Poster Session

The Poster Session will occur from 5:15pm to 6:45pm on Saturday, January 18th, 2020 in the Eckhardt Research Center Lobby and will feature posters presented by undergraduate conference attendees about their research. Accepted titles and abstracts are listed below.

“Topological Mechanics Through Remotely Coupled Oscillators”

ABSTRACT: Topological materials exist in many quantum systems; we want to create a classical system that can be easily manipulated to show many kinds of topological phases. A system of measurement and remote feedback is being used to couple the oscillators instead of physically coupling them. By using a Raspberry Pi to couple harmonic oscillators, control over position and subsequently the energy flow can be achieved. We are currently working towards an initial experimental demonstration of remotely coupled oscillators.

Presented by Ritika Anandwade
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
“Compositional Dependence of Fluorescence Properties in Rare-earth Ion Doped Bismuth Borate Glasses”

ABSTRACT: Borate glasses are excellent host materials to study the fluorescence of rare earth ions. We prepared two series of bismuth borate glasses doped with Sm2O3 and Eu2O3 and studied their fluorescence as a function of rare earth ion concentration from 0.5 mol% to 2.0 mol%. Fluorescence spectra were collected using a double grating spectrometer. We used the electric dipole (ED) and the magnetic dipole (MD) transitions to analyze the rare earth ion concentration effect on fluorescence intensities. Ratio of ED/MD peak intensity indicates asymmetry of the rare earth sites related to structural changes around the rare earth ion. Our results show that both size and concentration of rare earth ions play dominant roles in affecting fluorescence.

Presented by Clara Barclay
Reed College
“Alignment of the COronal Spectrographic Imager in the Extreme ultraviolet (COSIE)”

ABSTRACT: The alignment of optical elements directly affects an instrument’s performance. Since an EUV laser requires a vacuum, COSIE would be aligned in the visible with a different wavelength of light and grating groove density than what would be used in operation. This restriction complicates the alignment process because the angle of diffraction is a function of wavelength. The groove density and incident angle were calculated to produce the same diffraction in alignment as in operation. An error budget determined the allowable error values for optical misalignments. A COSIE computer model was created to check the error budget results. Supported by the NSF-REU solar physics program at SAO, grant AGS-1560313.

Presented by Gabrielle Beach
Saint Mary’s College & the University of Notre Dame
“Populating the Black Hole Mass-Gap with Stellar Collisions in Dense Star Clusters”

ABSTRACT: Over the past few years, the groundbreaking detections of gravitational wave (GW) signals from merging binary black holes (BHs) by LIGO/Virgo have ignited immense interest in how these sources form. Dynamical formation of binary BHs in dense stellar environments like globular clusters has emerged as an important formation channel. Dynamical interactions in globular clusters present opportunities to form binary BHs with properties that cannot be produced through classic evolution channels. For example, in a cluster environment, heavy BHs can form through runaway collisions of massive stars before BH formation. This motivates us to examine formation pathways for heavy BHs in globular clusters. In this study, we build a detailed collisional history of BH progenitor stars in globular clusters through the use of an N-body simulation code. We find that collisions of massive stars can indeed lead to the formation of BHs at or above the single stellar evolution limit, including intermediate-mass BHs. Such heavy BHs in star clusters likely acquire a companion BH, possibly becoming loud and detectable sources of GWs.

Presented by Devin Becker
DePaul University
“Online Monitoring of the Purity for the ICARUS-T600 Detector at Fermilab”

ABSTRACT: In preparation for commission of the ICARUS -T600 far detector in the Short Baseline Neutrino program, this poster is dedicated to detail the fine-tuning a web-based monitoring system which will be used to aid in fast-turnaround analysis of the operations of the ICARUS neutrino detector. This system will help to increase detector functionality in real-time. The methodology that will be included is the framework of implementing LArSoft code modules in C++. More specifically, the analysis of the purity measurements of the liquid Argon will be discussed and how the transfer of the required monitoring devices will be sent to an online website through a database called Redis.

Presented by Olivia Bitter
“Anti-Deuteron Identification in ALICE”

ABSTRACT: The ALICE detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is optimized to study the products of heavy ion collisions in the LHC. An improvement under consideration for ALICE in the LHC Run III upgrade would enable ALICE to measure the inelastic cross-section of anti-deuterons produced in those collisions. In preparation of the measurement, a method of effectively identifying deuterons and anti-deuterons in the detector must be established, and a thorough simulation of the experiment must be conducted. Specifically, we consider particle identification data from the Time Projection Chamber (TPD), Transition Radiation Detector (TRD), and Time of Flight Detector (TOF) in particle identification, and considers a simulation with six possible anti-particle absorbers.

