Physics Clinic

The Harvey Mudd College Clinic Program is a nationally recognized industry sponsored academic program centered around a multidisciplinary approach to real-world problem solving. The program consists of roughly 40 projects per year sponsored by industry, in the departments of engineering, computer science, mathematics, and physics. Since the inception of the Clinic Program over 50 years ago, approximately 1600 projects have been sponsored by almost 500 individual sponsors.

The Clinic Program presents opportunities for juniors and seniors to work on practical projects relevant to industry. The problems usually involve components of measurement, design, simulation, and analysis. Solutions arise from team efforts which integrate the broad laboratory and discipline-specific skills that characterize a Harvey Mudd College education. Students who are enrolled in the Clinic Program work in teams of four or five under the guidance of a student team leader, a faculty advisor, and a liaison from the sponsoring organization. Some projects are jointly run by two or more departments to promote cross-fertilization between fields, and to encourage application of diverse viewpoints and a variety of techniques. In addition to putting into practice the theories learned in the classroom, students must deal with the psychology of teamwork, as well as budget and schedule constraints.

Students are required to make oral presentations to public audiences and submit final written reports with any specified deliverables to the sponsoring companies. Companies currently pay a fee of $49,000 to the college to sponsor a project for one academic year. Sponsoring companies oversee the project by assigning a liaison to maintain close contact with the team. The liaison outlines the project requirements, approves the team's proposal for accomplishing the work, and receives weekly progress reports. In most cases the student team visits the sponsoring company for a midyear design review and, in many instances, provides a summary presentation to senior officials at the end of the project. The sponsor retains Intellectual Property rights. The college selects Clinic projects on the basis of the quality of the educational experience provided, as well as student interest. Evaluation of the Clinic Program is continuous and occurs in the form of student and sponsor reaction, assessment by a panel of industry-based advisors (the “Clinic Advisory Committee”), and oversight by faculty advisors and the Clinic directors.

(2016 – 2017)   A Raman Spectrometer for in vivo Real-Time Detection of Cancer
(2016 – 2017)   Automated Tuning of Electrostatically Defined Quantum Dots
(2016 – 2017)   Measuring the Permittivity of Ferroelectric Nanoparticles in an Epoxy Composite
(2015 – 2016)   Measuring the Permittivity of Barium Titanate Nanoparticles in an Epoxy Composite
(2014 – 2015)   Optical Networks for Controlling Quantum Communication Systems
(2014 – 2015)   Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscopy
(2013 – 2014)   Graph Embedding Algorithms for Adiabatic Quantum Computing
(2013 – 2014)   Measurement of BTO Nanoparticle Permittivity in Stable Dispersions
(2013 – 2014)   Efficient Calibration and Characterization of Segmented Antineutrino Detectors
(2012 – 2013)   Developing a Compact, Planar, Ultra-Wideband Antenna
(2012 – 2013)   Measuring Nanoparticle Permittivity in Colloidal Suspension
(2012 – 2013)   A Tunable Resonant Microwave Cavity for the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment
(2012 – 2013)   A Portable, Tippable Airborne Particle Counter
(2011 – 2012)   Femtosecond Laser Timing Measurement
(2011 – 2012)   Design of a Hybrid Antineutrino Detector Using Scintillation and Wavelength-Shifting Materials
(2011 – 2012)   Microwave Power Transmitter-Receiver for Application to Space Power
(2010 – 2011)   Axion Dark Matter Experiment
(2009 – 2010)   Liquid Organic Scintillator Detectors for Nuclear Material Monitoring
(2009 – 2010)   Data Inversion For a New Spectral Imaging Technique
(2008 – 2009)   Modeling Fluid Transport in Subcutaneous Tissue
(2008 – 2009)   Calibration Source for a Prototype Car-Wash Detector of Fissile Material
(2007 – 2008)   Modeling the Performance of a Jupiter Electron Sensor in Strong Magnetic Fields
(2007 – 2008)   Guiding Sustainability at Harvey Mudd College
(2006 – 2007)   Muon Veto System for a Reactor-Monitoring Anti-neutrino Detector
(2006 – 2007)   Design and Construction of a Thermal Link for Optical Isolation
(2005 – 2006)   Implementation of Adaptive Optics in a Clinical Ophthalmic-Imaging Instrument
(2005 – 2006)   Measuring the Optical Properties of Coated Soot Particles
(2004 – 2005)   Measuring the Optical Properties of Coated Soot Particles
(2003 – 2004)   Optical Coherence Tomography Scanning Arm for Laryngoscopy
(2003 – 2004)   A MEMS Vibrating Beam Gyroscope
(2002 – 2003)   Vibrating Beam Angular Rate Sensors
(2001 – 2002)   The Challenge of Pointing Stability and Accuracy in the Space Interferometer Mission (SIM)
(2000 – 2001)   LA-ARB-1: A Magnetotactic Bacterium
(2000 – 2001)   Compact Planar, Omnidirectional, Ultra-wideband Antenna
(2000 – 2001)   A Method for Beating the Diffraction Limit in Photolithography
(1999 – 2000)   Infrared Interferometer
(1999 – 2000)   Design of a Detector Electronics System for Feedback Control of Proton Beam Intensity in the LLUMC Proton Medical Accelerator
(1998 – 1999)   Innovation for the Next Generation
(1997 – 1998)   Software Simulation of Water Surface Optical Glitter
(1996 – 1997)   Designing and Modeling a High Intensity Deuterium Lamp
(1996 – 1997)   Even Illumination Light Source
(1996 – 1997)   Field-Widened Fourier Transform Spectrometer

