Akron Phy sics Club

Archive 2011   

January  Michael Fisch - Electron Beam Processing of Materials
February  Dan Galehouse - The Pauli Exclusion Principle
March  Steven Hauck - Mercury and the Messenger Mission
April  Lakshmikumar (Kumar) Pillai - Physics of Doppler Ultrasonography and Cardiovascular Evaluation
May  Chrys Wesdemiotis - Mass Spectrometry Methods for the Characterization of New Synthentic Polymers and Self-Assembling Supramolecules
September  Owen Lovejoy - An Update on Ardipithecus Ramidus

William King - Development of III-V Compound Semiconductor Quantum Dots

November Joe Payer - The University of Akron Corrosion and Reliability Engineering Program--Fighting the $400 Billion Annual Costs of Corrosion





Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, January 24, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Michael Fisch

will be speaking on:

Electron Beam Processing of Materials

Radiation processing of materials was initiated after WW II when it was discovered that ionizing radiation can have a profound influence on the physical properties of materials. In more recent years the dangers of gamma sources have lead to radiation processing being performed using electron beams. This talk will review the basic physics and chemistry of radiation processing with a focus on high energy electrons. The NEO Beam facility in NE Ohio provides a convenient location for electron beam processing and experiments. This facility will be described and some properties of its beam discussed. Finally, two emerging applications of this technology developed at this facility: sheet molding compound thickening and reduction of molecular weight of cellulose acetate cigarette filters will be discussed.

The Speaker:
Mike Fisch was born in Oak Ridge Tennessee and grew up in Schenectady, NY and Beachwood, Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physics from John Carroll University in 1974 and 75 respectively, and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard in 1980. Presently he is on the faculty of the College of Technology at Kent State University. Previously he was Director of the Electron Beam Program at Kent and a clean room instructor and researcher at the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State. Before that he was a full professor of Physics at John Carroll University. He holds 3 patents and has authored over 50 papers; he has mentored two Ph.D. students and many master’s degree students. He is author of the text Liquid Crystals, Laptops and Life published by World Scientific. He is member of the American Physical Society, The American Chemical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is married; he and his wife have two grown sons. In his spare time he enjoys repairing and using tube radios, and antennas.

Minutes, January 24, 2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the January 24, 2011, meeting of APC:


  Bob Erdman introduced Will Jack from Hudson High School who has been doing physics experiments in his basement. Dan Galehouse, Treasurer, reported that 23 People are attending tonight’s meeting. We gained $4.00 in the treasury from this meeting, thus our balance went from $278.45 to $282.45, kept in our polypropylene treasury box.

  Charles Lavan, Program Chair, reported that in February, our own Dr. Dan Galehouse will discuss the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

  In March, Dr. Steven Hauck will be discussing the NASA Messenger Program involving geophysics and planetary structures. (Dr. Fritch who was originally considered for this meeting has retired, is now declining speaking engagements, but may come to some of our future meetings.)

  In April, Dr. Pillai from West Virginia University School of Medicine will discuss ultrasound physics for medical applications. He is Pad Pillai’s son.

  In May, we expect to have Dr. Owen Lovejoy from KSU who will update us on Ardi and Bipedalism. He is at University of Virginia until spring, but expects to be back here for the May 23 meeting.

  We already have two speakers for the fall of 2011: In September, Dr. Heather Wilson of Case Western University will speak on galactic structures, since Sam says that we should always open with a lady speaker. In October, Greg Wilson will speak.

  Bob Erdman reported that ACESS had a joint meeting with the Society for plastics. Mr. Joseph Gingo of A. Schulman Inc. spoke on "Challenges and Opportunities for a U.S.-based Plastics Company in the Global Marketplace". The strategies presented were pertinent to many industries. Jonah reported that the website is now operating without difficulty.


  Program Chairman Charles Lavan introduced our speaker, Dr. Michael Fisch, on the faculty of the College of Technology at Kent State University. He talked about the electron beam [ebeam] facility near Middlefield, which is jointly operated by Kent State University, for research work, and by Mercury Plastics, to produce product.

  NOTES ON Dr. FISCH’S TALK: The ebeam facility is an $8-million stand-alone building, necessitated by production requirements, as opposed to a research-only electron beam apparatus. Two of the applications for ebeam processing in industrial processes are 1) to change the waste from production of sheet molding compound, such as used for cafeteria trays from hazardous to disposable waste, and 2) to facilitate degradation of cellulose acetate used in cigarette filters. Ebeam processing creates chemical changes in matter brought about by interaction of the material with high energy electron beams, above the ionization energy, in the kev to Mev range. Such work began after World War II, when those doing high-energy research work noticed that when beams interacted with materials, the materials changed. By the 1950s, such methods were in use for sterilization and for increasing cross-linking in polymers. Compared to other processes, ebeam processing does not involve catalysts which are a hazardous waste disposal problem. The ebeam process is relatively repeatable and controllable, does not require temperature environments, and since it is essentially an electron beam scan like a oscilloscope, the key parameters of time and beam energy are easily controlled. Compared to other sterilization techniques, ebeam sterilization can be expensive.

  From the physics point of view, this is simply a collision process between the incident electron beam and the material. There is both a collision energy and a radiation energy associated with this, in the form of Bremsstrahlung and other forms of radiation, including some xrays. For low atomic number materials the collision energy predominates. At higher atomic numbers and higher energies, the radiation component predominates. Dr. Fisch discussed the penetration depth, which is dependent on the energy of ebeam. At the incident surface, only collisions with incident electrons occur. Some secondary electrons are released, and create more collisions further into the material, so collision rate varies with depth. In water, a 1.8MeV beam can penetrate about 1cm, a 4.7MeV beam penetrates about 2cm, and a 10.6MeV beam will penetrate about 5cm. From the chemical viewpoint, the ebeam creates many free radicals, which increase cross-linking of molecular chains [the analogy presented that cross-linking is like turning spaghetti into rubber]. This degrades the chains, such as making Teflon powder, and creates oxidation, producing many kinds of free radicals involving various oxide combinations.

