'09-'10 Logbooks 2009 - 2010 Projects

See Voicethread presentions on 2009-2010 research projects here!

(Sign up to express your interest in the 2010 - 2011 course here .)

Several continuing students have projects already underway: in Atomic Force Microscopy studies of attachment strategies for DNA tiling on silicon; in temperature studies of alkanethiols on gold using STM; and in astroimaging. Additional studies in bioinformatics (details to come) are also now being launched.

New students can choose from a variety of projects. Workable projects require an experienced mentor, a clear focus, and a timescale that enables substantial progress with one or more clear endpoints to be achieved in six to nine months. Other aspects to be considered are the location where research would be done and the schedules of the student researcher(s) and mentor(s).

Some available projects require only an internet connection to access data and analysis tools, and others require additional equipment.

Three project areas that require no additional equipment use e-Labs: online research environments written for high school student researchers. e-Labs wrap together data, analysis tools, some help for climbing the learning curve and some online collaboration tools all together in one place.

1. The LIGO e-Lab presents seismic data detected at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)'s two stations (Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA). LIGO seeks to observe the heavens by detecting gravitational waves through interferometry; seismic waves from all over the world are part of the competing noise LIGO must filter to detect the cosmic sources (like a pair of black holes colliding) for gravitational waves. The student selecting this project is likely to work with other teachers, students, and perhaps LIGO scientists to map LIGO's worldwide seismic sensitivity. It is likely that the student(s) involved in this project will interact with e-Lab developers from Fermilab, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. See an earlier SJHS research class beginning of this project, and something of its current status .

2. The Cosmic Ray e-Lab presents muon data from detectors in hundreds of high school classrooms throughout the US (and some internationally.) We have a detector (several, in fact) to upload our own data, but there is plenty of data to work with online already, and interesting environments to re-present and blend cosmic ray data with other sorts of data. Like the LIGO project only to a greater extent, this project involves work with intelligent mapping software (like Google Maps, Earth, etc.) See this earlier SJHS research class beginning of this project, and something of its current status . Students working on this project could split their time between working with hardware at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, and working with the e-Lab from any location.

3. The CMS e-Lab is under development; currently a version using test beam data is in beta, and a version using simulated data is under development, awaiting run data that should be available sometime in 2010. A student working in this area would learn a good bit of particle physics, and would be the first student in the nation (probably) to do research with data from LHC detectors, at least from CMS (which is one of two general purpose LHC detectors.)

Other available areas of research require the use of specialized instrumentation. A suite of portable scanning probe microscopy instrumentation has been set up--three kinds of scanning instruments in one location--in Jordan Hall on the ND campus. There are many directions which projects using one or more of these instruments ( STM, AFM, SEM) might take.

There are also a number of astronomy projects we might consider, for which we have a research mentor and some preliminary direction already established.