A Raman Spectrometer for in vivo Real-Time Detection of Cancer

Sponsor
City of Hope
Year
2016 – 2017
Advisor
Michael C. Storrie-Lombardi
Team
Sarah Marie Anderson (’17)
Alexander Felipe Echevarria (’17)
Nathaniel Loren Miller (’17)
Connor Emerson Stashko (’17)
Willie Correa Zuniga (’17)

Raman spectroscopy can discriminate between healthy and cancerous breast tissue. This report examines the potential to implement an inexpensive commercial Raman system and hand held probe for the in vivo, real-time detection of cancer in surgical margins. First, 785 nm and 1064 nm systems are compared, and the 785 nm system is identified as preferable because of its greater resolution, superior signal-to-noise ratio, and extended spectral range. A method to eliminate the greater fluorescent contribution resulting from excitation with 785 nm is described. In a second experiment, Raman spectra are collected along lines that transect cancer margins of two patients following lumpectomy. Spectra are classified as either healthy or cancerous according to histological assessment of collection location, and 15 spectral bands are identified as the most descriptive of spectral variation. Discriminant analysis performed on the two primary principal components of the bands is shown to classify tissue as healthy or cancerous with 100% accuracy. A third experiment expands the classification to naive spectra obtained from tissue samples of additional patients to assess cross-patient classification. Finally, a fourth experiment achieves 100% classification using substantially reduced spectral bins, demonstrating the potential for real-time in-vivo cancer detection.

Automated Tuning of Electrostatically Defined Quantum Dots

Sponsor
HRL Laboratories
Year
2016 – 2017
Advisor
Gregory (Greg) A. Lyzenga
Team
Brynn Elise Arborico (’17)
Amy Frances Brown (’17)
Max James Byers (’17)
Kathleen Elizabeth Kohl (’17)

The team designed an algorithm that loads electrons onto silicon heterostructure quantum dots to initialize a qubit. The algorithm relies on an internal electrostatics model of the dot system to navigate through the space of voltages controlling the potential energy landscape. It also uses a modified second model to simulate real experimental feedback during development and testing, since the team did not have access to the laboratory setup. The algorithm queries the internal model to determine a path through voltage space that results in a specific charge configuration for the quantum dot system.

Measuring the Permittivity of Ferroelectric Nanoparticles in an Epoxy Composite

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2016 – 2017
Advisor
Albert Dato
Richard C Haskell
Team
Isabel Ann Martos-Repath (’18)
Marisol Nora Beck (’17)
Jonas Leif Kaufman (’17)
Cesar Jose Orellana (’17)
Carmel Jia Zhao (’17)
Robin Bendiak (’16)

Barium titanate, or BTO, is widely used as a dielectric material due to its high dielectric constant, which typically ranges from 1500 to 2000 in bulk. Despite its prevalence as a dielectric material, current literature remains unclear on how BTO nanoparticle size impacts the dielectric constant, particularly for non-sintered, discrete nanoparticles. Other research groups have reported BTO nanoparticle dielectric constants ranging from 135 to 5000, with no indication of the uncertainty. Our team previously attempted to measure the dielectric constant of BTO nanoparticles by loading them in an epoxy composite, measuring the effective dielectric constant of the mixture, and using COMSOL modeling to extract the dielectric constant of the nanoparticles themselves. Experimental observations and additional COMSOL modeling indicated that agglomeration of BTO nanoparticles within the composites raised the effective dielectric constant such that determination of the BTO nanoparticle dielectric constant was impossible using our existing methods.

In order to overcome the agglomeration issue and allow for the extraction of the BTO nanoparticle dielectric constant, we developed a ball-milling procedure to eliminate BTO nanoparticle agglomerates before loading them into the epoxy. We examined two volume fractions of BTO that can be achieved with this procedure, and were  able to determine the dielectric constant of 500 nm BTO nanoparticles in a 20% volume loading composite to be 225 ± 75 for our nanoparticles, assuming 0% agglomeration. Finally, we also developed more robust COMSOL models for understanding the effects of BTO agglomerate size on the effective dielectric constant.

