Undergrad School Projects

An overview of the research I participated in during my undergraduate studies. IMAGE SOURCE

Undergrad

Elastic Characterization of Metal Alloys

We manifactured parallelpipeds of different metal alloy to test their elastic properties. The setup is shown below.

Full-width image Schematic measurement setup. Specimen (parallelepiped) is clamped loosely between two piezoelectric transducers. One transducer is swept through frequency. The second transducer detects macroscopic resonance frequencies, which depend on specimen shape, size, mass, and elastic-stiffness coefficients, the \(C_{ij}\).IMAGE SOURCE

Professor Gabriela Petculescu was recently awarded a grant to determine aging of Navy ships.

Non-incendiary Tracers (US ARMY)

I was fortunate enough to spend a significant portion of my research time working on non-incendiary tracer rounds for the US ARMY. The original tracers were known as “Glow Ammo”. Cabela’s now sells them as G2 Research VIP Cold Tracers

Full-width image Tracer round being fired by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Charles Detz III on March 31, 2015. IMAGE SOURCE

The problem with the original tracer rounds is their inaccuracy. Tracers loss mass as they burn during flight. The often results in them hitting below the desired target, which is ironic because the point of the tracer is to have visuals of where your munitions are hitting at night. To solve this we develop tracers that wouldn’t loss mass during flight. We also built a dark tunnel to shoot and test our munitions that the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s department now uses for training.

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Dark Matter

My senior research was about me rebuilding the statistics of dark matter.

We expect the velocity of stars in a glaxy to decrease as a function of the distance from the center of the glaxy. What we find is the velocities seem to hold rather than decrease (see below). This 1922 discovery pushed the Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn to propose Dark Matter as a solution for the observed galactic rotation plot.

Full-width image Rotation curve of a typical spiral galaxy: predicted (A) and observed (B). Dark matter can explain the ‘flat’ appearance of the velocity curve out to a large radius. IMAGE SOURCE

Extra mass would explain the difference between (A) and (B), but we should expect to see this mass. Perhaps the mass would be extra planets, asteroids, or meteors. Unfortunately we don’t see any extra mass. This means if there is extra mass it must be ‘dark’, meaning we can’t see it and it doesn’t interact with standard electrodynamics.

Type Ia supernova serve as a “standard candle” from which we can extract the equation of state of the universe. And we can use the equation of state to determine if the universe is flat. Knowing if the universe is flat helps us determine just how much mass we should expect to find and compare that with how much mass we actually see.

Full-width image Scientists have determined that the univese is comprised of ~70% Dark Energy, ~25% Dark Matter, and 5% things we can see, such as planets, comets, and asteriods. IMAGE SOURCE

The universe is flat and it’s mostly comprised of things we can’t see or explain.

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