  Dr. Fisch likened the ebeam apparatus to a large cathode-ray tube [CRT], a few stories high which scans the ebeam back and forth across a sample, which is not in the vacuum. The beam is electrostatically controlled, as in a CRT tube. The accelerator vessel is a few stories tall. The scan area of the beam is about 4 feet X 6 feet. Current is generally in the range of 50-100mA. Max power is 150kW [A clear-channel AM radio station is 50kW as a reference]. The beam can be varied from 0.7 to 5 MeV. The beam pattern on the sample is a rectangle about 120cm to 140cm in length x 40 to 80cm width, increasing with beam strength.

  One application for this process is Sheet Molding Compound. This involves styrene, which has a distinctive odor and is considered a hazardous waste, which is expensive to handle and dispose of. Another issue with the material is variability of mechanical properties. Ebeam irradiation converts semi-liquid styrene to a gel, stabilizing it and reducing the mechanical variability and increasing shelf life. It also converts the material to a non-hazardous waste. In spite of these advantages, patents for the process were not granted, and ultimately the University lost interest in funding the project. Another application is to create more cross-linking in cellulose acetate, the material used for cigarette filters. Over 95% of cigarettes in the US have a filter. 389 billion cigarettes were produced in the US in 2005. The data indicates that the lower molecular weight, the more easily the filter will degrade. Tests done in the facility showed that Ebeam irradiation reduces the molecular weight by about a factor of two. When a patent was applied for, it was learned that Philip Morris had filed for a patent on essentially the same process about 2 weeks prior. Today the facility is used commercially to increase cross-linking in plastic water pipes that are used in home construction. Irradiation sterilizes the plastic and improves its mechanical characteristics. While ebeam processing is not a universal tool, such a facility is expensive to build, and it did not realize all the envisioned possibilities, the process does fill some niches described above, and operates on a fairly straight-forward technology,

Dr. Fisch handled many questions. We thanked him for his presentation. If you want more detail on this talk, a copy of the slides is available by contacting me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Submitted by Bob Erdman, Secretary


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, February 28, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Dan Galehouse

will be speaking on:

The Pauli Exclusion Principle

The Pauli principle has broad relevance and has at present no accepted elementary explanation. It is fundamental to almost all areas of physics, being essential to the theory of stable matter. The principle was initially developed by Pauli as an explanation of the periodic table. Quantum mechanics connected these early concepts with the fundamental particle spin and observations in quantum statistical mechanics. The Dirac electron theory led to early 'proofs' of the principle by Pauli himself. These initial observations have been found to have wide applicability, including molecular systems, nuclei, and elementary particles. Modern attempts using axiomatic field theory have offered precise statements but little physical understanding.

The speaker's interest in the subject began with some laboratory observations in molecular spectroscopy. The enigmatic nature of these spectra gave rise to a long term interest in the theory of spinors and the associated mechanisms that give rise to the exclusion principle. The theoretical developments have advanced to become a geometry based an eight dimensional 'spinor space'. The broad implications include an elucidation of the origins of the Pauli principle. An elementary introduction to spinor space will be offered followed by its application to the mechanism of exclusion. New applications in atomic and molecular calculations are suggested and a number of issues are opened in nuclear and particle physics.

The Speaker:
Dr. Galehouse is a long-time member (and Treasurer) of the Akron Physics Club and an Akron area local. While growing up, long stays in foreign countries interrupted a simple life in Ohio. Excursions were to Sweden, France and Italy. Adventures often included ocean voyages, propeller plane transportation and school work in foreign languages. Eventually, undergraduate studies at MIT offered a measure of stability and a degree in physics. This subject became a vocation and avocation, extending possibly to an obsession, especially for certain types of geometrical theories. A stint at Berkeley concluded with his PhD. degree in Molecular Spectroscopy. From there, he went on to an industrial position in film manufacturing at Polaroid corporation. This was followed by work in high intensity discharge lamp design for General Electric. There were a few years spent teaching physics at the University of Akron. He continues to work on experiment development in the polymer institute. This regimen is interrupted by occasional consulting projects and teaching opportunities. His interest in geometrical theory has continued since the late 1960's and, has come to include gravity, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and spin.

Minutes, February 28, 2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the February 28 meeting: 


  Dan Galehouse introduced Chris Cole, and Rick Nemer both from University or Akron.

  Darrell Reneker introduced 3 students from University of Akron.

  Dan Galehouse, Treasurer, reported that he had a discussion with the speaker [himself] and the result was that the speaker “sneeked” money into the polyethylene polypropylene treasury box, and the Treasurer did not argue the point. Probably due to the fact he was wearing so many hats, Dan did not have a correct total treasury balance at the meeting, but later reported that there is $288.45 now in the treasury.

  Charles Lavan, Program Chair, reported that in March, Dr. Steven Hauck of Case Western Reserve University and NASA will be discussing planetary geophysics and the NASA Messenger Probe which is sending information on the planet Mercury.

  In April, Dr. Pillai from West Virginia School of Medicine will discuss improvements in ultrasound physics for medical applications. He is Pad Pillai’s son.

  In May, we have a hole to fill. We expect to have Dr. Owen Lovejoy from KSU update us on Ardi and Bipedalism in September. Charles will arrange a speaker for May.

  Bob Erdman reported that he heard an interesting talk presented by a Vice-President of Austin Biomedical Institute at the Engineer’s Week dinner, which was well attended.


  Ernst introduced the speaker, Dr. Dan Galehouse, whom he has known for over 25 years. He got his degrees from MIT and Berkeley, and has fixed Ernst’s [rather old] equipment for years at University of Akron. He has an intense interest in and done a lot of work in both theoretical and experimental physics. He teaches in the Physics Department and consults in the Polymer Institute at the University of Akron.


