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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Speed of Light, Telescope Data and Preparation

Today I woke up horribly tired because I woke up at 4 AM for no reason that I can recall and then. Got up at 7:50 AM. I thought breakfast would be horrible because I was so tired but I ate a light breakfast and it was great. I then walked to class with my friends. Once we got to class we got an explanation from Bill on how to set up everything to measure the speed of light. We then went upstairs my group and I had to move out equipment around to a hall close to our lab room. We first placed our equipment against the nearest outlet and nothing worked so then Crag got is a new extension cord. We all went over our equipment to make sure we had everything we needed. When Craig came back I realized after an embarrassing period of time that it was the outlet that was broken. We then moved down to another outlet that worked and began to set up everything. Carter, Perry and I worked on setting up and carried out team forward.
Measuring Light
Our Radio Telescope
Craig would come by to check on us and give us a had when we needed help.  He had grouped s together to make out team functional. The two peers that seemed to not have done anything wanted things done so they kept us on task. Carter also wants to get things done so he dove in fast and would keep the rhythm fast. Perry is all about exact measurements so he would measure our data as exact as possible. I on the other hand am good with the electronics and hardware so I would slow Carter down and do things right and keep my team going by making sure our equipment was functioning and there was nothing wrong with the hardware. It was an awesome group to work with and we were the first done with the best measurement at the time. Perry and I were done so we went to Starbucks to work on our presentation for the next day. We then got joined by our teammates, Johnny, Premal, and Zach. We got stuck on the data that seemed very weird and complicated at first glance.
Data gathered from the Telescope
After a while we felt like we needed a break so we went out to eat. I we all ate together and cleared our minds up with humor from Nick since he had lunch with us. We headed back early, since I was so excited to go back to building a radio telescope, I didn't really mind coming back early at all. We continued working on the axis that would rotate it left and right since we had finished the up and down one on Monday. We spent a long time going over the mechanics to how we could make everything work together. At the end of the day we ended up not being able to make the electric motor work with the gears because of a manufacturer error. We learned a lot today because we had even more challenges than the day before and still had no manual to follow so we had to come up with various different ways of getting the job done. We had a lot of trials and errors as well but it was all extremely fun. After finishing both axis we were shown the data gathered by Jame's Grad student. We were shown a graph and not a picture because we had one telescope so it worked the same as having one pixel. We played around with the data being collected. We were taught and shown that the florescent light bulb and the old hot wire light bulb gave off different amounts of radio waves. James taught us that he was able to observe the sky during the daytime because the sun is a relatively weak star and does not give off as much radio waves as other bigger stars.
Our Radio Telescope Set Up
Time flew and before we knew it our time with James was over. I walked over to the quad and hung out with friends it was really quite and it felt a little lonely. This was because there was an unusual lack of students on the quad so it was very silent. I went to dinner with my friends and then Johnny, Perry, Zach and I worked on out presentations for the next day. We spent most of our night on it. I ended my night early so I went to sleep as soon as we finished around 11:30 PM or so.
Data Gathered by a Spectrum Analyzer

1 comment:

  1. Am I mistaken or are you having the time of your life in this class?