Measuring the Permittivity of Barium Titanate Nanoparticles in an Epoxy Composite

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2015 – 2016
Advisor
Albert Dato
Richard C Haskell
Team
Natasha Allen (’16)
Kaitlin Hansen (’16)
Kirklann Lau (’16)
Ashka Shailesh Shah (’16)
Shruti Singapur (’16)

Optical Networks for Controlling Quantum Communication Systems

Sponsor
HRL Laboratories
Year
2014 – 2015
Advisor
Theresa W Lynn
Qimin Yang
Team
Nithya Menon (’16)
Paul Charles Jerger (’15)
Alexander Kendrick (’15)
Luke St. Marie (’15)

The Harvey Mudd clinic team sponsored by HRL Laboratories has been tasked with designing, evaluating, and modeling optical networks to generate sequences of ultrafast optical pulses on a time scale of 300 to 3000 nanoseconds. The Final Report summarizes the team’s conceptual design process, presents several design alternatives, and describes the completed simulation and modeling work. Based on the flexibility in pulse arrival times which the designs must accommodate, the team has created designs which are suitable for different ranges of experimental parameters. The specific experimental advantages and disadvantages of each design are modeled. The team also wrote extensive MATLAB and Simulink modeling tools that are usable for optics experiments well beyond this clinic project.

Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscopy

Sponsor
Integrated Dynamic Electron Solutions
Year
2014 – 2015
Advisor
Peter N Saeta
Team
Jessica Iwamoto (’16)
Paul Jolly (’16)
Kirklann Lau (’16)
Ashuka Xue (’16)
Natasha (Tasha) Arvanitis (’15)
Allison Mis (’15)
Jacqueline L. Ong (’15)

Integrated Dynamic Electron Solutions manufactures dynamic transmission electron microscopes that observe samples at high spatial and temporal reso- lution by using a pulsed laser and a high-voltage electron beam. Currently, it is extremely difficult to align the excitation laser pulse with the electron beam inside the microscope. The goal of this project is to develop a method to mon- itor alignment of the two beams to roughly 10-μm resolution and to measure the spatial profile and intensity of the laser pulse at the sample plane. To this end, the Harvey Mudd College Clinic team created two design alternatives: the sensor-in-vacuum design and the borescope-phosphor design. The first design uses a sensor directly in the beam path to image the beams, while the second design uses a borescope to image the glow of a phosphor excited by the beams. The team pursued both designs and tabled the sensor-in-vacuum design given the time constraint of the project. The team further pursued the borescope- phosphor design and, after thorough testing, made a final prototype that successfully images a laser profile.

Graph Embedding Algorithms for Adiabatic Quantum Computing

Sponsor
Lockheed Martin
Year
2013 – 2014
Advisor
Jim Boerkoel
Theresa W Lynn
Team
Tessa J. Adair (’14)
Taylor Wilson Brent (’14)
Douglas Sean Campbell (’14)
Joel Ron Ornstein (’14)

Measurement of BTO Nanoparticle Permittivity in Stable Dispersions

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2013 – 2014
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Adrian Hightower
Team
Robert G. Gambee (’15)
Sun Hwi Bang (’14)
Nathaniel (Nate) J. Bean (’14)
Jean-Claude David de Sugny (’14)

Barium titanate (BTO) nanoparticles exhibit intriguing size-dependent structural and dielectric properties which make them a candidate for use in novel capacitor technologies. This year, Sandia National Laboratories has once again engaged a clinic team (SNL Ferroelectric 2013-14) at Harvey Mudd College to explore BTO nanoparticle behavior. Building upon last year’s results, the current SNLFE clinic team has worked to finalize and implement a procedure for measuring the dielectric constant of BTO nanoparticles in stable dispersions by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We have investigated the effects of sonication on dispersion stability for a range of BTO/solvent slurries, finding highly stable slurries of 50 nm Sakai KZM-50 series particles for low BTO loadings. Alternately, we successfully imbed BTO nanoparticles in an ULTEM polymer matrix at volume fractions up to 10%. In addition, we have measured the permittivity of 1 vol% to 10 vol% BTO slurries with high reproducibility (roughly 3% variation in permittivity between samples). However, our numerical models have revealed an extreme sensitivity of the calculated average particle permittivity to the measured overall dispersion permittivity.

We have also begun to probe the structure and ferroelectric behavior of BTO nanoparticles of different sizes and syntheses using a variety of spectroscopic, microscopic, and diffraction methods. For nanoparticles of 50 nm in diameter and smaller, preliminary atomic pair distribution function measurements confirm the absence of a sharp transition from tetragonal to cubic structure at the bulk Curie temperature. This lack of transition is in agreement with both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Raman measurements, while in stark opposition to prior XRD measurements which indicate a cubic structure at all temperatures. These results suggest phase decoherence in smaller nanoparticles, which we speculate may be due to surface lattice distortions.

