THE ELECTRONIC ALADDIN
NEWSLETTER NO. 33
High School Students Conduct Remotely-controlled Experiments at
the Synchrotron Radiation Center
Eight chemistry students from Evansville High School performed experiments
at the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC) on April 14th after touring
the facility with their teacher Rick Cole. During their visit they
set up a program on one of the beamlines which allowed them to control
the experiment and take data over the internet from their school.
Over the next week the students continued to take data and analyze
the results. On May 5th the students returned to SRC and presented
the results of their experiments in a poster session.
The AP chemistry students used the SRC Mark V beamline to take
data of four filters making use of a gold diode detector. The four
filters were made of elements of Beryllium, Boron, Aluminum, and
Titanium. Each student had the opportunity to take data of a different
filter which provided an understanding of the experimental setup.
The data was collected using Labview software, which the students
also learned how to operate remotely via the internet so that they
could take data from their high school and homes.
The remote interface consisted of the Labview software and a web
server connected to the internet through which the students could
enter the range of energies to scan, step size, and averaging parameters.
They could also view, in real time, a graph of data being taken.
After the scan was completed the students were able to download
the data for analysis.
On May 5th the students presented their work at the SRC during
a poster session. Each student focused on a different aspect of
the experiment. Calculations of transmittance and absorption were
presented for each of the four filters. Comparisons between the
data collected and the theory (Bohr model) were presented with an
assessment of any differences. Posters include explanations of how
the Aladdin electron storage ring works, as well as explaining the
details of their experimental setup.
The remote experiment was part of the active outreach program at
SRC which includes providing research experiences to middle and
high school students in order to foster their interest in science
and science careers. The project was organized by SRC outreach coordinator
Chris Moore, together with Mark Bissen and Chad Hewitt from the
SRC and Rick Cole, the advanced placement chemistry teacher at Evansville
High School. This method of interacting with high school students
holds promise as a way of allowing students to experience how data
is taken in the real world and also mesh with school curriculum
without disrupting it. The SRC plans to improve this activity and
involve more local high schools around the area in similar projects.
2. Multiple Superconducting Gaps
in MgB2 Unambiguously Established
Juan Carlos Campuzano, a member of the SRC scientific directorate,
together with his former student Adam Kaminski and several researchers
from Japan and elsewhere have uncovered evidence that unambiguously
proves that the metallic superconductor Magnesium diboride (MgB2)
has a two-band superconductivity mechanism.
The transition temperature for MgB2 is 39 K, which is the highest
known Tc for a metallic superconductor. The cause of this anomalously
high Tc is the subject of intensive study because of its importance
to understanding the fundamental physics of superconductivity as
well as for its potential industrial applications. The key to understanding
superconductivity lies with the superconducting energy gap associated
with the formation of the superconducting pairs. Previous experiments
suggested that there are two kinds of superconducting gaps in MgB2,
in contrast to both conventional and high-Tc superconductors. However,
these experiments were unable to provide a clear demonstration of
the two gaps because they lacked the ability to resolve the momentum
of the superconducting electrons. Using high-resolution angle-resolved
photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) Campuzano and his associates
were able to gather direct experimental evidence for the two-band
superconductivity in MgB2, by separately observing the superconducting
gaps of the sigma and pi bands (as well as a surface band). The
gaps have distinctly different sizes, which proves that MgB2 is
a two-gap superconductor. The results of this research were published
in the May 2003 issue of Nature.
3. Environmental Infrared Workshop
A Great Success
A workshop on infrared spectromicroscopy, focusing on environmental
applications, was held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Synchrotron
Radiation Center May 28-30, 2003. This workshop was designed for
scientists working in areas of environmental research who are users
or potential users of synchrotron-source infrared spectromicroscopy.
Twenty-seven researchers attended the workshop which was sponsored
by and held at the SRC. It was organized by Professor Carol Hirschmugl
(Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Professor
William Bleam (Department of Soil Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison),
and Dr. Bob Julian (SRC staff scientist). The three-day workshop
consisted of invited presentations, lectures, tutorials, and hands-on
experience at the SRC infrared beamline.
The workshop began with several invited presentations which included
an introduction to infrared synchrotron spectromicroscopy by Prof.
Hirschmugl, a discussion of identifying fine mineral grains using
IR spectromicroscopy by George Flynn (SUNY- Plattsburgh), an analysis
of quantification using IR spectromicroscopy by Lisa Miller (Brookhaven
National Laboratory) and an overview of environmental applications
by Wayne McKinney (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). A banquet
was held in the evening followed by a panel discussion with the
The second day consisted of lectures and tutorials on infrared
spectromicroscopy. The first session was designed to give workshop
participants an introduction to the overall use of infrared radiation
and spectroscopy. The second session dealt with the use of an infrared
microscope in a general laboratory situation. This was followed
by a session on spectromicroscopy using a synchrotron as the infrared
source, with emphasis placed on applications where the synchrotron
was absolutely necessary.
The lectures were followed by several tutorials designed to make
the participants think about what kinds of research could be done
with general laboratory spectromicroscopy and what could only be
accomplished with infrared synchrotron radiation (IR SR). The lectures
were followed by a presentation on the computer software for data
acquisition and analysis. Running in parallel to these lectures,
participants who were already familiar with IR SR were able to use
the SRC infrared beamline to measure samples of materials specific
to their areas of environmental research.
During the third day, the participants were divided into small
groups for hands-on experience on the infrared beamline. Each group
spent approximately three hours looking at sample handling, data
collection setup, simple point measurements and performing a practical
mapping exercise. Evaluations of the workshop by participants were
This summer SRC is hosting four undergraduate students through
the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The program
is designed to provide undergraduates the opportunity to do research
in laboratories under the tutelage of experienced researchers. Clay
Bennington, Midland Lutheran College, is looking at factors that
affect the stability and lifetime of the Aladdin electron beam.
His mentor is Joseph Bisognano. Hector Campa, University of Texas
at El Paso, is working with the SRC outreach coordinator Chris Moore
helping design activities for visiting 7th graders during the summer.
He is also working on a series of experiments that will demonstrate
optical phenomena of Synchrotron beamlines. Marleen Martinez, University
of Washington, is working on experiments that will help explain
and understand the multiple photoionization of Lithium molecules.
Her mentor is Ralf Wehlitz. Rene Sandin, University of Puerto Rico,
is using Infrared Spectromicroscopy to study pollen samples with
the aim of distinguishing individual pollen grains. His mentor is
Congratulations to Christian Ast who obtained his Ph.D. in Physics
from UW-Madison under the direction of Hartmut Höchst. His
dissertation was on the electronic structure of Bi(111) which he
studied using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. His last
day at SRC will be July 31, 2003 after which he will be going to
the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart,
Congratulations to John Joyce of Los Alamos National Laboratory
for his election to the chair of the SRC User Advisory Committee.
On August 4, 2003 approximately fifty physics teachers will tour
the SRC facility as part of the activities available to the participants
of the American Association of Physics Teachers annual meeting held
in Madison August 2-5.
The SRC Users’ Meeting has been moved to Saturday, October 25,
2003. Instead of an accompanying one-day workshop, multi-day workshops
on special topics along the lines of the recently held IR workshop
are planned for other times of the year. Users are welcome to suggest
topics or volunteer to organized such an event
The SRC Open House will be on September 14, 2003. This event is
open to the public and families are encouraged to attend.