Lectures by Dr. Weaver:
May 27: From meV to TeV and Back
In daily life, we experience on the order of 1 J/1022 atoms or ~ 10-4 eV. 300 K (room temperature) corresponds to 25 meV, which is far infrared, where rotation of molecules occurs. Vibration occurs at near IR. Visible light is 1.9-3.4 eV. 100 keV-1 MeV affects the nucleus of an atom. 100 MeV-1 GeV is where neutrons and protons are affected. Quarks and gluons are on the order of 1 GeV – 1 TeV.
May 30: Waves and Lasers:
Dr. Weaver explained how lasers work.
June 3: How Molecules Work
We discussed classical and quantum mechanical theories on rotators and harmonic oscillators and how these theories can be used to describe the behavior of molecules.
June 5: Neutrino Oscillations and Quantum Beat Spectroscopy
Dr. Weaver explained fluorescence, Rabi oscillations, and neutrino oscillations.
June 10: Cross Sections, or Are atoms real?
Dr. Weaver described how the theory of the atom came about and how one could reasonably argue against it. He explained how to calculate the detected yield of scattered projectiles through a medium and how atoms describe this behavior.
June 12: Our lecture was cancelled today as a tornado hit Manhattan last night and caused serious damage to Cardwell Hall.
June 17: The Hydrogen Atom
Today, Dr. Weaver explained the physical significance of partial differential equations by using the forced oscillations of a metal plate at different frequencies and locating the nodes. We did the same experiment in my Boundary Value Problems class this spring.
June 19: Hydrogen Part 2
This morning Dr. Weaver discussed energy quantization and orbitals.
June 24: Polarization of Light and Neutrino Mixing Phase Factors
Today, Dr. Weaver began discussing elliptical polarization of light and half-way through the lecture, Cardwell Hall was evacuated due to possible asbestos contamination.
June 27: No Lecture
We still had not been allowed back into Cardwell Thursday morning, so there was no lecture today.
June 31: Relative Phases and Neutrino Mixing
Dr. Weaver picked up today where he left off last week before the asbestos evacuation. Dr. Weaver went through both classical and quantum theories on waves.
July 3: Forces Between Molecules
Today, Dr. Weaver spoke about the Van der Waals force and how the direction of the spin of electrons in atoms can affect how bonds are created.
July 8, 2008: Graduate School
Today, Dr. Weaver gave us advice on applying to and selecting a graduate school. He talked about the GRE and how we should approach our first year. He said we should go to all the seminars and colloquia to see what there is to choose from, then ask some of the older grad students about the professors and the projects before we decide, but we shouldn’t try to do too many things; we need to find a focus.
July 10, 2008: Holography
Today, Dr. Weaver explained how holograms are made. He went through a lot of mathematics that I did not understand. He said there are basically 4 practical concerns associated with creating a hologram:
1) Coherence Length of the laser
2) Grain Size in the film (smaller grain size creates better resolution)
3) Exposure time (smaller grain size requires a longer exposure time)
4) Mechanical stability (longer exposure time requires better mechanical stability
July 15, 2008: Relativity
Dr. Weaver taught us the principle of equivalence—gravitation is canceled by jumping off of something, thereby creating weightlessness. He explained that the principle of equivalence is local, that is the laboratory cannot be too large, nor can the experiment be run too long. He talked about inertial mass and tidal acceleration. He also went through the twin paradox and talked about gravitational lensing. The universe is composed of the following:
72% -Dark Energy (which we don’t know about)
23%-Dark Matter (which we don’t know about)
3%-Extraordinary Matter (which we don’t know about)
2%-Ordinary Matter (which we know about)
July 17, 2008: Bell’s Inequalities
Dr. Weaver talked about how adding an apparatus and or an observer affects a system. He discussed how Feynman said quantum mechanics deals with amplitudes for initial to final states, and Bohr said different experimental arrangements are part of specific quantum mechanical processes. He discussed the Einstein-Pedolsky-Rosen paradox, which says that quantum mechanics is incomplete.
July 22, 2008: No lecture
July 24, 2008: Nuclear Reactor Tour
We went on a tour of the nuclear reactor and the nuclear engineering labs. I thought it was very interesting. I especially liked the crystal growth lab.
Updated July 30, 2008