Outreach

Workshops

SESEY

Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth SESEY.

Project YearProject Title Participants Summary
2017Graphene nanotechnology You will build a nanoelectronic device out of a single sheet of graphene. You'll get hands-on experience building microscopic structures, and using powerful measurement tools like an atomic force microscope.
2016Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsRyan and DevenYou will build a transistor out of a single carbon nanotube. First we'll build an accurate scale model of the transistor, then we'll make the real thing. You'll get hands-on experience with the same processes that are used to make computer chips, and with microscopes that are powerful enough to see carbon nanotubes.
2015Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsEvelyn and PolinaYou will build a transistor out of a single carbon nanotube. First we'll build an accurate scale model of the transistor, then we'll make the real thing. You'll get hands-on experience with the same processes that are used to make computer chips, and with microscopes that are powerful enough to see carbon nanotubes.
2014Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsTrey and MalerieYou will build a transistor out of a single carbon nanotube. We'll start by making an accurate scale model the transistor and then make the real thing. You will be guided through the same high-tech processes that are used to make computer chips. Once completed, you'll get hands-on experience with microscopes that are powerful enough to see carbon nanotubes.
2013Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsStephanie and YanYou will build an electrical circuit out of a carbon nanotube. We'll start with a hands on model of the circuit making process to show you some of the science behind nanoscale electronics. The next step is making the real thing. With the mentor's help you will go through the fabrication process which includes 1) Carbon Nanotube Growth, 2) Circuit patterning, 3) Depositing Metal Electrodes - these fabrication steps are also used by companies like Intel to make computer processors. Once completed, you'll get hands on experience with several special types of microscopes that allow you to “see” the carbon nanotubes which are so small that they are invisible to standard optical microscopes.
2012Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsMegan and ArekYou will build an electrical circuit out of a carbon nanotube. We'll start with a scale model of the process which you can build on your own, then move onto the real thing (chemical vapor deposition, photolithography, metal evaporation). Once you've made a circuit, you will get hands-on experience with several microscopes that allow you to see the carbon nanotubes (carbon nanotubes are so small that they are invisible to standard optical microscopes).
2011 Nanotechnology: Carbon-based electronicsMadeline and Elizabeth You will build an electrical circuit out of a carbon nanotube. We'll start with a scale model of the process which you can build on your own, then move onto the real thing (chemical vapor deposition, photolithography, metal evaporation). Once you've made a circuit, you will get hands-on experience with several microscopes that allow you to see the carbon nanotubes (carbon nanotubes are so small that they are invisible to standard optical microscopes).
2010 Atomic force microscopy of carbon nanotubes Claire and Ryan The atomic force microscope (AFM) has revolutionized science by allowing researchers to “see at the nanoscale”. In this project you will learn the principles of AFM imaging by using a working model of an AFM. This model AFM has been built so that all the parts are big enough to see in action. Once you understand the principles of AFM imaging, your mentor will help you use a real AFM to see carbon nanotubes.

Careers in Physics

Poster from the AAPT website

Find out the career statistics of recent physics graduates, see the reports from the American Institute of Physics

Physics demo shows

  • Floating beach ball (similarity with laser trap)
  • Hoover craft made from leaf blower and plywood
  • Giant bubbles
  • Green fire, methane bubbles
  • Floating superconductor
  • Swinging a pale of water
  • Crushing soda cans
  • Standing waves on a rope, with a strobe
  • Sterling engine
  • Rotating chair
  • Jacobs ladder (connect to lighting, connect to speed of sound and measuring distance)
  • Make a geyser?

Movies:

  • Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse
  • Myth busters car crashes
  • High frame rate slow motion videos

Outreach resources

AFM kits

Bring along:

  • laptop
  • CNT model
  • Scissors

Teaching resources

Graphene lattice ready to be printed on transparencies and cut into smaller pieces so that participants can roll carbon nanotubes of various chiralities.
High resolution graphene latticeHigh resolution image of a graphene lattice

Gold Wire Experiment

This activity uses two gold wires to demonstrate quantum effects in electron transport. When the wires are in contact with each other and a voltage source a current will flow through the completed circuit. But as the wires separate from one another, a small junction of gold atoms forms keeping the wires electrically connected for a brief time. This junction pulls apart similar to silly puddy where the material thins down until it breaks. When the gold junction thins down less atoms are contributing to carrying a current. This leads to discrete drops in the measured circuit current that correspond to single or small groups of gold atoms breaking off to one side of the stretched out junction. A power point explanation of the experiment can be found here.

Gold Wire ApparatusPhoto of Setup.
OscilloscopeMeasured current steps during break process.
Cover RemovedMetal Cover helps shield outside sources of electrical noise.
Gold Wire MountsThe gold wires are mounted in place. One of the wires is attached to a micromanipulator to help position the wires.
Current PreamplifierA homemade current preamplifier turns the circuit current into a scaled voltage that is measured with an oscilloscope.
Front with electronics cover off Front of electronics box with power switch and bnc outputs.

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