Programs & Awards  

2005-06 Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Awards
Award Information & Previous Recipients

University of Texas—Arlington

  University of Texas-Arlington
  Left to right: (Front Row) Randi Gbur, Dr. Jaehoon Yu, Roger Schaeffer (Back row) Pedro Miguel Duarte, Carlos Medina, Jacob Smith, Jay Murphree, Shane Spivey.

Large Cloud Chamber Prototype at UT Arlington

Final Report

Abstract
We propose to construct a prototype for a large self sustaining cloud chamber. The prototype will be used to investigate the behaviors of proposed chamber materials at low temperatures, determine the most effective methods of maintaining a steep temperature gradient, and determine the best conditions to sustain chamber activity.

Principal Proposers: Kenneth Crawford, James Creel, Priya Mydur, Jacob Smith, Shane Spivey, & Sabine Sudduth
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jaehoon Yu

University of Central Florida

  University of Central Florida
  Left to right: Jared Gottesman, Jonathan Fraine, Kevin Thomas.

The Ascending Double Cone: Verifying & Demonstrating the Motion of the Double Cone V-rail System

Final Report

Abstract
We propose here to construct the double-cone and v-rail system [1] to the specifications required to verify the predictions made by S. Gandhi and C. Efthimiou [2] for its motion. This construction will be designed so as to reveal features of the motion predicted by S.G. and C.E. that are not apparent in the conventional demonstration and to allow for the precise testing of the quantitative relations derived by them.

Principal Proposer: Sohang C. Gandhi
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Costas Efthimiou

 
Eastern Michigan University

  Eastern Michigan University
  Left to right: Stephanie Sears and Jeremy McMinis.

Investigating Experimental Parameters in a New Plasma Source

Final Report

Abstract
The objective of this research project is to investigate the properties of a prototype plasma source similar in nature to an ion thruster. We will build, operate and optimize the plasma generated by this source. We will build new plasma probes in order to study the properties of this plasma such as its size, density, and temperature. We will also update and enhance the equipment available in the plasma lab to encourage more active student research at Eastern Michigan University.

Principal Proposers: Stephanie Sears & Jeremy McMinis
SPS Advisor: Dr. Diane Jacobs
Research Advisor: Dr. James Carroll

 
University of Colorado—Colorado Springs

  University of Colorado—Colorado Springs
  Left to right: Audra Tadevich, Diana Haskins-Fulton, Diana Qiu, and Tolya Glushchenko.

Stressed Liquid Crystals for Large Phase Shift Modulation

Final Report

Abstract
Historically, the last two decades have seen an explosion of interest in liquid crystal dispersions that has been encouraged primarily by the possibility of creating new display devices. Typical examples of liquid crystalline dispersions are polymer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLC) and suspensions of micro-particles in liquid crystal matrices (filled liquid crystals). The common characteristics of these dispersions are random distribution of the phases and random orientation of the liquid crystal molecules. These systems scatter light but become transparent when an electric field is applied.

The effort of this project will be concentrated on ordered liquid crystal dispersions. We will be working with recently discovered stressed liquid crystals. They consist of interconnected liquid crystal domains and interpenetrating polymer chains. Shearing deformations impose a preferred orientation of the liquid crystal director and elimination of scattering, distinguishing the system in several fundamental ways from other known liquid crystal dispersions. This new type of material has great potential for use in numerous electro-optic device applications including flat panel displays, diffractive optical elements, and other light controlling devices.

Principal Proposer: Diana Haskins
Additional Proposers: Tim Fal, Mike Steinman Diana Qiu & Audra Tadevich Lee
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Anatoliy Glushchenko

 
Northern Virginia Community College

  Northern Virginia Community College
  (Left to right) Aziza Dang, John Jones, Daniel Gordon, Taha Ferozpuri and Adam Reed. Absent: Pooys Azar and Steven Hendrickson.

Applications of the Superconducting Meissner Effect

Final Report

Abstract
We plan to build and investigate the operation of three devices, all based on the repulsive force between a magnet and a superconductive diamagnet.

  1. Magnetic Flywheel Levitated Over a Superconducting Plate.
  2. Meissner Effect Heat Engine: a disc with superconductors on the rim and a magnet with nitrogen vapor at disc’s bottom will rotate, absorbing heat from air.
  3. A superconducting simple pendulum as another form of a thermodynamic engine: it will swing in the field of gravity and in a magnetic field, while undergoing transitions between insulator and superconducting states.

Principal Proposers: John Jones, Pooya Azar, Daniel Gordon, Aziza Dang, Taha Ferozpuri, Adam Reed & Steven Hendrickson
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Walerian Majewski

 
North Dakota State University

  North Dakota State University
  Left to right: Andrew Buck, Alexander Wagner, Ryan Swanson, Marshall Bremer, Abraham Reddy, Elliot Johnson, Adam Jones, Josh O'Byrne.

Morphologies of Polymeric Membranes formed by Immersion Precipitation

Final Report

Abstract
The underlying dynamics of phase separation of a polymer-solvent solution by immersion precipitation will be studied. A thin layer of the polymer-solvent mixture is spread onto a substrate, which is then immersed in a non-solvent. The resulting morphology of the polymer is dependent on several parameters, which we intend to vary. The dependence of the structure morphology will be quantified and used to develop a theory to describe the process and create simulations to parallel the experimental results.

Principal Proposer: Adam Jones
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Alexander Wagner

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