2023 Segrè Interns make improvements to the 111 Lab

September 19, 2023

3 students organizing their projects at the white board in the 111 Lab

 The 2023 interns: Ariyan Jazaeri, Joshua Clover, and Ananya Venkatraman

Each summer, 3 students are awarded an Emilio Segrè Internship grant which gives them the opportunity to work in the Donald A. Glaser 111 Lab to help make improvements to the lab equipment and experiments. This summer, the Segrè Interns had projects that fit into three general catagories: Software, lab maintenance, and new lab development.

On the software front, the team started work on the long and arduous process of updating all of the computers in the 111B Lab to Windows 10 systems. Unfortunately, this came with some LabView compatability issues, which in turn came with equipment compatability issues. Still, at the end of the day, two completely updated systems are up and running flawlessly.

On to the general lab maintenance and upkeep. Some of the more well-used experiments saw a handful of problems manifest over the course of the 2023 spring semester. The Muon Lifetime experiment developed some nasty noise on the signal coming from the top PMT. Some digging around revealed a bad cable between the PMT and the amplifier, which was easily replaced leaving the signal clean and clear. The Hall Effect in a Semiconductor had some longstanding confusion in the LabView user interface. The centerpiece of the UI was a beautiful graph of "Normalized Hall Voltage vs Temperature", only that's not what was actually being displayed. No one was sure what was being displayed but some deep diving into the LabView programming revealed the true story and now the UI accurately reflects the claim.

Now the fun stuff. Five(ish) years ago, the lab began development on a brand new experiment that explores the quantum properties of Nitrogen defects in diamonds. Unfortunately, covid happened and the experiment was covered in a blanket and relegated to the backburner. It was time to continue the work. Dust covers were removed, optical arrays were realigned, long neglected safety goggles were cleaned, and the whole experiment was fired back up. Currently, the lab manual is about a quarter finished and one of the four sequences the experiment was designed to execute is on the edge of success. The grand vision, according to the interns, includes a working NVC experiment for the students by the end of Spring 2024.

The Segrè Internship program is made possible through a generous gift from Douglas C. Giancoli.