Presented by Julia Book
University of Chicago
“A Novel Method of Measuring Airplane Thrust”

ABSTRACT: Airplane thrust is currently measured using a complex equation that requires many thermodynamic measurements, such as air pressures, mass flow rates, and air velocities. To provide a new, more direct method of thrust measurement and a cross-check for pilots, a device that is attached to the engine mounts that can measure force or a compressive load is needed. Annular piezoelectric washers have been studied to understand their properties, such as resolution and linearity. Sample piezoelectric sensors were calibrated on an in-lab test stand according to various torques. Calibrated piezoelectric sensors were installed and tested on a PT6 engine test stand within the aviation department and showed a correlation between frequency and thrust measurement.

Presented by Margaret Capalbo
Lewis University
“Brightening Dark Excitons in Transition Metal Dichalchogenides”

ABSTRACT: Excitons determine many optical properties of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and can be classified as “bright” or “dark.” Dark excitons with out-of-plane transition dipole moments in TMDs like WSe2 and MoSe2 are difficult to detect due to decoupling from light and drowning out by bright excitons. We propose an optical cavity whose geometry allows for exclusive detection of out-of-plane dark excitons that couple to similarly polarized surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). SPPs are propagated from TMDs like WSe2 to outcoupling trenches for far-field detection across single-crystalline silver mirrors. Photoluminescence scans and spectra show that light with similar features as the WSe2 monolayer spectra is scattered to the trenches, confirming the orientation and coupling of excitons to SPPs.

Presented by Grace Chen
University of Chicago
“Constraining the Progenitor Systems of Ca-rich Transients”

ABSTRACT: Calcium-rich (Ca-rich) transients are a newly recognized class of supernovae (SNe) with peculiar characteristics. They have a defining feature of strong calcium line emissions thirty days after explosion, and may be a significant driver of chemical evolution in the intracluster medium. Presently, the progenitor systems of Ca-rich transients remain unclear. Their early and late time spectra are very similar to core-collapse (Type Ib/c) supernovae. However, because some events occur in the outskirts of their often elliptical host galaxies, it is widely believed that Ca-rich transients are connected to thermonuclear (Type Ia) SNe. The possibility of mixed populations i.e., a combination of Type Ia and Type Ib/c SNe contained in the class, has not been ruled out. Here we present a detailed stellar population characterization of the host galaxies of all 17 known Ca-rich transients using broadband photometry from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths. We compared the estimated properties of their host galaxies to those of Type Ia and Type Ib/c SNe to uncover potential correlations. Our analysis is done using Prospector, which specializes in stellar population inferences. We fitted the spectral energy distribution of each host galaxy and calculated physical parameters including stellar population mass, age, and metallicity. We found that the Ca-rich transients’ host galaxies are characteristically diverse and resemble both the host galaxies of Type Ia and core-collapse. Future work that can reconstruct detailed star formation histories under non-parametric model assumptions is required to place tighter constraints on Ca-rich transient progenitor systems.

Presented by YuXin Dong
Purdue University
“Searching for Infrared Galaxies in the MUSE Optical Data”

ABSTRACT: While many previous surveys required targets to be pre-selected, The Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) took optical and spectroscopic data for an entire field-of-view. This recovered information on sources, like infrared galaxies, that were too optically faint to be selected. This work matched the MUSE optical information to known infrared galaxies using both an automated and manual approach. Out of 129 galaxies, matches were found for 78. The optical data provided spectroscopic and photometric redshift. For faint sources, these calculations often have a notable discrepancy. However, no obvious redshift discrepancy was found in this work. The galaxies were also classified by their powering mechanism (supermassive black hole or extreme star formation) by comparing the flux ratios of different emission lines.

Presented by Kathryn Downey
Purdue University
“Relativistic Magnetic Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability and Global Simulations of an Accreting Black Hole”

ABSTRACT: Global simulations of accreting black holes in the radiatively inefficient regime show evidence of a strong shear layer and current sheet separating the jet and disk. This boundary can be unstable, and in the nonlinear regime instability drives mixing of plasma into the jet. From linear analysis of a shear layer model motivated by global simulation data, we find that it is subject to Kelvin–Helmholtz instability when the magnetic fields on both sides of the boundary align. From nonlinear simulation, we measure mixing rates of mass, momentum, and energy between the funnel and the funnel wall.

