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REU project-need help on preparation.

  1. Mar 14, 2007 #1
    REU project--need help on preparation.

    Hi, I have gotten a REU project from U of Toledo. as they e-mailed me, my project will be on

    two medium energy ion accelerators--from modeling
    instrumentation to data acquisition and analysis

    So, I am wondering... what programming language would most likely be involved (I really need to know... in general what programming languages do these accelerators use? what platform (windows, Unix...) do most of the computers use?)? and what kind of physics background/math background should I have before working on this project? (I'm thinking atomic physics... )

    it's the middle of spring break right now... so I plan on borrowing a whole bunch of books from the library and drive myself insane in studying related topics... any advice or comment is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2007 #2


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    Um ... why not ask them? If you've already been accepted, then I'm sure they'd be happy to help you prepare yourself for the summer.
  4. Mar 14, 2007 #3
    I already have... I just want to get some more advices from the experts on this forum. :smile:
  5. Mar 14, 2007 #4
    So instead of finding out from people who would actually know what they want you to do, you want us to speculate based on incomplete information?

    Based on the near total lack of information you have provided, I would say you should be comfortable programming for either Windows or Unix in at least one systems language like C(++); one scripting language like Python, Perl, Tcl/Tk or Ruby; and one computational language, which could be any of the languages previously named, but certain computational tasks may be easier to implement in Matlab, Fortran, or Mathematica. It may also be useful to learn LabVIEW, which is commonly used to drive instruments and/or acquire data. You should probably learn something about data reduction and analysis (Bevington and Robinson's Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences should be a good start). As far as physics preparation goes, a solid background in classical electrodynamics at the level of Griffiths should be sufficient.
  6. Apr 4, 2007 #5
    Sorry for reviving this old thread.

    At the time of posting, the research was not finalized yet so there were no detail informations about the research. I emailed the professor and this is what he replied (in quote) (everything is about a medium energy ion accelerator)

    As much as how I would love to accomplish something (and have full understanding) in this research, I am clueless on what these technical terms are...

    ex. what are energy analyzer?
    how should I prepare myself in the remaining 2 months before the research?
    (I already burrowed two books on accelerators... I have knowledge in classical mechanics, thermal physics and some intro modern physics) So in what field does the research sound like? (chemistry? mass spectrometry?)

    and if I am to focus on one particular programming language, what should I focus on? I'm thinking C++...(I'm not much of a programmer...never taken any programming class before) the professor didn't give explicit details on what programming language we will be using so that's why I'm asking.

    Thank you for your time and any comment is appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  7. Apr 4, 2007 #6
    "Energy analyzer" sounds like mass spectrometry to me, but I wouldn't focus so much on that or any of the other technobabble. Instead, I would cut straight to the task that the professor seems to have carved out for you: improving the vacuum in the energy analyzer (whatever that may be). For modelling, a starting point could be R. A. Nevshupa & L. S. Sinev, "Model of pressure variation in a vacuum system for volatile liquid evacuation," Technical Physics 50(10) pp.1255-1258 (Online: http://www.springerlink.com/content/520t47811q748148 ). For experimental techniques and instrumentation, either Building Scientific Apparatus or A User's Guide to Vacuum Technology would probably be a good starting point.
  8. Apr 4, 2007 #7
    thank you for the help! I will definitely look into those texts. it does look like I will need to know more about vacuum.Hmm, looks like there are plenty of books about vacuum in the physics library; I'll see what I can dig out tomorrow.
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