2021 Senior Projects Conference


Room 308 Session: Join us on Zoom.

1:30 p.m.

Investigation of Lanthanide Coordination Complexes as Scintillating Materials in Organic Polymers

Team Name: Fatila Group

Team Member: Lewis Johnson

Sponsor: LaSpace Grant LEQSF (2015-2018) NNX15AH82H

Advisor: Dr. Elisabeth Fatila

Scintillating plastics are an inexpensive means of detecting a variety of ionizing radiation (X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons) from low- to high-flux environments. Most scintillating materials are either classified as inorganic (CsI, NaI) or organic scintillating agents (anthracene, naphthalene). The brightness of these scintillating materials greatly affects the performance and sensitivity of the detector. A series of scintillating plastics were fabricated utilizing lanthanide coordination compounds embedded in matrices of either polystyrene or polymethylmethacrylate. The optical properties of these lanthanide coordination complexes will be presented in various organic solvents. Preparation of the organometallic complex containing scintillating plastics proved difficult on account of the temperatures and oxygen-free environment needed for the optimal thermosetting of these materials. Screening of conditions led to the discovery that many of these organometallic-based scintillating materials degraded in solution and at temperatures exceeding 120 °C. Comparison of conditions including temperature, duration of heating type, and concentration of radical initiator for preparing polystyrene and PMMA plastics will be presented as will discussions of quality of polymer formed.

1:45 p.m.

Benchmarking Elastic Mott and Møller Scattering for P2 Experiment

Team Member: Daylen J. Griffin

Advisor: Dr. Rakitha Beminiwattha

The goal of our project is to compare theoretical scattering rates and simulated rates from electron-electron (Møller) and electron-proton elastic scattering. The results from the project will be used for benchmark studies of the electron polarimeter that has been proposed for the P2 experiment at the Mainz [Dominik Becker et al. (2018), The P2 experiment, Eur. Phys. J. A (2018) 54: 208, DOI 10.1140/epja/i2018-12611-6]. The P2 experiment’s goal is to produce an accurate measurement of weak mixing angle. The weak mixing angle is a parameter used in the standard model parameter. The electron-electron scattering has parity-violating asymmetry. From this, the weak mixing angle can be extracted by measuring the left and right helicity electron-electron scattering. Using an electron polarimeter, the left-right helicity of the electron beam can be determined by the polarization measurements of the beam.

2:00 p.m.

Data Acquisition System for Particle Physics Experiments

Team Name: DAQula

Team Members: Mitchell Adams, Scott Hotard

Sponsor: Dr. Rakitha Beminiwattha

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Hartmann, Dr. Prashanna Bhattarai

A data acquisition system is a multi-system, modular device that captures data from sensors. As a modular system, a data acquisition system is configurable and expandable to suit experimental design. The group’s data acquisition system is designed to capture data from an analog signal generated by a cosmic ray impacting a scintillator. A change of energy state within the scintillator material generates a photon, and a photomultiplier tube connected to the scintillator generates a current. The photomultiplier tube uses this current signal to produce an amplified voltage signal. An analog to digital converter translates the signal to discrete data. The data is recorded in real-time via a network connection to a lab computer. The data acquisition system has a single 8-channel analog to digital converter capable of external, internal, or software triggering. The system produces high-resolution data with a 12-bit digitizer with a sampling rate of 250 MS/s. The system is highly configurable with programmable event size and pre-/post-trigger. The system will provide a tool for Louisiana Tech to expand its experimental capabilities in the future by offering accessible, high-quality data that can be customized to the user.

2:15 p.m.

Peltier Coolers as Thermionic Generators in Regenerative Energy Applications

Team Member: Seth Quigley

Advisor: Dr. Arden Moore

The use of Peltier coolers (thermoelectric coolers–TECs) is implemented within a computer case (among other experimental setups) in order to generate useable current for charging appliances from existing heat differentials rather than creating heat gradients by dispensing current as is typically seen from these coolers. The optimizing factors and drawbacks are investigated experimentally and mathematically in order to lay the groundwork for future personal user applications of Peltier coolers in this generative way.

2:30 p.m.

Nonlinear and Chaotic Signal Application

Team Member: Jared Marcantel

Advisor: Dr. Lee Sawyer

The purpose of this project is to use a generated chaotic signal to mask and encrypt a true signal. Thus, the signal appears to be static. Then, by using math techniques, the receiver can be synchronized to the chaotic signal, and, finally, subtracted off leaving the true original signal.

2:45 p.m.

On the Solutions of Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation using Neural Network

Team Member: Jacob Boyt

Advisor: Dr. Weizhong Dai

The Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation, or NSE, can be used to model the movement of particles, solutions of which can be utilized in numerous fields. By separating the imaginary and real components of the NSE, we can use time- and space-fractional operators to solve the NSE. In this paper, we show a model soliton packet moving through free space and moving through a potential barrier step. By training the solution model on an artificial neural network, we can accurately plot the solutions of the NSE and predict how the soliton packet will travel.