Presented by Yufeng Du
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Symmetry & Symmetry Breaking within Capitalistic Economic Systems”

ABSTRACT: This research project primarily focuses on the subject of Econophysics, the merging of Economics and Physics. This project proposes that despite arguments of uniform wealth distribution within nations, symmetry breaking is present within Gini coefficients in the form of division of wealth distribution into distinct economic classes. Symmetry breaking in physics describes the phenomenon of small fluctuations impacting a system until the fate of that overall system is distorted. This, we propose, is the basic model of income inequality within nations. Specifically, we analyze the symmetry breaking within Gini coefficients of nations and use the broken Gini coefficients to define so-called economic potentials. Economic potentials describe the ability of an agent to move between levels of wealth by implementing physics concepts, such as conservation of energy and quantum mechanics.

Presented by Deseree Frink-Larcart
University of Notre Dame
“High Quality Factor SiGe Optical Ring Resonators for Microwave to Optical Quantum Transduction”

ABSTRACT: Despite the promise of quantum computation, a serious technical obstacle—the susceptibility of lower energy, microwave photons to decoherence—restricts large-scale implementation. Therefore, efficient single-photon level transduction between microwave and optical photons is desired. My work at IBM Research was involved with the development and characterization of two-port optical SiGe/Si ring resonators intended for a microwave-to-optical transducer. Optical transmission measurements were first taken, and then fitted using theoretical models. Extracted parameter values were used then to calculate the quality factor (Q) and free-spectral-range (FSR), with the maximum measured Q being 2.07E6. Further investigations into system physics, specifically intended to help pinpoint sources of optical loss, were conducted through Lumerical simulations.

Presented by Hope Lee
University of Chicago
“Title TBA”

ABSTRACT: Until the invention of modern film and computer technology, almost all astronomical observations were collected on glass photographic plates. Astronomical institutions, including the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory and Harvard College Observatory, amassed significant collections of these glass plates, representing more than a century of astronomical data. Poster includes an overview of our efforts to digitize a subset of Yerkes’ photographic plate collection; methods developed for digitizing photographic plates through the use of commercial scanners and for evaluating the quality of these plate scans. The viability of utilizing these scans for astronomical science are demonstrated by calibrating the positions (astrometry) and brightnesses (photometry) of stars against more modern measurements taken with CCD imaging technology. The methods developed here can be applied to other collections of similar photographic plates in other institutional collections.

Presented by Yingyi Liang
University of Chicago
“Modeling Systems of Drop Carrier Particles Using Energy Minimization”

ABSTRACT: Drop Carrier Particles (DCPs) are solid microparticles designed to capture uniform microliter drops of a target solution without using costly microfluidic equipment and techniques. DCPs are useful for automated and high-throughput biological assays and reactions, as well as single cell analysis. However, little work has been done to understand the behavior of these particles in large scale systems, and researchers have had difficulty achieving uniform volume across the particles. Here we present a method for modeling a diverse range of geometric particle shapes using energy minimization techniques.

Presented by Lily Liu
University of Chicago
“Studies of Top Quark Decay Kinematics”

ABSTRACT: If the Higgs Boson is made of new constituent particles, it is likely that the top quark is made of similar particles based on how strongly they couple. If so, events with four top quarks would be produced in excess of current predictions. Purpose: Study top quark kinematics to determine how to distinguish between background and signal tops. Methods: Simulate ttbar decay to b and W, and W to qqbar. Results: As top quark pt increases, the distance between the top quark and its decays decreases. Conclusions: This decrease in distance as top pt increases demonstrates that the two high momentum tops in a four top process can be tagged primarily by position.

Presented by Hannah Nelson
North Park University
“Fluorescence of Praseodymium (Pr3+) ions in Bismuth Telluro-Borate Glasses and Glasses Containing Semiconducting Nanoparticles”

ABSTRACT: Bismuth oxide glasses have received significant attention because of their interesting properties such as low-softening point, high refractive index, high density and radio shielding. These glasses are ideal for exploring the optical properties of rare earth (RE) ions such as Praseodymium (Pr3+) ions which have interesting photonic applications. Recent investigations have shown that if nanoparticles (NPs) are present near the RE ions, they could enhance the fluorescence intensity of the RE ions. We have successfully grown CdSe NPs in bismuth telluro-borate glasses and studied their effect on the absorption and fluorescence properties of Pr3+ ions. We have observed that for 11 hours annealing time, the effect of CdSe NPs is very significant on the fluorescence of Pr3+ ions. In addition to this, we determined the correlated color temperature of these glasses using chromaticity coordinates. Chromaticity coordinate values show that the 11 hour annealed samples can be used as white light emitting sources.

