Scholar: Alex Farkas
Major: Electrical Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Darling
Research Topic: "The Influence of Electrical Charge on the Mechanical Properties of Metals "
Abstract: This experiment will attempt to investigate the effect of free charging a spherical conductor through changes in its natural vibration frequencies. In pulsed power experiments at the Nevada Terawatt Facility, wires achieve a state of high charge over the course of a few nanoseconds. In this timeframe, it is unclear what state transitions the wires undergo, if any. This experiment may shed light on this process.
The measurement technique employed in this experiment will be resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS). RUS is capable of detecting minute changes in resonant frequency, which are a function of elastic constants, and influenced by the distance and restorative force between adjacent atoms. As the conductor is charged, its atomic structure will undergo an expansive effect, due to electrostatic forces. This expansion will change the resonant frequencies. Because charges reside at the surface of the conductor, it is expected that Rayleigh waves will be affected more dramatically than normal vibrational modes.
The results of this experiment suggest that charging the conductor has an effect on the third order elastic constants of the system. Additionally, distinct differences between the response of the conductor at high frequencies and low frequencies were observed.
Graduated With Baccalaureate Degree: Spring 2008
Masters or Doctoral Program Update: Accepted into a Master's Program in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, San Diego in the fall of 2008. Graduated in May 2010.