  The talk is based on a 2008 presentation in Italy at a conference on the Pauli Exclusion Principle. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is a topic that has interested Dan for many years. Unlike many of our talks, this topic is in the realm of an area evolving theoretical physics, rather than a completed work or product or process that is completely understood. I found the talk fascinating because it concerns fundamental work in the area of proving the Pauli Exclusion Principle. This work is tedious, difficult, and well understood by only a few people in the world, such as Dan and others at the 2008 conference where he presented it. The work and has been in process for many years, and has not come to a final conclusion. There are differing views on it, and no simple well-defined answers, which to my mind is typical of many areas of theoretical physics as they are being developed.

  The central question was stated by Dr. Richard Feynman, as quoted by Neuenschwander: “Why is it the particles with half-integer spin are Fermi particles, whose amplitudes add with a minus sign, whereas particles with integer spin are Bose particles whose amplitudes add with a plus sign? We apologize for the fact that we cannot give you an elementary explanation.”

  Dan has worked on this question for decades. He agrees with Feynman that there is no elementary explanation, and presented some of the things that Dan has considered in trying to resolve this and related questions. Below is a list of some comments related to this and other questions, as I [the Secretary] understood them. I will email you a copy of the slides on request, and Dan and I are working on getting an edited copy of the MP3 recording of the talk [now about 100MB] on his website. Dan attends most of our meetings and will be happy to fill in details if you ask him.

* Pauli defined that only one electron can be in a given state.
* Dirac further determined there is only one possible transition between states.
* Discussing the symmetry: |<m,n=+|n,m>, where + = Bose-Einstein statistics, and - = Fermi-Dirac statistics.
Fermi-Dirac statistics are more fundamental that Bose-Einstein.
* Pauli’s proof is based on the fact that improper statistics are not allowed, therefore only one electron can be in a given state.
* Similar situations exist in nuclear physics, and Dan has observed interference in rotational spectra, wherein alternate lines are excluded.
* There is no direct proof that the Pauli exclusion principle can be extended to nuclear physics, and no simple proof of the Pauli exclusion principle for electrons.
* One way to analyze the problem is to use spinor space, a construct Dan has develoepd for various problems, based on spinors, as defined by Dirac. In spinor space, there are four dimensions, each with real and imaginary components, thus an 8-dimensional space.
* We can intuitively visualize 3-dimensional space, but not spaces having more dimensions.
* A way to conceptualize spinor space calculations is to develop a concept of a particle wave in a space-time framework before undergoing an interaction, non-intuitively calculate the impact of the interactions in spinor space, then interpret the results in the same space-time framework and compare the results.
* An example of this was shown, using a single electron. The theoretical analysis in spinor space agrees with the observations in [3-dimensional] space and time.
* An interesting advantage of the spinor space concept is that it can simplify calculations significantly. Dan showed an example where the use of spinor space simplified the calculations to the point where about 10e10 memory cells were needed, vs. over 10e100 required without using spinor space.
* Dan hopes to continue this work and develop more useful and perhaps easier ways of analyzing interactions based on this work.

  Submitted by Bob Erdman, Secretary, March 20, 2011.


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, March 28, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Steven A. Hauck, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University

will be speaking on:

Mercury and the Messenger Mission

On March 17, 2011 NASA's Mercury Surface Space Environment Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) Mission is scheduled to become the first spacecraft to ever enter orbit about the planet Mercury. Prior to the launch of MESSENGER in August, 2004, the only previous spacecraft visits to Mercury were three flybys by Mariner 10 in 1974 and 1975 resulting in collection of images of ~45% of the planet's surface. The Mariner 10 spacecraft also made the surprising discovery that Mercury also hosts an intrinsic magnetic field. The innermost planet in our Solar System represents an important cornerstone to our understanding of the planet formation and evolution. Among its many enigmas, Mercury is a surprisingly dense planet, implying a much larger ratio of metal to rock in its interior than the other terrestrial planets, with as yet no single clear cause. Mercury's surface also hosts a wide variety of geologic phenomena that suggest an intriguing evolution, ranging from several kilometer high and hundreds of kilometers long tectonic ridges, to varied volcanic features, and potential deposits of volatiles at the north pole. The MESSENGER mission represents a first opportunity to study Mercury up close and in detail to probe its history, its interior, its origins, and extend our understanding of how planets form. We'll discuss the MESSENGER project, its scientific goals, and what we are learning already.

The Speaker:
Prof. Hauck received his undergraduate training in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota and doctoral training in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. His main research interests focus on generically on the exploration of terrestrial planetary bodies and more specifically on the dynamics and history of the interiors of planets. Currently, Prof. Hauck is a Participating Scientist on NASA's MESSENGER Mission to Mercury and involved in the collection and analysis of data on the topographic and gravitational variations of that planet.

Minutes, March 28,2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the March 28 meeting:

  Charlie Wilson introduced visiting Students from Akron University and his son Will. David Sours introduced his nephew.

  Dan Galehouse, Treasurer, reported that there are 25 people at tonight’s meeting. This netted us $6 which added to last month’s balance of $288.45 gives us $294.45 now in the treasury. The student dinner Fund is now exhausted and Dan encouraged contributions to the Fund. The treasury will pay for two of the 3 students tonight, and any other student dinners.

  Charles Lavan, Program Chair, reported that in April, Dr. Pillai from West Virginia School of Medicine at West Virginia University will discuss improvements in ultrasound physics for medical applications. He is long-time member Pad Pillai’s son.

  Charles will arrange a speaker for May. [The day after the meeting, Dr Chrys Wesdemiotis accepted our invitation to speak on mass spectrometery issues at our May meeting.]