Efficient Calibration and Characterization of Segmented Antineutrino Detectors

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2013 – 2014
Advisor
Thomas D Donnelly
Team
Sean M. Messenger (’15)
Vivian T. Steyert (’15)
Anthony L. Corso (’14)
Courtney Jaclyn Keeler (’14)
Bryan R. Monroy (’14)

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Clinic Team designed, built, and tested a method for calibrating the energy and position of an antineutrino event within a scintillator detector. The calibration method was automated so minimal human input is needed. Such detectors will be deployed near nuclear reactors and used in the search for the sterile neutrino. The team modeled the experimental setup using a particle interaction simulation which will be used to inform the design of future scintillator detectors.

Developing a Compact, Planar, Ultra-Wideband Antenna

Sponsor
Trivec Avant / Cobham
Year
2012 – 2013
Advisor
John Molinder
Team
Douglas Michael Hu (’14)
Diana Yee Mar (’14)
Brett D. Mills (’14)
Trevor Earl Apple (’13)
Matthew T. Goodwin (’13)
Parker Kauffman Martin (’13)

Most antennas with wideband range and high directionality are three dimensional in shape, with spiral and bicone antenna geometries as notably useful and common examples.  A three-dimensional shape makes antennas non-ideal for aerospace applications.  Trivec Avant asked the Clinic team to develop a planar, ultra-wideband antenna (225 MHz–2000 MHz) with return loss below –5 dB and directivity at azimuth above –6 dBi across the entire frequency band.

Measuring Nanoparticle Permittivity in Colloidal Suspension

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2012 – 2013
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Frances Yenan Su (’14)
Mitul Verma (’14)
Eric S. Anderson (’13)
Chuhyon John Eom (’13)
Christopher (Chris) P. Gage (’13)
Michael Jeffrey Loy (’13)

The Sandia National Laboratories clinic team characterized the permittivity of barium titanate particles in colloidal suspension as a function of primary particle size, synthesis method, and surfactant choice using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.  To accomplish this goal, the team has built a sample holder to contain the suspension, developed a procedure to extract nanoparticle permittivity from the suspension permittivity, and integrated both of these deliverables into a testing procedure.

 

A Tunable Resonant Microwave Cavity for the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2012 – 2013
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Jean-Claude David de Sugny (’14)
Tyler A. Ochiai (’13)
Jessica (Jesse) A. Streitz (’13)
Rebecca Nicole Streitz (’13)
William (Will) A. Villagomez (’13)

The LLNL Clinic Team has simulated, designed, built, and tested a large-volume, high-frequency resonant microwave cavity to be used in the Axion Dark Matter experiment (ADMX).  Multiple conductive tuning posts within the cavity are used to manipulate the characteristic modes of the system, allowing the cavity to potentially detect axions, a possible candidate for dark matter, by tuning the cavity resonant frequency.

 

A Portable, Tippable Airborne Particle Counter

Sponsor
Aerosol Dynamics Inc.
Year
2012 – 2013
Advisor
Thomas D Donnelly
Team
Brianna Leilani Thielen (’14)
Jacob (Jake) J. Leonardis (’13)
Tracey Deborah Luke (’13)
Bennett Saar Naden (’13)
Bradley (Brad) H. Perfect (’13)

Aerosol Dynamics has patented a novel process called diffusive mixing that could be used to grow water droplets around airborne nanoscale particles and improve the efficiency of aerosol counters.  The Clinic team’s project is to develop computational models to simulate diffusive mixing, and then design and build a prototype aerosol counter which implements the diffusive mixing technique.

Femtosecond Laser Timing Measurement

Sponsor
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Year
2011 – 2012
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Michael James Bowerman (’13)
Say (Josh) Young Cook (’13)
Chuhyon John Eom (’13)
Robert A. Hoyt (’12)
Kevin James Samrick (’12)
Susan Tan (’12)

The SLAC clinic team is working with researchers from the LINAC Coherent Light Source, the world’s brightest X-ray laser.  Our goal is to reduce timing errors that occur when synchronizing laser pulses in their pump-probe experiments.  Since researchers believe the current 250 femtosecond (\( 2.5 \times 10^{-13}~\text{ s} \)) timing error is primarily caused by their photodiodes, the team built a timing platform to characterize the errors introduced by these devices.

