Corrections to the Equations for an Ideal Parallel Plate Deflector

by Bret Polopolus

Supervisor:  Itzhik Ben-Itzhak

This program is funded by the National Science Foundation through grant number PHY-0851599.

And

Supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division,

Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy

Welcome to my webpage.  This page summarizes my experience doing research for the Summer 2009 at Kansas State University in Itzhik Ben-Itzhak’s group in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory.  I am running computer simulations of an H+ fragment passing through a parallel plate capacitor with a program called SIMION.  It calculates the changes in the particle’s path and time of flight.  I then analyze the data looking for a correction to the result of solving the equation for an ideal parallel plate capacitor, which has been simplified by neglecting the fringing electric fields.

Go Wildcats!

Summary Statement: I used a program called SIMION to simulate charged particles, protons, being ‘flown’ through an electric field created by a parallel plate deflector.  The electric field deflects the motion of the particle.  With textbook physics we could calculate the trajectory of the particle by ignoring the curved part of the electric field at each end of the deflector, known as the fringe field.  SIMION does the messy calculations for the motion through the fringe field, but SIMION takes a long time to run.  What we looked for and found are corrections to the textbook equations so that we now have an efficient method for calculating the results of experimental data collected in the laboratory.  This is going to save the group a great deal of time and effort when they analyze their results and prepare for conferences and publications.

Project Goals:  My goals are to find corrections to the ideal equations for deflection and time of flight of a charged particle, proton, after it passes through a parallel plate deflector.  The ideal equations neglect the fringe field of the deflector.

Lectures by Dr. Weaver:  Feynman was a genius! Seriously, Dr. Weaver’s discussions of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, cosmology, high energy physics, and in general the limitations of scientific knowledge and experiment were insightful, clever, and amazing.

About Me:  I'm really interesting!  I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca, and attend college at Sacramento State University.  I've been very involved in the Physics Club at Sac State and I’m President for 2009-2010.  As well, I’m Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 18.   I like playing soccer/football, racquetball, and watching soccer/football, NFL, baseball, and tennis.

Check out these useful sites:

American Physical Society Statements on Ethics

American Institute of Physics

My home institution is California State University, Sacramento