Dr. Owen Lovejoy from KSU will update us on Ardi and Bipedalism in September.
Gerald Walker, Author of the “Flying Circus of Physics” will talk in October.
In November Heather Morrison from Case will speak on Black Holes.

  Charlie Wilson will send out an email requesting nominations for officer positions, very much including self nominations. [This has now been done.] Chairman Ernst encouraged those who attend regularly to get involved.


  Charles Lavan introduced the speaker, Dr. Steven Hauck, Associate professor of Geological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, with a focus on planetary sciences and geodynamics. He is a member of the Messenger Project team at NASA. His work focuses on the interior and dynamics of planets.


Mercury and the MESSENGER Project

  Data on his project is coming in from the MESSENGER project, starting tonight. We appreciate his being here in spite of this exciting real-time event.

  The interest in Mercury is based on the fact that it is the least explored inner planet, we know the least about it, and it has many very unique characteristics compared to the other rocky planets. We can also learn things about planetary formation through such studies. Mercury’s proximity to the sun makes it difficult to study with earth-based telescopes or even the Hubbell telescope. The orbital mechanics are difficult due to the small size of Mercury, the close proximity to the sun and the very small spacecraft mass. It took until 1980 to understand these mechanics well enough to do a useful calculation of a spacecraft’s orbit around Mercury.

  Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, at distance of 0.4 earth-sun distances. The Mercury year is 88 earth-days long and the Mercury day that is 59 earth days. Thus this unusual orbit consists of roughly 3 days in a Mercury year. This was first observed in the 1960s. Temperatures at the equator have a “hot pole” and a “warm pole”. It speeds up and slows down as it goes around the sun, due to reversing torques. This “vibration” relates to the nature of the liquid core of Mercury. Mercury is about 5% of the mass of the earth, and 2400 km in radius, smaller than the largest moons of Jupiter [Ganymede] and Saturn [Titan]. It has the highest density of a solid planet other than earth, implying there may be more metal in the core than silica rock. The specific gravity is 5.4. Gravity is the same as on the surface of Mars, even though it is 100km smaller in radius. The day-to-night temperature change is 620 to 720F, and the average temperature is 440 F. The weak magnetic field is about 0.1% of the earth’s magnetic field. Other planets close to their sun have been discovered in other solar systems. Mercury seems to have similar characteristics to these, and it has similarities to our moon.

  In 1974 and 1975, MARINER-10 made 3 - 4 orbits of Mercury, discovering that it had a significant magnetic field and a very tenuous atmosphere. One member of the Mariner team is also on the MESSENGER team. MARINER-10 imaged about 45% of the surface, and discovered Mercury’s magnetosphere, which is smaller but has some similar characteristics to the earth’s magnetosphere. MARINER-10 also observed Colorus, the largest impact basin on Mercury, about 1500km across.

  The MESSENGER was launched 5.4 years ago, and had a budget of $450 million. It went into orbit around Mercury on March 17 of this year. Mission objectives included understanding the high density, the history of the surface of Mercury, and why the magnetic field similar in character to that of the earth. Fuel is designed to last for a one-year mission, 740 orbits. As of this talk, 21 orbits have been completed.

  Much more information was obtained on Colorus. The MESSENGER provided new information on surface characteristics, and features such as the ”rays” which look like lines between impact areas, always with overlapping crusts. This led to the conclusion that Mercury is shrinking over time. The data is good enough to get information on layers of material on the crust as it formed. It is different than our moon, which started with a molten crust, then cooled. By studying surface data, they hope to be able to tell the amount of magma vs. solid core. This will relate to the magnetoshperical data, and a “dynamo” model of Mercury. Images and data from Messenger will analyze the surface, materials in the “tail” left in the wake of Mercury, and its magnetosphere.

  Passive cooling is used to cool all MESSENGER systems in spite of the temperature environment. This is achieved by a massive “sunshade”. The MESSENGER orbit is designed so that it gets closer to Mercury’s surface for awhile, then further away, in order to cool off. It starts out at about 200km above the surface, then goes out to 400km, then rockets are fired to bring the orbit back down. Some orbits go out to 1500 km away from the surface, mainly on the southern hemisphere. For the next two weeks, proper operation of all systems will be verified. All systems are expected to be operating by April 4 of this year.

  Dr. Hauck handled some questions on details of the mission and design, and we thanked him for an excellent presentation.
  The website for the mission is http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/index.html  This has a lot of detailed data and information, and will track the mission as it progresses.

  Submitted by Bob Erdman, Secretary


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, April 25, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Lakshmikumar (Kumar) Pillai, Associate Professor of Surgery, West Virginia University Medical Center

will be speaking on:

Physics of Doppler Ultrasonography and Cardiovascular Evaluation 

The physical principles underlying the development of Doppler Ultrasonography and its use in medical imaging will be presented. Current applications of this technology in the non-invasive diagnosis of cardiovascular disease will be reviewed.

The Speaker:
We contacted Dr. Kumar Pillai through his father, Dr. Pad Pillai, who is a long-time member of Akron Physics Club.
Dr. Kumar Pillai is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the West Virginia University Medical Center in Morgantown West Virginia. He has been Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery there for the last 10 years. He got his MD from the West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1984 and his BS in Chemistry, with honors, from Kent state University in 1980. He has published over 20 papers in medical and chemical journals, appeared in over 10 peer-reviewed videos, and is often asked to chair or be on discussion panels.

Minutes, April 25, 2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the April 25 meeting:

  We had a couple of returning students (Esra Cipa & Alexander Boehm).