Design of a Hybrid Antineutrino Detector Using Scintillation and Wavelength-Shifting Materials

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2011 – 2012
Advisor
James C Eckert
Richard C Haskell
Adrian Hightower
Team
Christopher (Chris) D. Cotner (’13)
Rebecca Nicole Streitz (’13)
Carlo Vaccari (’13)
Brianna R. Blanchard (’12)
Karen Naja Heinselman (’12)
Wylie N. Rosenthal (’12)
Ethan Michael Susca (’12)

Sensitive monitoring of antineutrino flux from nuclear power plants documents the consumption of fissile materials, thereby enhancing nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.  In the team’s newly designed hybrid scintillation detector, energy depositions from prompt gamma rays and delayed neutron capture events provide an unambiguous signal for antineutrino detection.  Dual scintillation materials are used with wavelength-shifting plastics to direct light to photomultiplier tubes most efficiently.  Material characterization tests and Monte Carlo simulations were used to optimize the design of the detector.

Microwave Power Transmitter-Receiver for Application to Space Power

Sponsor
Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, LLC
Year
2011 – 2012
Advisor
Qimin Yang

The Harvey Mudd College Artemis clinic team will design, build, and test a mobile prototype of a microwave transmitter and receiver system for wireless solar-generated power transmission operating at 2.45 GHz.  The clinic team will construct a prototype capable of transmitting 100 watts of power at a distance of 100 meters.  The prototype will be modular in design and possess beam directional control capability.

Axion Dark Matter Experiment

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2010 – 2011
Advisor
Carl Baumgaertner
Richard C Haskell
Team
Maximillian Luis Gonzalez (’12)
Nicole M. Crisosto (’11)
Oliver R. Hoidn (’11)
David A. Rolfe (’11)
Matthew A. Streshinsky (’11)

The Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) clinic project is sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop a piezo-electric rotary drive system.  This drive system will move tuning rods within a microwave cavity to adjust the cavity’s resonant frequency as it scans for signatures of axion dark matter.  The system must be able to operate with heat generation on the order of 100 microwatts or less at 0.1 K in an 8 T magnetic field and 10-6 torr vacuum.

Liquid Organic Scintillator Detectors for Nuclear Material Monitoring

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2009 – 2010
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Yoichi Sagawa (’11)
Roger A. Billingsley (’10)
Chen K. Lim (’10)
Alex N. Steinkamp (’10)
Steven F. Ning (’08)

The joint Physics/Engineering project sponsored by LLNL aims to research a potential organic scintillator for use in an antineutrino detector.  Such a detector must have neutron-gamma discrimination capabilities, and the HMC team will test those capabilities for various cell dimensions and reflectivity levels.  The team will also investigate the relative efficacy of two different algorithms for discriminating between neutron and gamma events.   The result of the team’s research will inform the direction of LLNL’s next antineutrino detector.

Data Inversion For a New Spectral Imaging Technique

Sponsor
Southwest Research Institute
Year
2009 – 2010
Advisor
Zachary (Zack) Dodds
Richard C Haskell
Team
Arthur D. Eigenbrot (’10)
Zeke F. Koziol (’10)
William R. Scott (’10)
Martijn F. van Schaardenburg (’10)

The SHAZAM system is able to take very high resolution data of the Sun’s magnetic field through a new technique called Stereoscopic Spectroscopy.  This technique combines a unique instrument setup with new reduction algorithms to allow for full integration over all wavelengths and spatial dimensions.  This Clinic project produced a data processing pipeline that performs standard data reduction, cross correlation stereoscopy, and newly developed differential stereoscopy on recorded data in order to produce final magnetograms.

Modeling Fluid Transport in Subcutaneous Tissue

Sponsor
Cardinal Health
Year
2008 – 2009
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Rachel Levy
Team
Harry J. Dudley (’10)
Stephen J. Rosenthal (’09)
Brian C. Stock (’09)
Melissa E. Strait (’09)

The goal of this project is to produce a mathematical model of fluid flow in subcutaneous tissue.  Two models have been developed: a compartment model that segregates the fluid into homogeneous regions, and a continuous model that describes the properties of the fluid at each point in space and time.

Calibration Source for a Prototype Car-Wash Detector of Fissile Material

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2008 – 2009
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Ruye Wang
Team
Elizabeth A. Ellis (’10)
Jonathan C. D. Hubbard (’10)
Lupita Bermudez (’09)
Rachael M. Martin (’09)
Reuben Villagomez (’09)

The joint Physics-Engineering clinic team has designed and constructed a waterproof, tagged neutron source for the purpose of calibrating a new type of neutron detector currently in development at LLNL.  The calibration of the LLNL detector is required to verify that its efficiency is maintained as the detector is scaled up to the size required for security scanning at major ports of entry as part of a program aimed at non-proliferation of fissile material.

