Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Hour Glass is Almost Full

It was another busy day here at Penn.  In class, the radio telescope group had its last day with Dr. Jim Aguirre in his lab.  Although we were still having difficulties with the scaling on our graphs, we were still able to detect variations in signals when different radio wave sources were introduced.  In addition to using the large radio dish to scan for radio waves, we also used smaller appliances that can be bought from an electronics store to make an improvised radio wave detector.  The device we were using was called a satellite detector which picks up radio signals from satellites so that they can be located in the sky.  We discovered that if you put a wire into the main cable input that the wire would act as an antenna that could detect localized radio sources of practically a 360 degree range.  We used this to detect cell phones being turned on and off and by turning the lights on and off.  Although we didn't collect the data that we had hoped to collect, it was still an unprecedented opportunity to work with a real researcher in a laboratory setting.  Also, we eventually collected sufficient data for our presentation tomorrow which should go along smoothly, now that we have some actual data.

The Scanning Electron Microscope
A PET Scanner

Today we also had the opportunity to tour six different graduates’ labs from around the Penn campus.  We visited everything from high energy particle physics labs to various bio-medical research labs.  This too was an unprecedented opportunity to see how different research teams go about collecting the data that they wish to achieve.  I personally like the new building that we visited which currently isn't open to the public due to construction, which housed multiple Scanning Electron Microscopes. 

In the evening I went with a small group to the Penn Archaeology Museum down the street.  I hadn't planned on attending due to the multiple presentations that need to be finished, but apparently I had signed up for the event last week and figured that I should try to see as many new things as possible.  The museum housed a very large collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, which impressed me.  There was a wide variety between the types of artifacts collected as well as the different range of exhibits available. 

After I returned from the museum I went to work on the Hersey Park presentation for tomorrow with my group.  I had completed most of the slides beforehand, but I wanted to make sure that everyone agreed on them before the presentation was finalized.  There still are some minor details that need to be ironed out, but I believe that we have enough information for an acceptable presentation.  Once that was finished, I went to work with my radio telescope group to work on our presentation which is also due tomorrow.  This presentation does not have to be nearly as elaborate as the Hersey Park presentation but we still need to convince the audience that we know what we are doing.  With the group that we have I’m sure that we’ll deliver a great presentation even without a PowerPoint.

1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff on the radio telescopes! Glad to see you're learning practical applications in this field for your special agent work.