  Dan Galehouse, Treasurer, reported that the previous balance of $294.45 must be compensated by the amount owed from the student fund. There were two students at 2 x $19 = $38 with only $ 4 left in the fund. In addition, a residual sum of $4 from an overpayment by R. Wright has been added into the total to bring the balance down by $30 to $264.45. There are 21 people at tonight’s meeting, but there are two students and the speaker, making three unpaid meals. The loss is 3 x $19 = $57. In addition, there is a gain of $21 ($1 per person charged over the Tangiers rate) and a donation by Russ Hamm of $18 to cover a missed meal. The net change is $21 + $18 - $57 = - $18. This brings the treasury from $264.45 down to $246.45.

  Charles Lavan, Program Chair, reported that in September, Dr. Owen Lovejoy from KSU will update us on Ardi and Bipedalism.
Jearl Walker, author of the “Flying Circus of Physics” will not be able to talk in October. Dr. Heather Morrison from Case, originally scheduled for November, may be able to speak on Black Holes in October, with her husband, also an Astronomer. Dr. Chris Martin from Oberlin may be talking in January.

  Charles, of course, will arrange a November speaker.

  Charlie Wilson discussed nominations for officer positions for the coming year. He proposed we stay with the present officers for another year, since no new nominations were forthcoming: Ernst von Meerwall, Chairman; Darrell Reneker, Vice Chairman; Charles Lavan, Program Chair; Bob Erdman, Secretary and ACESS representative; Dan Galehouse, Treasurer and ACESS representative; John Kirzenberg, Webmaster; Dave Sours, Name Tag Marshall; and Charlie Wilson, Nominating and meeting arrangements chair. Charlie’s report was accepted by acclamation, and it was moved that the proposed slate be accepted as is. This motion was approved by acclamation. Ernst encouraged others to get involved and be willing to be nominated.


  Dr. Pad Pillai [Sr.], longtime member of Akron Physics Club, proudly introduced his son, Dr. Kumar Pillai, our speaker for tonight. Kumar got his M.D. from West Virginia University School of Medicine at Morgantown, and his B. S. from Kent State University, with honors. He received a fellowship in General Vascular Surgery at University of South Florida in Tampa. For the last 10 years he has been Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the West Virginia University Hospitals at Morgantown, where he also is the Director of the Vascular Laboratory. He has written over 25 papers and book chapters, and done a lot of work which Dr. Pillai Sr. is reading about for the first time tonight.

NOTES ON Dr. KUMAR PILLAI’S TALK ON: The Physics of Doppler Ultrasonography.

  Dr. Roentgen, who discovered X-rays, was one of the first to image the human body. Prior to his work, surgeons could not see the problem without invading the body. Dr. Alexis Correl developed a technique for surgically repairing blood vessels, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. In the 1920s, Dr. Werner Forssman in Germany developed the technique for using dye which is opaque to X-rays to make what we today know as an angiogram. He was fired from his position because permission to do the experiments was denied. He got the Nobel Prize work his work in this area. Dr. Egas Monez applied these techniques to arterial rather than venal observation. He won a Nobel Prize for his work in developing techniques for performing lobotomies, which permitted many patients in Europe afflicted with syphilis to be de-institutionalized.

  In the 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. Judkins from Oregon and Dr. Sones from the Cleveland Clinic were responsible for the development of cardiac catheterization. Dr. Dotter moved these techniques from the heart to the peripheral blood vessels with such techniques as balloons and stents. Today angiograms and arteriograms are still the “gold standard” of blood vessel imaging. These techniques are used in modern Catheterization Labs to investigate problems with blood vessels anywhere in the body. This involves the injection of iodinated contrast substances into the blood stream, which are somewhat toxic; either high osmolar ionic contrast substances or low osmolar non-ionic materials. These techniques are still invasive, and can lead to blood clots and other problems, including allergic reactions to the substances in some people.

  In the 1970s Dr. Eugene Strandness developed techniques using non-invasive Doppler ultrasonography. He was junior resident in gastric physiology at University of Washington, and asked to look at an obscure area of vascular disease. Doppler ultrasound techniques permit non-invasive measurements of blood vessel problems. Most blood vessels are close enough to the surface of the body to effectively couple sound energy at a frequency of 2-12 MHz into the blood vessels. The Doppler technique can measure the motion of the blood in the vessel by monitoring the frequency of the returned signal, which is related to the flow rate of the red blood cells. Both continuous-wave and pulsed-wave systems are used. Pulsed-wave techniques provide more precision and are used when quantitative results are needed, including various regions within the blood vessel.

  The wavefront is introduced at the Doppler angle, 45-65 degrees off axis from the blood vessel. Quantitatively, the technique can determine how much the blood flow is reduced due to plaque and blockage. This can be detected by direct observation of the ultrasound amplitudes at MHz frequencies, or through waveform analysis of audible signals related to the envelope of the ultrasound wave. This makes characteristic sounds which are distinctly different in normal vs. blocked blood vessels, due to less blood flow. These non-invasive measurements correlate well with the invasive catheterization techniques. Comparisons are made between the audible sounds in the arms and legs and specific regions of these limbs to determine the location of the blood vessel disease. The Venturi Effect and the Bernoulli Effect determine that pressure increases across a blockage and blood flow through the blockage is reduced. Stress testing may make the effect more pronounced. Poiseuille’s Law states that flow is directly proportional to the fourth power of the radius in blood vessels, and the pressure drop is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the radius.

  The Doppler ultrasound technique is an effective alternative to the invasive catheterization techniques toward assessing Deep-Vein Thrombosis [DVT], peripheral arterial disease [PAD]. The analysis is enhanced by combining it with normal ultrasound measurements to provide even more reliable detection of such blood vessel problems. These non-invasive techniques do not involve the risk of stroke or clots associated with the invasive catheterization techniques. It has revolutionized the investigation of blood vessels since its early development in the 1980s.

  We peppered Dr. Pillai with many questions on the techniques and life style implications, and we thanked him for an excellent presentation.

  Submitted by Bob Erdman, Secretary. (Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want a copy of the slides used in this presentation.)