 

Modeling the Performance of a Jupiter Electron Sensor in Strong Magnetic Fields

Sponsor
Southwest Research Institute
Year
2007 – 2008
Advisor
Vatche Sahakian
Team
Vedika Khemani (’10)
Ethan P. Rubin (’09)
Kathleen Irene Eliseo (’08)
Maxsim (Max) L. Gibiansky (’08)
Joshua J. Kao (’08)
Rocio E. Ruelas (’08)
Mariam D. Youssef (’08)

In August of 2011, NASA will launch the satellite Juno to conduct an in-depth study of the planet Jupiter. On board the satellite there are three electrostatic analyzers (ESAs) that will measure the energy and trajectory direction of electrons in Jupiter’s auroras. The behavior and performance of ESAs is well understood in the absence of a magnetic field. It was the task of this Clinic team to account for the effect of these magnetic fields. The team ran computer simulations of the ESAs in magnetic fields of varying magnitude and direction. Mathematical models were then devised for the energy of the electrons and their incoming angle relative to the direction of the magnetic field. These models can be used to translate the data that will be collected by the ESAs into a map of the spectrum of the electrons near Jupiter.

Guiding Sustainability at Harvey Mudd College

Sponsor
Harvey Mudd College
Year
2007 – 2008
Advisor
Daniel C Petersen
Donald (Don) Remer
Team
Kevin P. Byram (’08)
Anthony Hutain (’08)
Maddalena M. Jackson (’08)
Nathaniel E. Lyons-Smith (’08)
Lolly Simoni (’08)

The team was asked to systematically evaluate a broad range of possible conservation-themed projects to improve campus sustainability at HMC.  The team developed a set of metrics that prioritizes and compares the performance of diverse projects such as real-time monitoring of electricity usage, solar photovoltaics, and improvements to landscaping.  The metrics will also be used to evaluate future HMC sustainability projects.

Muon Veto System for a Reactor-Monitoring Anti-neutrino Detector

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2006 – 2007
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Zachary A. Lupei (’08)
Gregory M. Nielsen (’07)

The Clinic team designed, constructed, and tested a new muon veto system for LLNL’s second generation cubic meter scale antineutrino detector for use in reactor monitoring applications.  To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of this veto system the team conducted tests to characterize the spatial response of different types of muon veto paddles.

The team also conducted simulations to verify and extend our experimental data.  The team designed and implemented a framing system to hold the muon veto paddles in a robust and gap-free arrangement around the anti-neutrino detector.

Design and Construction of a Thermal Link for Optical Isolation

Sponsor
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Year
2006 – 2007
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Kevin P. Byram (’08)
Christopher J. Lee (’08)
John H. Hankinson (’07)
David W. Mar (’07)
John J. Parker (’07)
Steven (Steve) P. Von der Porten (’07)

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Solid State Optical Refrigerator cools a Ytterbium doped fluoride glass with a high power infrared laser, and presents the means for vibrationless localized cooling to 77 K. For practical cooling implementation, photon absorption on an attached thermal load must be greatly reduced. The team has designed, constructed, and tested a thermal link to attach to the system that optically isolates the thermal load and that minimizes photon absorption within the link.

Implementation of Adaptive Optics in a Clinical Ophthalmic-Imaging Instrument

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2005 – 2006
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Team
Steven F. Ning (’08)
Sarah S. Adelman (’07)
Gregory A. Sandstrom (’07)
Steven (Steve) P. Von der Porten (’07)
Megan [Arman] Doudian (’06)
Hansford C. Hendargo (’06)
Li L. Tian (’06)
Among the central themes of vision research within the United States today, are the efforts to understand the limits of human visual acuity and the changes in vision associated with aging and retinal disease. The Adaptive Optics group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in collaboration with researchers at the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) and the University of Rochester, has applied adaptive optics technology to the study of the human eye to: (1) measure the visual performance of the eye when virtually all the aberrations of the eye are corrected, and (2) obtain high-resolution images of the retina, thereby allowing correlation of retinal structure with visual performance. The research program at UCDMC has focused specifically on the optical and neural factors responsible for the normal aging of the human visual system, and cellular mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the United States. The goal of the LLNL clinic project at Harvey Mudd College is to convert the current adaptive optics ophthalmic-imaging instruments from prototype/bench-top systems into a “clinical” instrument. The Harvey Mudd team will be responsible for the development of a next-generation ophthalmic imaging instrument that incorporates new design features aimed at improving the clinical utility of the instrument, for instance, by reducing its size and by making it easier to be operated by a trained technician. The HMC team will implement a broad range of optical, mechanical and software improvements required to make these changes.

