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The Cosmic Microwave Background: Galactic Foregrounds and Faraday Rotation

Connelly et al. | Nov 20, 2017

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The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is faint electromagnetic radiation left over from early stages in the formation of the universe. In order to analyze the CMB, scientists need to remove from electromagnetic data foreground radiation that contaminates CMB datasets. In this study, students utilize extensive updated datasets to analyze the correlation between CMB maps and Faraday RM and WMAP sky maps.


Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

Hu et al. | Jun 27, 2016


In a common high school experiment to measure friction coefficients, a weighted mass attached to a spring scale is dragged across a surface at a constant velocity. While the constant velocity is necessary for an accurate measurement, it can be difficult to maintain and this can lead to large errors. Here, the authors designed a new experiment to measure friction coefficients in the classroom using only static force and show that their method has a lower standard deviation than the traditional experiment.


Comparative Gamma Radiation Analysis by Geographic Region

Zadan et al. | Jul 20, 2015


Gamma radiation can be produced by both natural and man-made sources and abnormally high exposure levels could lead to an increase in cell damage. In this study, gamma radiation was measured at different locations and any correlation with various geographic factors, such as distance from a city center, elevation and proximity to the nearest nuclear reactor, was determined.


The Effect of Various Liquid Mediums on the Transport of Photonic Energy and its Impact on the Quantum Efficiency of Photovoltaic Cells

Payra et al. | May 05, 2015

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A photovoltaic cell (PV cell), or solar cell, converts the energy of light into electricity and is the basis for solar power. In order to increase the efficiency of PV cells, the authors in this study used common household items as photon transmissions mediums and measured their effects on the temperature and voltage output of the PV cells.


On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Wei et al. | Sep 16, 2014


Surface tension and viscosity are both measures of how "sticky" a liquid is, but are they related? The authors here investigate the surface tension and viscosity of mixtures of water with different concentrations of agar agar, flour, or detergent. Surprisingly, they find that the least viscous mixtures had the strongest surface tensions, indicating that the two properties are not linked.


Focusing Sound Waves Using a Two-Dimensional Non-Linear System

Wehr et al. | Jul 07, 2014


Sound waves can be amazingly powerful, especially when they work together. Here the authors create an “acoustic lens” that focuses sound waves on a single location. This makes the sound waves very powerful, capable of causing damage at a precise point. In the future, acoustic lenses like this could potentially be used to treat cancer by killing small tumors without surgery.


Determining the Habitable Zone Around a Star

Lee et al. | May 29, 2013

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Life requires many things, including a hospitable temperature, elements, and energy. Here the authors utilize Newton's laws of physics and information relating a star's luminosity and temperature to determine the minimum and maximum masses and luminosities of planets and stars that would support life as we know it. This work can be used to determine the likelihood of a planet being able to support life based on attributes we can measure from here on Earth.


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