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: May 23, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis

will be speaking on:

Mass Spectrometry Methods for the Characterization of New Synthetic Polymers and Self-Assembling Supramolecules

Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) have enabled mass spectrometry (MS) analyses for a wide variety of synthetic polymers. MS experiments provide the mass-to-charge ratios (m/z) of the constituent n-mers of a polymeric analyte, from which compositional heterogeneity, molecular weight, and functionality distributions can be deduced. Considerable challenges still exist, however. Polymerizations often create complex mixtures that are difficult or impossible to characterize by single-stage MS because of discrimination effects in the ionization and detection steps and/or because a polymer may contain isobaric components or a mixture of isomeric architectures that cannot be identified by m/z measurement alone. These problems can partly be resolved by combining MS with fragmentation and a second stage of mass analysis, i.e. by tandem mass spectrometry (MS2) studies. This will be demonstrated for styrene homo- and copolymers, whose MS2 characteristics reveal unequivocally the corresponding architecture (linear vs. cyclic), functionality location (at the chain end or in-chain), and comonomer sequence.

For the characterization of more complex systems, MS and MS2 must be combined with separation methods, such as liquid chromatography (LC) or ion mobility (IM) spectrometry. Interactive LC is found ideally suitable for the separation of oligomer mixtures with constituents of different polarities. This capability will be illustrated for poly(ethylene oxide) / poly(propylene oxide) copolymers as well as sorbitan-based nonionic surfactants.

IM-MS may be also viewed as a chromatographic method that disperses post-ionization according to m/z and shape. Since it does not involve interactions with a stationary phase, it is particularly useful for weakly bonded species. Our group has applied IM-MS to characterize supramolecular polymers, self-assembled from designed building blocks via noncovalent interactions. Self assembly generally creates many isomers and conformers (architectures); these can be separated and identified by IM-MS. Further insight about the binding interactions in these materials is gained by their dissociation energetics, assessed through gradient IM-MS2 experiments.

The Speaker:
Chrys Wesdemiotis received his PhD with Helmut Schwarz at Technische Universität Berlin in 1979. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Fred W. McLafferty at Cornell University in 1980. After completing his military service in Greece (1981-3), he returned to Cornell as a senior research associate (1983-9). In 1989, he joined the faculty of the University of Akron, where he currently is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Polymer Science, and Integrated Bioscience. Research in the Wesdemiotis group focuses on the development and applications of multi-dimensional mass spectrometry methods for the characterization of new synthetic polymers and polymer-biomolecule interfaces.

Minutes, May 23, 2011

  Dr. Wesdemiotis presented earlier work in this area to the Club in 2003. This is a significant update to the status at that time. The work involves the use of mass spectrometry to determine the heterogeneity of polymers and other large molecules, their composition, structure, architecture and interactions with biomolecules. This is done for polymers in industry, and clinical tests such as blood or urine samples to determine the composition of bodily fluids.

  Mass spectrometry measures molecular mass very precisely, even if only 100 to 1000 ions of the molecule are present. The ions are in the gas phase. Electrospray ionization [ESI] and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization [MALDI] are used to ionize polymers and biomolecules. In the MALDI technique, the polymer sample is mixed with a matrix such as a chromophore with a lot of double bonds, then bombarded with photons, which are absorbed by the matrix, heating it up, making an ionized gas of the sample. In the ESI method, a liquid solvent liquefies the sample and then it is sprayed out of a needle with a high voltage on it, leaving sample ions once the solvent evaporates.

  The ratio of mass to charge [notated as m/z] in the ionized sample gas is measured by the mass spectrometer. Since each ion has an integral number of charges, m/z becomes a direct measurement of mass. When the sample gas is tested by a mass spectrometer only once, it is called single-dimensional mass spectrometry. An example was given of how this method is used to characterize a polystyrene. The polystyrene had a C4H9 group at the beginning, then an integral number of styrene monomers, then an ethylene oxide or hydroxide group at the end of the molecule. Since it is a polymerization, different molecules will be formed, with different numbers of monomers, as mixing is done for 10-12 hours. In this experiment, molecules with 10 to over 30 monomers were formed. The mass spectrometer readout of m/z very clearly shows a peak at each number of monomers, with the largest peak being at around 20 monomers. The distance between theses peaks corresponds to the mass of a monomer, and agrees with NMR measurements, but mass spectrometers are much more sensitive. The technique can be used to determine how many monomers are in the molecule, or to reverse-engineer a molecule to determine its structure. A few molecules were formed with multiple hydroxide groups. This is also observable from the mass spectrometer output, as small peaks at the predicted spacing, and when stirred for 4 weeks, the peaks were much larger, as expected. Around each major peak were clustered some smaller peaks due to the various isotopes of carbon and other elements. By looking at this fine structure in the m/z readout, the mass various isotope combinations can be determined.

  Using a mass spectrometer, all impurities can be accurately determined, with very high sensitivity. Thus illegal or unwanted substances are easily detected compared to other methods. To differentiate between two molecules or compounds that have the same mass, such as N2 [2*14=28] or CO [12+16=28], 2-dimensional mass spectrometry is used to first characterize a molecule as above, then break it down into component sections and analyze each section. This technique can also be used to determine the structure, such as linear or cyclic structures, by breaking the molecule at different points. An example was also given showing where two different copolymers can be distinguished using 2-dimensionsal mass spectrometry.

  A liquid chromatograph combined with mass spectrometer can be used to distinguish different types of non-ionic molecules, such as for sorbatol used to make “green” non-ionic compounds. This combination can distinguish between sorbitan mono- di- or tri-oleate and plain sorbitan, by using the liquid chromatograph to identify the hydrophobicity which is different for each and mass spectrometer to determine the amount of sorbitan and oleic acid.