Measuring the Optical Properties of Coated Soot Particles

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2005 – 2006
Advisor
Peter N Saeta
Team
Mark A. Dansson (’06)
Rachel Kirby (’06)
Michael (Mike) J. Martin (’06)
Tristan A. Sharp (’06)
Shannon L. Woods (’06)

Soot particles are a common byproduct of combustion. These sub-100-nm carbon particles can lodge deep in the lungs, leading to cardiovascular and pulmonary health problems. They also contribute significantly to air pollution and potentially to global warming. Recent work has clarified the absorption and scattering properties of bare carbon particles in sunlight, but impurities in fuel often produce carbon particles coated with significant layers of sulfur and other dielectric compounds. To understand the role carbon aerosols play on global climate, and potentially to build remote optical diagnostics of soot emissions, it is necessary to measure the optical properties of these coated nanoparticles. The goal of this clinic is to characterize the light absorption and scattering properties of coated soot aerosols. Soot particles will be generated in the lab by partially combusting ethylene and subsequently coated via a particle coating condenser. Their optical properties will be determined using angle-resolved scattering and cavity ringdown techniques. Last year's team built most of the apparatus, including the means to filter the soot from the exhaust air so it can be exhausted into the room. This year's team is refining the setup, calibrating both ringdown and angle-resolved scattering setups, and investigating the impact of oleic-acid coatings.

Measuring the Optical Properties of Coated Soot Particles

Sponsor
Sandia National Laboratories
Year
2004 – 2005
Advisor
Peter N Saeta
Team
Octavi (Tavi) E. Semonin (’06)
Brendan R. Haberle (’05)
Matthew Johnson (’05)
Juliana C. Wortman (’05)
Patrick B. Hopper (’04)

Soot particles are a common byproduct of combustion. These sub-100-nm carbon particles can lodge deep in the lungs, leading to cardiovascular and pulmonary health problems. They also contribute significantly to air pollution and potentially to global warming. Recent work has clarified the absorption and scattering properties of bare carbon particles in sunlight, but impurities in fuel often produce carbon particles coated with significant layers of sulfur and other dielectric compounds. To understand the role carbon aerosols play on global climate, and potentially to build remote optical diagnostics of soot emissions, it is necessary to measure the optical properties of these coated nanoparticles. The goal of this clinic is to characterize the light absorption and scattering properties of coated soot aerosols. Soot particles will be generated in the lab by partially combusting ethylene and subsequently coated via a particle coating condenser. Their optical properties will be determined using angle-resolved scattering and cavity ringdown techniques.

Optical Coherence Tomography Scanning Arm for Laryngoscopy

Sponsor
University of California Irvine — Department of Otolaryngology
Year
2003 – 2004
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Elizabeth (Liz) Orwin
Robert P Wolf
Team
Seneca S. Harberger (’05)
River L. [Hutchison] Clemens (’04)
Rachel J. [Lovec] Currie (’04)
Nikhil Gheewala (’04)
Tonya Icenogle (’04)

Currently laryngeal cancer can only be diagnosed with biopsies which are invasive, permanently damaging, and can miss cancerous tissue.  Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an imaging technique that non-invasively images several millimeters into tissue to seek structural abnormalities, which can indicate cancer.  We will design and construct an OCT device for attachments to a laryngoscope that will image two-dimensional cross-sections in the larynx, for the purpose of diagnosing laryngeal cancer in its early stages.

A MEMS Vibrating Beam Gyroscope

Sponsor
Northrop Grumman
Year
2003 – 2004
Advisor
Peter N Saeta

This year’s project continues the work of last year’s on vibrating beam angular rate sensors, but aiming to develop an over-size working prototype compatible with MEMS production techniques.

Vibrating Beam Angular Rate Sensors

Sponsor
Northrop Grumman
Year
2002 – 2003
Advisor
Peter N Saeta
Robert P Wolf

Northrop Grumman is the second largest defense contractor in America, designing and producing a wide variety of technologies ranging from aircraft to sensors.  The clinic team performed a proof-of-concept study using microelectrical mechanical systems (MEMS) technology to produce a vibrating beam angular rate sensor based on the Coriolis force.  Experimental and analytical results were reported.

The Challenge of Pointing Stability and Accuracy in the Space Interferometer Mission (SIM)

Sponsor
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Year
2001 – 2002
Advisor
Richard C Haskell

SIM is an orbiting interferometer telescope capable of relative star measurements 100 times more accurate than ever before.  Specifically, the team is devising a technique for measuring the spacing between telescopes, measuring changes in distance to an accuracy of 100 picometers, or 1 angstrom, roughly the size of a hydrogen atom.

LA-ARB-1: A Magnetotactic Bacterium

Sponsor
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Year
2000 – 2001
Advisor
Nancy Hamlett
Alexander Rudolph

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Clinic team investigated various behavior aspects of a novel magnetotactic bacterium, LA-ARB-1.  Aerotaxis, phototaxis, motility, and viability studies were the focus of the team’s investigations.  Results from their work contribute to a better understanding of how LA-ARB-1 uses its internal structure to take advantage of its unique environment.

Compact Planar, Omnidirectional, Ultra-wideband Antenna

Sponsor
Trivec Avant / Cobham
Year
2000 – 2001
Advisor
John Molinder

While modern software radio systems are compact and capable of output across a wide frequency range, existing antenna designs capable of transmitting across a wide frequency range in all directions are too wide and unwieldy for many mobile platforms.  Trivec Avant Corporation team has tasked the Harvey Mudd team with designing a compact, planar, and ultra-wideband (225-20000MHz) antenna that radiates omnidirectionally in azimuth.