Presented by Sadie Nickles
Western Illinois University
“Simulating Terahertz Magnetic Field Enhancement via Split Ring Resonator for Coherent Spin Control in Magnetic Insulators”

ABSTRACT: The magnetic component of ultrafast, intense THz pulses has been shown to coherently interact with collective spin excitations in magnetic insulators directly, which offers a promising method of control for the spin degree of freedom with important applications for quantum information technology. However, developing table-top sources of sufficiently strong THz magnetic fields remains a challenge. Here, we employ COMSOL Multiphysics simulations to investigate the enhancement of the THz magnetic field via a split ring resonator (SRR) patterned onto a magnetic insulator, and discuss the fabrication and characterization thereof. This study enables a highly useful spectroscopic tool for future projects focused on the study of quantum magnetic insulators through the coupling of the THz magnetic field to spins in the material.

Presented by Andrea Perry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Effect of supplementary videos on scientific reasoning in a general physics course”

ABSTRACT: This study investigated the impact of an instructional reform on student scientific reasoning skills and general attitudes toward science. The intervention was administered via eight 5-7 minute videos during lab. Each video consisted of an explanation of its targeted concept, a hands-on demo with observations and YouTube clips highlighting the topic being discussed. While viewing the videos, students were required to answer specific questions testing their comprehension of the concepts and the scientific reasoning being displayed. Lawson’s Scientific Reasoning Test was administered to assess improvement in student scientific reasoning skills, and the CLASS was used to assess changes in student attitudes towards science. Pre and Post-test results are compared for a control semester and semesters with this new teaching method. Results show that this video intervention, which took students about two hours in total to complete, significantly improved students’ science reasoning skills and their attitudes towards science.

Presented by Amber Sammons
Illinois State University
“The shortage of women in engineering in the U.S.”

ABSTRACT: A reasearch based project about the inverstigation for why only 25 % of women are involve in engineering but make up 5 0% of human population.

Presented by Yoselin Serrano
Harold Washington
“Title TBA”

ABSTRACT: MIT Lincoln Lab and Massachusetts General Hospital are working toward the development of a non-contact laser ultrasound. The device has the potential to be low cost, portable, and safe, and can create high quality imaging. The Non-Contact Laser Ultrasound (NCLUS) sends out ultrasonic waves which travel through the tissue as mechanical waves. Using doppler vibrometry and a 1550 nm skin and eye safe laser, the device is able to measure reflected ultrasonic waves in the tissue to identify objects such as bone and tendons, based on the optical absorbency of the object. I worked to develop new system set-up, enabling me to acquire data using a collocated excitation laser and vibrometer. Additionally, we developed beam forming code to process the imaging data in a method similar to traditional ultrasounds that ideally has better resolution than traditional contact ultrasounds.

Presented by Sam Smiley
DePaul University
“Properties of Li-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicle Application”

ABSTRACT: The influence of temperature and mechanical stress on the performance of Li-ion batteries is invested through various tests done, with a focus in electric vehicle application. These test results compared with the cell structure of the Li-ion battery are used in correspondence with one another to discuss the results of the impedance spectroscopy performed as well as other various abuse tests. An informational review of the structure of the Li-ion battery is provided in this study, as well as knowledge into the operation of these batteries inside an electric vehicle, along with the function of said electric vehicle’s motor source all in relation to battery power.

Presented by Alaina Thompson
Benedictine University
“Impact of Neutron Induced Fission on r-process Nucleosynthesis Calculations”


Presented by Lauren Ward
University of Chicago
“Cosmological Bounds on Hidden Sector Dark Matter Mixing”

ABSTRACT: Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are well motivated as a possible origin for dark matter, yet have not been observed by any direct detection or particle collider experiment. With growing experimental constraints set on WIMPs, many have moved to considering new types of dark matter models which may be able to evade these constraints, such as “hidden sector” models. We set cosmological bounds on the equilibrium mixing strength between hidden sector dark matter particles and standard model particles in the early universe. Lower bounds arise from the need for the annihilation rate to exceed the Hubble expansion rate to maintain equilibrium, and upper bounds come from the results of the XENON1T experiment. These bounds limit which hidden sector models may be compatible with the galactic center gamma ray excess and the cosmic ray antiproton excess.

Presented by Shalma Wegsman
University of Chicago