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I need to build something !

  1. Jan 22, 2009 #1
    I need to build something!!!!!!

    hi, i know that if you can make certian devices, it can increase your chance at getting in a great school. i only know calculus (some differential) and basic calculus based physics, however i lean ultra fast (so if its i little bit over my head, i can figure it out with the help of the net and my books). i understand the theory upper dvision classes, but some of the math is a little musch. any way i would like some advice on what type of device to build? for example a particle beam. i know some of you are probibly thinking this kid has no idea what hes talking about, but please bear with me. i am smarter than this post might lead you to believe. if anyone has any advice on something to build to help me gent in to a great school within my skill range (with varying degrees of freedom, if your not sure just suggest it anyway) . Thank you
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2009 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    Welcome to the PF.

    We've discussed particle accelerator construction here on the PF before, and it's generally too dangerous for most home-project folks. You can do a PF search to read some of those threads.

    I think using a project to enhance your college application is a fine idea. Are you in undergrad now, looking ahead to grad school, or are you looking to apply to enter college?

    Have you done any Science Fair projects? What did you do? What degree are you looking to earn in college? (Like EE, ME, Math, Physics, etc?)

    BTW, be sure to proofread your college applications and essays a bit better than you proofread your first post above. Not giving you too bad of a time about it, but writing well will also help you get into a good school.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2009 #3
    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    hi berkeman, yes im an undergrad right now. Im going to apply to berkeley and standford next year. I have not done any science fairs or engineering fairs, mainly because i havent had the time. I have considered an accelerator, but the divergance fields look tricky, and its costly, but id love to build one. im looking to earn a Math, and Physics degree. i want to work with theoretical physics (m-theory, quantum mechanics, anything tword unification of gravity). Thanks for your reply, by the way do you have anything to do with uc berkeley (i ask because of your name).
     
  5. Jan 25, 2009 #4

    Danger

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    Gold Member

    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    Naw... that's the net for you. His real last name is 'Los Angel'... 'Berk' is a pseudonym.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2009 #5

    es1

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    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    I would recommend recreating a historic physics experiment and see how close you can get to the accepted value. You'll learn valuable lab skills, physics, and most can be done simply and cheaply without even calculus.

    A particular experiment that comes to mind is JJ Thomson's cathode-ray tube experiments that get the mass/charge of an electron. I would guess you get even get a kit (as this is a common experiment to give students) and then work on improving its accuracy. If you can improve the accuracy it shows you really understand what you are doing and why.

    As an added bonus it also uses a 'particle beam'. :)
     
  7. Jan 25, 2009 #6

    es1

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    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    They have all kinds of cool kits online, even Rutherford scattering. Wow!

    https://www.fishersci.com/wps/porta...rue&brCategoryId=56935&hlpi=false&fromSearch=

    I would think that if you could improve the measurement made by one of these setups (and prove it!) that would impress most undergraduate physics departments. But keep in mind I'm also not on the admission committee. So what do I know.
     
  8. Jan 26, 2009 #7

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    Not sure we want him working with a CRT -- kinda' dangerous for a first experiment/project.

    And Danger is correct, no Berkeley association... my undergrad was at UC Davis, and MSEE was back East in the snow. Brrr.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2009 #8

    es1

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    Re: I need to build something!!!!!!

    If by CRT you mean TV I totally agree. Even professionals should be weary of playing with high voltage devices. But there is nothing intrinsically dangerous about a CRT, especially if one uses a prefabbed student kit.

    Edit:
    After looking more closely at the setup it does seem the banana clips of the induction coil are exposed so there is risk of shock. I figured the students kits would be much more sealed and safegaurded. Not such a great experiment for someone with no lab experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
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