I have only been at my internship in the physics department at the University of Winnipeg for 6 hours and I already feel as though I have learned a great deal about a new and fascinating area of physics. I’m currently working with a graduate student of Dr. Blair Jamieson, a professor who was involved in the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics, to develop an improved neutron detector. The end goal of the detector is to provide data for research seeking to understand how electromagnetic fields affect the quantum spins of neutrons.
Before leaving for SHAD, I called up my friend who is very interested in physics and who attended the University of Waterloo’s physics camp while I was at SHAD. I asked him if he would be interested in joining me at this internship and he jumped right on board.
On the first day of the internship, my friend and I were introduced to the research conducted thus far regarding neutrons and their quantum spins. I had seen the device myself before leaving for SHAD, and now I was learning about the fundamental physics behind its functions, the data it was collecting and the analysis of the data.
Afterward, we broke for a short lunch and my friend and I discussed that we might like to use what we learned at the internship to develop a science fair project. It would be the first one I have done in a long time, so it would make for a great re-introduction.
Following lunch, we met up with the grad student again and went to the lab where the device sits and where they have a computer set up for designing parts for the detector. We had the opportunity to learn how to use CAD software and then designed a few parts which would later be uploaded to a simulator to test how they would hold up in the real world. We created different designs of the same part, and then opened the simulator to learn how it worked and to look at the code behind it. Later on, we will be trying out the different designs of the part to learn which one provides the highest quality of data and would thus be best for use in the real device.
I learned a great deal in one day and I’m very eager to go back and learn more throughout the rest of the month.