  Yet another application involves analyzing compounds which are not stable enough to be detected using a chromatograph. This technique builds an ion mobility [IM] detector into the mass spectrometer. The IM detector selects ions according to mass, charge and shape. This can differentiate among different shapes with the same m/z, based on the shape of the molecule. So the cyclic configuration behaves very differently from the linear. Thus by setting the IM to detect linear molecules vs. cyclical, the configuration can be determined. Some compounds have 4 different shapes all with the same mass, charge, and thus m/z. The stability of these shapes varies, and they can be differentiated by looking at the voltage stress required to separate them, perhaps along different axes. Also the ability to grow varies with shape and microscopic orientation. This can be applied to liquid crystal molecules for displays and actuators, to determine the detailed characteristic of various structures. There is good agreement with calculated cross-sections.

  Dr. Wesdemiotis summarized the presentation, concluding that mass spectrometers, particularly combined with other techniques can analyze molecules for composition, structure, shape orientation and cross section with more capabilities than alternative techniques. He acknowledged his many students, and answered a few questions. We thanked him for the presentation. He offered to present another talk after next year focused on mass spectrometer configurations and instrumentation.


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, September 26, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Owen Lovejoy, Professor of Anthropology, Kent State University

will be speaking on:

An Update on Ardipithecus Ramidus

Minutes, September 26, 2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the September 26, 2011, Akron Physics Club meeting:


  We had one new visitor who was willing to be introduced. He has been receiving the email announcements and hopes to attend future meetings, at which the Secretary will hope to do better at getting his name.

  Treasurer Dan Galehouse is in Switzerland. Darrell Reneker has volunteered to handle the Treasurer duties at this meeting. He reports that the money coming and going balanced out within a reasonable approximation that he will discuss with Dan.

  In addition to coming up with an alternate laptop that will display the Powerpoint File for tonight’s presentation, Program Chairman Charles Lavan has completed the program for the entire club year, as follows. We thanked him for the substantial effort it took to pull this together.

*October: Bill King of Essential Research in Twinsburg on Quantum Dots.
*November: Dr. Joe Payer of the Akron University Research Program.
*January: Dr. Evelyn Gates, Astrophysicist, Director and CEO of the Cleveland Natural History Museum, and author of a recent book on the speed of light, will talk on Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe.
*February: Dr. Gary Hamad from University of Akron will talk about Polymer Science.
*March: Dr. John Lekki, Sr. Scientist at NASA Glenn will talk on Environmental Monitoring of Microcystis Algae in Lake Erie with Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery.
*April: Dr. Andrew Resnick, Assistant Professor of Physics at Cleveland State University, will discuss Biofluiddynamics and the Physiological Role of the Primary Cilium.
*May: Dr. Chris Martin, Assistant Professor of physics at Oberlin will be talking with us on The Herschel Inner Galaxy Gas Survey.

  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall mentioned that we are having the May meeting on the West Side of Akron, in order to explore alternatives to our regular meeting place.

  We gave a round of applause for Charles’s excellent work in completing the program.  

  There were no comments on the May, 2011, APC minutes as issued.

  In his ACESS report, Bob Erdman mentioned that the speaker for the ACESS banquet on November 4 will be Christine Milcetich, who is known as an excellent speaker. She will be speaking on “Making a Point for Physics Every Day”. Flyers were available. Also some 500 students are having a “Brainstorming Session” for High School and Middle school projects for the 6-district Project Fair to be held Feb. 11, 2012. “Mentors” are needed to assist the students in developing their ideas for projects on October 1. Contact Erdman to get involved. Erdman will arrange for our program to appear on the ACESS site.

  Regarding ACESS dues: All other societies in ACESS collect dues. ACESS made an exception to allow our membership in ACESS for the first year without cost. Since we have no defined membership list, but we end up with about 25-30 attending each meeting, Erdman proposed to the ACESS Board that we pay $10 per year, which at $0.35 per member per year is close to the amount we would pay for people involved in the club. The ACESS Board approved this plan. Erdman will pay our dues at the October ACESS Board meeting with $10 from our Treasury and provide Dan Galehouse with a receipt at our October meeting. This will give us member status in ACESS.

  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall inquired as to the webmaster’s status. He was ill tonight, but no one had further information. Please advise Ernst if you hear anything.


ON: Ardipithecus ramidus – An Update

  Two years ago this month, Dr. Lovejoy presented earlier work in this field to our Club. One month later, a now famous article appeared on this work and he presented a 2-hour special on the Discovery Channel. He has been University Professor of Biological Anthropology at Kent State University in its Division of Biomedical Sciences for 30 years. He is a fellow of the AAAS and was elected to the National Academy of Science. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, conducting comparative research on the principle ligaments in the knee, and is a consultant to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Cleveland Ohio, where he is allowed to work on the bodies once they are two weeks old. He commented that if the television shows involving the Coroner’s office had “smellovision” they would be very unpopular.

  Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, and four years later, Thomas Huxley published Man’s Place in Nature, the first work showing the close anatomical relationship of humans to the living apes, which included gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan. At that time, the fossil record was unknown and the principles of genetics were essentially unknown, thus relationships between species were based on comparative anatomy, based on anatomical dissections and comparisons. The conclusion of this was that humans descended from some form of apes, and the rather famous diagram of a quadraped ape evolving into an upright human.

  In 1953, the structure of DNA was determined by Watson and Krick, and later the human genome was completed at the turn of this century. These later discoveries showed that there is 95%-96% similarity of chimpanzee and human DNA. Interestingly, there is also about 60% commonality between fruit fly and human DNA, looking at fundamental gene structures.