 

A Method for Beating the Diffraction Limit in Photolithography

Sponsor
Etec Systems, Inc.
Year
2000 – 2001
Advisor
Peter N Saeta

Etec Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the designing, manufacturing, and marketing of mask-making solutions for the semiconductor industry.  Our Clinic team is providing Etec with a feasibility study on a potential technology for tightening the focus point of a laser on the photoresist layer of a mask beyond the normal diffraction limit, enabling the writing of smaller mask features.  We report both analytical and experimental results.

Infrared Interferometer

Sponsor
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Year
1999 – 2000
Advisor
Alexander Rudolph

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Clinic team constructed a modified Michelson interferometer to combine the light from two 10-meter Keck telescopes situated on the island of Hawaii. The system combines two 1" infrared beams of light from the telescopes and incorporates feedback control to ensure that the optics are correctly focusing the collimated beams into fiberoptic cables. The telescope system will allow for the direct detection of Hot Jupiter planets in other solar systems.

Design of a Detector Electronics System for Feedback Control of Proton Beam Intensity in the LLUMC Proton Medical Accelerator

Sponsor
Optivus Technology, Inc.
Year
1999 – 2000
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
Samuel (Sam) Tanenbaum

Optivus Technology uses a proton accelerator as a radiation source for treating cancer patients. The current method of attacking tumors with the proton beam has been successful, but Optivus would like to improve the treatment by using a raster-scanning technique, requiring a much tighter control on the beam intensity. Our goal is to develop an improved electronics system to process the output of a beam intensity detector, allowing a feedback loop to control the beam at a much higher bandwidth.

Innovation for the Next Generation

Sponsor
Aerojet Engineering Corporation
Year
1998 – 1999
Advisor
Richard C Haskell

Aerojet's current Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) orbits the earth, passively measuring the intensity of particular microwave frequencies for meteorological purposes. The team has explored and analyzed a number of new and innovative technologies in an effort to reduce the size and manufacturing cost of the AMSU receiver subsystem. Extensive research was done to determine the fundamental properties of the different technologies in order to pinpoint their limitations and foresee possible advances. The team has proposed feasible alternatives to the design of the current AMSU.

Software Simulation of Water Surface Optical Glitter

Sponsor
Areté Associates
Year
1997 – 1998
Advisor
Gregory (Greg) A. Lyzenga

The clinic team investigated and developed models for the reflection of the sun off the ocean's surface to create an improved “glitter” routine for Arete Associates' RenderWorld, their software package for modeling natural scenes. Current software techniques do not allow for efficient simulations of light reflection off small-scale water waves (referred to as glitter) because it is too computationally intensive. The team developed a software implementation of its recommended solution to Arete Associates. Images generated using the RenderWorld's package will be shown.

Designing and Modeling a High Intensity Deuterium Lamp

Sponsor
BHK, Inc.
Year
1996 – 1997
Advisor
Graydon Bell
Robert P Wolf

BHK requested a design for a deuterium lamp that has a higher output and greater lifetime than existing lamps on the market. The team developed a model relating to such parameter as fill composition, pressure, and geometrical measurements to the intensity and spectral characteristics of the output, and suggested and evaluated design modifications to improve performance.

Even Illumination Light Source

Sponsor
Science Applications International Corporation
Year
1996 – 1997
Advisor
Richard C Haskell
The team designed and built a system for a massively parallel automated fluorimeter. The source provides bright, stable, spatially uniform light across the underside of the 11 cm by 11 cm sample tray in any six narrow bands in the visible and near UV spectrum. The team used compact high intensity arc lamps, holographic diffusers and dichroic optics to develop a system that outperforms the existing source at SAIC while costing one-third as much.

Field-Widened Fourier Transform Spectrometer

Sponsor
Aerojet Engineering Corporation
Year
1996 – 1997
Advisor
James (Jim) Monson
Robert P Wolf

The Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) is a widely-used instrument for spectral analysis of thermal sources. The interferometry based FTS has a limited field-of-view (FOV). Gencorp/Aerojet has contracted the Harvey Mudd College Engineering/Physics Clinic team to determine the feasibility of a field-widened FTS. Extensive research has been carried out towards the understanding of both internal and external FOV constraints of the FTS. The focus on internal constraints has led to several interferometry design approaches; the most promising design utilizes a mechanically deformable cat?s eye mirror, which in place of the traditional plane moving mirror, allows for change in the curvature of the mirror as the cat’s eye is moved. Alternate designs include lens focusing systems and the addition of dispersive media. The team explored these prospective designs for a field-widened system through feasibility studies and performance evaluations.