Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bring a 50,000-degree plasma into your living room

13.11.2013
An online open-user experiment puts users in control of a real physics laboratory

With the rise of online open course platforms such as Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare and iTunes U, it has never been easier to teach yourself everything from American history to semiconductor manufacturing.


Remote users can operate a plasma experiment with a set of controls, shown on the left side of the screen, and watch the effect on the apparatus at PPPL using the web stream video,

Credit: A. Dominguez and A. Zwicker

These courses enable students to advance at their own pace while accessing the limitless resources available on the internet for supplemental material.

But there's a glaring exception to this cornucopia of courseware: Online physics classes that enable students to interact with a real physical experiment. While excellent online sites like Phet Interactive Simulations have developed virtual labs that simulate laboratory environments, there is no substitute for actual live experiments.

At the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), we've developed software for an experiment that can be observed and controlled from anywhere in the world.

The user can operate the experiment with a set of controls, shown on the left side of the screen, and watch the effect on the apparatus at PPPL using the web stream video, shown on the right. This "Remote Glow Discharge Experiment (RGDX)" consists of three main components:

A live-streaming video that constantly observes an experimental apparatus housed at PPPL.

A set of online controls.

Information that explains what the user observes and controls, plus more in-depth resources that explore plasma and its uses.

The RGDX consists of a hollow glass tube with air held under vacuum. Supplying a voltage of up to 2000V generates a glow discharge within. The user has control of the pressure inside the tube, the voltage supplied to the plasma and of the strength of an electromagnet surrounding the tube. Users are guided through steps that gradually increase their level of engagement and introduce them to new physical concepts and topics. If the user is interested in the physics behind the voltages, pressures and magnets, further explanations are given for each topic.

Audiences for the RGDX can range from someone simply interested in controlling a physical apparatus from afar, to an undergraduate or graduate student who wants to study phenomena such as instabilities in plasma or the physics behind plasma breakdown voltages. The RGDX can be used as a novel experimental component of either an online or in-class physics course, and the software can be adapted to a wide array of experiments.

Research Contacts:

A. Dominguez, (609) 243-2568, arturod@pppl.gov
A. Zwicker, (609) 243-2150, azwicker@pppl.gov
Abstracts:
JP8.00006 Remote control of a DC discharge experiment
Session JP8: Poster Session IV: Education and Outreach, MHD, Alpha
Heating & Computational Methods
2:00 PM-5:00 PM, Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Room: Plaza ABC

James Riordon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aps.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>