime, I will cover some other subjects because the last thing I want to be known on here as is the Pokémon density guy.
  22. To sum up this quarter, it has had ups and downs, but gladly a majority of it was ups. The biggest lesson I learned is that, while this is an applied calculus class, it is more of a learned calculus class because so much calculus is used in physics before it is learned in the classroom. The best thing to compare it to is a special kind of road trip. You know where you are starting and the final destination and, most importantly, why you need to get there, but the second you look down at your road map, you remember you can’t read, understand symbols, and heck, the road map hasn’t even been fully unfolded yet. The good news is that you have the resources to figure it out. I remember watching the educator video on air resistance and the use of differential equations and integrals to a level I hadn’t seen before, and while it honestly left me kind of fuzzy, it was a lot of fun knowing that’s where we were going. I can understand why it can be somewhat jarring, but as a class I know we have the persistence and resources to figure this out. We have the textbook which gives an overview of these principles, the educator videos which can give overviews and practice, the internet is basically an open book where we could self teach ourselves, we have other students, and the man who wrote the textbook is our teacher. This brings me to our next point. Many people look at this class and see how independent it is. After the first quarter, I’m going to have to disagree with that statement. The support and cooperation of other students in the class is more than I have seen in any other class, both inside and outside of the classroom. If someone takes this class thinking it is meant to be fully independent they will fail. Just remember, there are others to help and deadlines… lots and lots of deadlines. Thanks for reading-ThePeculiarParticle
  23. That standard blue glow associated with radiation has much more behind it than meets the eye. This phenomenon is called Cherenkov radiation. The blue glow is a result of particles moving faster than the speed of light. “WAIT THEY CAN’T DO THAT! STOP LYING! OH THE HUMANITY!” I hear off in the distance. Yes, in certain circumstances it is possible. We learned last year about the refractive index which is a ratio of velocity of light in a vacuum ( c ) which is 3x10^8m/s over how fast it can travel in a medium. The equation is shown below: The larger the n value, the slower light moves in a certain medium. In water, which is common in most reactors, light travels at 75% of the speed it would in a vacuum. As a result of this, certain particles such as electrons which are shot off as a result of nuclear fission can move faster than light in the particular medium. The result is like a jet as it flies and creates a sonic boom from over lapping sound waves. The photons emitted by the water collect behind the moving electron and give off a blue light. The animation bellow shows what it looks like in action. So, this is not new information to change science as we know it, just a natural behavior which gives off an unnatural glow. As always thanks for reading. - ThePeculiarParticle
  24. So, we always talk about the coefficient of friction in dynamics, but we don’t talk about what causes it. The truth is there are multiple factors. The one most people think of is based upon how rough a surface is. Coarse grit sandpaper requires more force, and takes more material off an object, than fine grit. The same idea applies to smooth objects on a much smaller scale. Even something as smooth as the surface of a polished table, on a much smaller scale, has ridges and valleys. These imperfections are known as asperities (such an odd vocabulary word) and look similar to this. The top shows asperities between two objects before a load (force) is applied and the bottom shows after. These ridges and valleys are shaped in a way so that they oppose the movement in the direction the force is being applied. This seems pretty intuitive, but then there are instances of smooth surfaces sticking together, such as gauge blocks or wafers. I remember hearing about how gauge blocks could be “stuck” together and measured for more specific tolerances, but never understood why. Well the answer is a result of how they are made. Both gauge blocks and silicon wafers are polished very accurately for their uses, resulting in an extremely flat surface. The result is that the asperities are very limited leaving the contact between the two materials at a maximum. Van der Waals forces then take into effect if limited material or residue is on either surface. To sum up the effect, atoms have electron clouds, and while we ideally picture them as uniform, they naturally are not. One side will have a slightly greater negative charge and the other will have a slightly greater positive. The surrounding atoms, will align themselves negative to positive resulting in a “sticky” force between them also known as London dispersion force. It is also important to mention each individual electron cloud’s orientation is momentary, but across all atoms there are enough places where it occurs for the resulting force to be noticeable on a macro scale. This animation shows Van der Waals force in action. So, while the rougher a surface becomes the more friction it can have, the same can be said for how smooth a surface is. This is a very basic overview of what I learned, and I’m sure there is even more science behind these things the higher up you go, and I’ll see if I can update this, but consider this an overview. I also found a very interesting related video which will be linked bellow. As always thanks for reading – ThePeculiarParticle
  25. What is this? Over the summer I participated in Photon Camp at the University of Rochester with a few classmates. It was an awesome experience by the way! The main reason I’m here is to talk about the project I worked on in a group of 4. Each student had a different project. So, if you need an idea for a blog post, there you go. My group was studying photolithography which is the process of creating patterns using light. We worked with Professor Bryan McIntire and were able to go into the clean room and actually perform the process on a series of silicon wafers coated in the photoresist. The first step was to coat the plate in primer, which applied via spin adhesion, so that a layer 1.4 micrometers thick was evenly spread across the surface. Then it was time to perform the actual process. The main component which allows this process to work is the photoresist. There are two kinds: positive, which breaks down when exposed to light, and negative, which polymerizes when exposed to light. We used a negative photoresist when exposing our wafers to light. We performed two different processes when exposing them. In the first, UV light can be run through a mask, projecting the image of the mask onto the surface coated in the photoresist. The other option was to laser-write, by placing the wafer under a 405 nanometer laser, exposing the wafer in a designated pattern. The chemical structure of the photoresist is changed, becoming soluble and then is washed away, revealing the Silicon Dioxide layer underneath. The etching process is next, using Hydrofluoric acid to wash away the Silicon Dioxide. Afterwards, the wafer is washed with Acetone, removing the protective layer, and showing the true colors of the wafer. If the piece is multiple layers, then Hydrofluoric Acid would be withheld and another layer of Silicon Dioxide can be placed over the first layer to act as a base layer for photoresist to be applied onto. In the final step, the Silicon Dioxide between layers is removed, leaving only silicon, creating the final product. So why is this important? Large amounts of energy and money go into cooling the information systems we use on a daily basis. As internet usage increases so will the amount of facilities and power needed to support this. It is theorized this system will not be viable in the future without breakthroughs in energy production, but photonics may promise another solution. Using photonics to transmit information does not create nearly as much heat, causing many scientists to look to it as a way to alleviate the dependence on energy used to cool electronics. The process of making technology more compact is hindered greatly by the amount of transistors which would be located on an integrated circuit. A concept referred to as Moore's Law states that the amount of transistors on a given area for the same price doubles every two years. The process of photolithography is the next step in this process as the resolution achieved using smaller wavelengths allows for a dramatic increase in the concentration in the amount of transistors placed. The resolution achieved by EUV radiation can be 18nm. Looking further past this, in order to get an even better resolution, a process using an electron beam would be needed. Photonics may hold the solution to the problem it has created. Equation for resolution (how small the patterns can be) R~ (Wavelength)/(Numerical Aperture) Here are some pictures of the wafers we made: This is the first plate which we made light channels on. This image shows two waveguides(light tunnels) converging. Each waveguide measures 2 microns across. Some professors use this to study how light rays behave as they get close to one another. This is the second plate that had a series of patterns etched onto it in order to create different types of diffraction gratings. These dots were made by drawing lines 5 microns wide and are the same ones shown in the first image of this blog. This picture shows the edge of a horizontal diffraction grating. And finally this is the third plate which the universities crest was etched on. Thanks for reading, and if you have any younger siblings interested in the camp I highly recommend it! -ThePeculiarParticle

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