[MAAPT] Spring 2005 meeting program

Leon Hsu lhsu at umn.edu
Mon Apr 25 18:33:11 CDT 2005


The program for the MAAPT Spring 2005 meeting is below.  Driving  
directions and lodging information are also included.  See also

http://www.maapt.org/programs/MAAPT_Program05Spring.html and
http://www.maapt.org/programs/MAAPT_Program0Spring.rtf

for better formatted copies.  Hope to see you at the meeting this  
Saturday!
Leon


MAAPT SPRING Meeting 2005
APRIL 30, BETHEL UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL

This MAAPT meeting will be held in room AC246 of the Academic Center  
(AC), Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.  A campus map, driving  
directions to Bethel University, and a list of local hotels can be  
found at http://www.bethel.edu/special-events/campus_map.htm.

The Academic Center is building #2 on the campus map.  Attendees should  
park in the West Parking Lot (#6 on the map), enter the Community Life  
Center (building #1) and go up the main stairway into the adjoining  
Academic Center building.  Signs will be posted inside the buildings.

The regular lunch will be $5 per person, but is limited to the first 24  
people to buy tickets from Steven Ratliff at the meeting.  The Bethel  
physics department has kindly picked up half the cost to keep the price  
down for meeting attendees.  There is a grill and sandwich shop and  
Caribou Coffee next door so if necessary, one could buy lunch there and  
bring it into the room where the lunch and business meeting will be  
held.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
---------------------------------------------

MAAPT PROGRAM

7:30 – 8:00		Coffee and Registration

8:00 – 8:20		Modeling movement of electric charges within dielectric  
materials
					Erik Dahlman and Brian Beecken, Bethel University

8:20 – 8:40		Optimization of the genetic algorithm for ultrafast pulse  
shaping
					Anastasiya S. Vershenya, Hamline University

8:40 – 9:00		Sonoluminescence studies at Hamline University
					Christopher Visker, Hamline University

9:00 – 9:20		Implementation, Analysis, and Assessment of On-Line  
Teaching Evaluations
					Jerry L. Artz, Andrew R. Rundquist, Hamline University.

9:20 – 9:40		Modern Physics at Hamline University
					Andy Rundquist, Hamline University

9:40 – 10:00		A new twist in the double slit experiment and Rayleigh  
Criterion on
					resolution
					R. C. Misra, Warren Menough, and Mukti Aryal, Minnesota State  
University, 						Mankato

10:00 – 10:30		Coffee Break and poster session

					Variations in the Correlation Coefficients of SiO Masers
					Amanda Hyde and Gordon McIntosh, University of Minnesota, Morris

					Using Autocorrelation Functions to Examine the Pumping of Silicon
					Monoxide Masers
					Bill Cox and Gordon McIntosh, University of Minnesota, Morris

10:30 – 10:50 		CCD Photometry of the Open Cluster NGC 7789*
					Jessica L. Windschitl, Saint Mary's University

10:50 – 11:10 		Introductory physics through inquiry-based labs
					Brian Batell and Bradley McCoy, University of Minnesota, Twin  
Cities

11:10 – 11:30		Applications of Radial Distribution Functions to  
Biological Systems
					Josh Jacobson and Brendan Johnston, Gustavus Adolphus College

11:30 – 11:50		Is more really better?  The connection between student  
success in
					introductory physics and the number of demonstrations.
					Brian Andersson, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

11:50 – 12:10		Using AC Magnetic Susceptometry to Probe Exchange  
Anisotropy in
					Antiferromagnetic/Ferromagnetic Bilayers
					Richard A. Thomas, David Caven, and E. Dan Dahlberg, University of
					Minnesota

12:10 – 12:20		Update on the Minnesota Planetarium
					Parke Kunkle, President, Minnesota Planetarium Society

12:20 – 1:30		Lunch and Business Meeting

MAAPT PROGRAM ABSTRACTS
SPRING Meeting 2005
APRIL 30, BETHEL UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL


Modeling movement of electric charges within dielectric materials
Erik Dahlman and Brian Beecken, Bethel University
An algorithm modeling the motion of electrons and holes within  
dielectric materials under bombardment by high-energy electrons has  
been developed. The three-step cyclical algorithm calculates the number  
densities of both electrons and holes, then the electric field and  
finally the current density at incremental positions within the  
dielectric. The algorithm is relevant to spacecraft discharging because  
it utilizes two earlier algorithms to create a dosage profile for  
energy deposited by incident electrons.

Optimization of the genetic algorithm for ultrafast pulse shaping
Anastasiya S. Vershenya, Hamline University
Sponsored by Andy Rundquist
The idea of the genetic algorithm, which models natural selection, has  
never been customized for the study of ultrafast pulse shaping. Through  
application of the algorithm to ultrafast pulses, we will maximize  
signal levels for a simple case of nonlinear optimization. By  
increasing the ratio of blue to red light through algorithm controlled  
voltage variations, we can converge to the shortest possible pulse and  
derive best input parameters and methods of evaluation in ultrafast  
context.

Sonoluminescence studies at Hamline University
Christopher Visker, Hamline University
Sponsored by Andy Rundquist
Sonoluminescence (SL) is a phenomenon in which short light pulses are  
produced by acoustically trapping an air bubble in a liquid filled  
resonance chamber. Sonic pressure places a large force on the bubble,  
causing it to collapse on itself. The bubble then expands and contracts  
in a time scale measured in picoseconds. As the bubble contracts, it  
begins to emit photons. This phenomenon can be inexpensively produced  
in any modern physics laboratory with standard equipment.

Implementation, Analysis, and Assessment of On-Line Teaching Evaluations
Jerry L. Artz, Andrew R. Rundquist, Hamline University.
This two-year project involved the introduction of a new, on-line  
teaching evaluation that enables students to anonymously assess their  
teachers and courses via computer.  A pilot program, during fall 2003,  
involved 14 faculty volunteers.   Resulting in moderate to strong  
success, the pilot program was then extended to include the entire  
College of Liberal Arts of Hamline University during the spring and  
fall of 2004.  The evaluation instrument, student compliance, analysis  
of data, and assessment will be discussed.

Modern Physics at Hamline University
Andy Rundquist, Hamline University
Restricted by resources from actually performing the "standard labs"  
(like Millikan, Compton etc.) in our modern physics course, we require  
a major report on one of the labs where the student must present the  
software required for both collecting and analyzing data.  We provide  
the "data" to be analyzed.  A major benefit is that students are spared  
the pitfalls of actual data collection and can focus on data analysis,  
something often incomplete in other projects.

A new twist in the double slit experiment and Rayleigh Criterion on  
resolution
R. C. Misra, Warren Menough, and Mukti Aryal, Minnesota State  
University, Mankato
We have studied the Rayleigh Criterion for the resolution of two  
neighboring objects. Its 81% requirement on combined intensity is  
translated to a center-to-center separation of 1.9s, where s is the  
standard deviation of the “just” resolved Gaussians.  To realize this  
with a “variable” double slit on an optical bench, we attempted to  
change d, center-to-center separation of the two slits, to obtain  
“only” the equivalent single-slit diffraction.  Results will be  
presented.

CCD Photometry of the Open Cluster NGC 7789*
Jessica L. Windschitl, Saint Mary's University
Sponsored by Paul J. Nienaber
The rich and relatively nearby open cluster NGC 7789 has been chosen as  
a potential standard (or fundamental) cluster.  This presentation  
details some broad-band photometry measurements of the cluster to  
determine its fundamental parameters.  Observations were made during  
2004 June using the WIYN 0.9 m telescope.  Reddening and metallicity  
were determined from color-color diagrams.  The distance modulus and  
age were derived by applying the Yale-Yonsei isochrones.
*Part of the greater WIYN Open Cluster Study (WOCS), a collaboration  
between the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale  
University, and the National Optical Astronomical Observatory (NOAO),  
and supported by NSF Grant AST-1039617 (REU).

Introductory physics through inquiry-based labs
Brian Batell and Bradley McCoy, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Typical introductory physics labs require students to follow a set of  
instructions. We present an alternative method we have developed for  
Honors students at the University of Minnesota. Students design all  
aspects of their experiments from concept to conclusion. We will  
discuss the benefits and limitations of these inquiry-based labs.

Applications of Radial Distribution Functions to Biological Systems
Josh Jacobson and Brendan Johnston, Gustavus Adolphus College
Sponsored by Paul Sauliner
Aggregations of Brine shrimp and Ostracods were analyzed to determine  
the Radial Distribution Function of each species. Based on these Radial  
Distribution Functions, the behavior of each species was analyzed  
quantitatively allowing conclusions to be drawn about the behavior of  
the individuals comprising the aggregation of each species.

Is more really better?  The connection between student success in  
introductory physics and the number of demonstrations.
Brian Andersson, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Students often comment that they find lecture demonstrations  
interesting. But, do these "interesting" demonstrations help students  
understand physics, or are they just something cool to see?  Using  
readily available data, can we determine any connection linking the  
number of lecture demonstrations used to student success?  In this  
talk, I will discuss my search for relationships between different  
measures of student understanding and the use of standard lecture  
demonstrations in large introductory physics classes.

Using AC Magnetic Susceptometry to Probe Exchange Anisotropy in  
Antiferromagnetic/Ferromagnetic Bilayers
Richard A. Thomas, David Caven, and E. Dan Dahlberg, University of  
Minnesota, Twin Cities
The direct exchange coupling between ferromagnetic and  
antiferromagnetic layers can pin the ferromagnetic layer magnetization  
in a certain direction; the most common manifestation of this effect,  
known as exchange anisotropy, is a shift in the hysteresis loop.  In  
order to further explore this technologically important phenomenon, we  
used AC susceptibility measurements to probe the strength of the  
interactions between these layers and developed a simple model to  
explain the results.

Update on the Minnesota Planetarium
Parke Kunkle, President, Minnesota Planetarium Society
The city of Minneapolis has now been granted bonding money for the new  
Minnesota Planetarium.  Where will it be located, what will it look  
like, and what are the next steps?


Posters:

Variations in the Correlation Coefficients of SiO Masers
Amanda Hyde and Gordon McIntosh, University of Minnesota, Morris
Correlation coefficients of maser spectra can be used to determine  
properties of  the source. Over the past four years, the silicon  
monoxide masers of Mira  (v=1; J=1-0) and R Cassiopeia (v=1; J=1-0 and  
v=2; J=1-0) have been  monitored remotely via the Haystack Radio  
Telescope in Westford, MA. The  observations did not agree with the  
expectations. The graphs show a  complicated pattern indicating  
possible periodicities and longer  correlation times than expected.

Using Autocorrelation Functions to Examine the Pumping of Silicon  
Monoxide Masers
Bill Cox and Gordon McIntosh, University of Minnesota, Morris
A current theory suggests that the predominant mechanism pumping  
stellar silicon monoxide masers is periodic shocks through the region  
in which the masers originate.  To examine this theory, we have  
measured the widths of maser features in spectra taken from the long  
period variable stars Mira and R Cassiopeia.  The width of a maser  
feature is affected by the velocity field present in the originating  
region, so the passage of the stellar shocks may be apparent due to a  
disruption of the velocity field and a discontinuity in the maser  
widths.  In our spectra, the maser features are blended making it  
impossible to determine the width of an individual feature.  Instead,  
an autocorrelation function is generated from each spectrum.  An  
autocorrelation function measures the correlation between points a  
given width apart in the spectrum.  Thus, the autocorrelation function  
can be used to characterize the widths of all features in the spectrum.  
  Our data provide no evidence that would support the theory that  
stellar shocks are the predominant pumping mechanism.
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