  While this is critical and important, the only way to find out what the course of human evolution is to look at the fossil record. Olduvai gorge in Africa generated a lot of material published in National Geographic and other references by Louis Leaky in the 1950s. The oldest specimen from this work is about 1.8 million years old, and was upright. Since the time of Leaky’s work, Dr. Lovejoy first focused on Australopithecus afarensis, the famous representative of which is nicknamed Lucy, about 3.2 million years old and 3.5 feet tall, and more recently, a larger specimen of this species from Afar, Katanumu [big man in the Afar language], about 3.7 million years old. As discovered, Lucy was 40% complete [80% considering symmetry]. While these were interesting, they do not speak to how we became bipedal through evolution, since these examples already are bipedal.

  Ardipithicus ramidus, a different species and genus, predates Lucy. The most famous specimen of this species is Ardi, about 4.4 million years old, from Ethiopa. The impact of this discovery has been to change how we view our evolutionary development in a number of ways. As the crew of about 60 people from all over the world was discovering Ardi, they also collected data on the samples of the biota from that era, and by comparison determined that the nearest environment today would be something like the Kibwezi Forest in Kenya.

  Ardi’s skull was reconstructed and found to be much closer to a human skull than that of a chimpanzee. Unlike the chimpanzee in which the face is “pushed forward” and has a very large canine tooth, in Ardi, the canine teeth are almost like all other teeth, and the face is not pushed forward; thus it is much more human-like. Slides were presented showing the similarity of Ardi’s teeth to Dryopithicus, a species from about 14 million years ago. Both were very different than chimpanzee teeth.

  Chimpanzees were fruit-eaters, and evolved to be effective tree-climbers, with long fingers and toes. The feet are very similar to the hand, including an opposable big toe. Both hands and feet are used for knuckle-walking as done by chimpanzees. Ardi’s feet are much more human-like, and Lucy’s even moreso, used as a lever in the walking motion. Chimpanzee’s hands are meant for knuckle walking. Humans, Ardi and Lucy all have an open palm, not meant for knuckle-walking. From this it is clear that human hands and feet evolved not from chimpanzees but from Ardi and Lucy.

  The back of a chimpanzee is very rigid. The lowest 2 lumbar vertebrae are completely immobile, leaving 2 that are mobile. In Ardi and in humans there are 4 or 5 mobile vertebrae in the lower spine. The pelvis in Ardi, Lucy and humans has a much bigger opening so the large head of a fetus can exit. The Sacrum in Lucy, Ardi and humans is very wide, and in a chimpanzee it is very narrow. This also permits a wide birth canal.

  So the pelvic area, hands and feet of humans are much more similar to Lucy and Ardi and their species than to chimpanzees, indicating we evolved from the Ardi chain not from chimpanzees. There are 12 reproduction characteristics that are all different between humans (or Lucy or Ardi) and chimpanzees. Also in the human, Lucy and Ardi species, the males evolved to a provisioning strategy to attract female mates. Bipedalism is important to getting food, but canine teeth are more important to win at competitive fighting other males. All of this indicates a provisioning culture with monogamous relationships, in the case of Ardi, Lucy and humans, whereas in the chimpanzee culture the females leave the group when the young are mature. All these support the position that humans descended from Lucy and Ardi, not chimpanzees and apes.

  We asked Dr. Lovejoy a number of questions, including details of the presented materials, evidence of environmental changes and techniques for dating the artifacts.

  Submitted by Bob Erdman, Secretary. Contact me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you want a copy of the slides used in this presentation.

p.s. For those looking for funding sources: NSF has just announced a new program for international collaborations. Go to: Virtual Institutes to Support the Scientific Collaborations of the Future http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121825  [This was not discussed at the Physics Club meeting].


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, October 24, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

William King, of Essential Research

will be speaking on:

Development of III-V Compound Semiconductor Quantum Dots

Essential Research, Inc. is a NASA Glenn spinoff company founded in 1998, and located in Twinsburg, OH. It makes a variety of III-V compound semiconductor products in a Organo-Metallic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (OMVPE) production tool. Over a two year period ending in 2005 it developed the process to make quantum dots in this machine. These structures are 3-dimensional (man-made) quantum mechanical systems, and enable III-V compounds to emit and absorb light with greater efficiency and at wavelengths thought to be unobtainable in these material systems. These structures are incorporated into a variety of commercial products. The journey from the concept to the commercial is described.

The Speaker:
William King received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University in 1971 and did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976. He has over thirty years progressively responsible management experience in electronics companies, including operations, product development, marketing and general management functional areas. His experience also includes managing electronics design and development, and new product introductions, bringing over 55 new products to market with a cumulative value of over $275 million. Mr. King is the author of over 30 publications and a reviewer for professional journals. He has been a member of an International Electrical Commission (IEC) working group and consultant to an American National Standards Committee (ANSI).

Mr. King served as a member of the Twinsburg City School District Board of Education for 12 years, serving as President in 3 of those years and Chairman of the Financial Committee for 9 years. He was responsible for building the 330,000 square foot Twinsburg High School, dedicated in 1999.

He is a high-tech entrepreneur. He is the President and owner of Essential Research, and two spin off companies: ER Semiconductor and ER Microsensor; running all daily operations and providing strategic direction, creating sales growth, generating cash flow, and making marketing and product development decisions. His companies produce optical semiconductors and microsensors. He also teaches a course in entrepreneurship.

He was founder and president of the Northeast Ohio Microelectonics, Optics and Photonics (NeoMOP) Trade Association.

He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of Beta Opportunity Partners, a northeast Ohio venture capital firm, and performs international due diligence visits for several European Venture Capital firms.

Minutes, October 24, 2011

Report by Secretary Bob Erdman on the October 24 meeting:


  We had two visitors, one of whom used to work with the speaker, and was invited by Chris Cole. Scott Anderson, a Physicist in Hudson was introduced by Bob Erdman.

  Treasurer Dan Galehouse returned from Switzerland. Dan reported we started with 276.45, before the dinner tonight, and in a follow-on email he reported that after tonight’s activity the balance is $245.45. A $20 dinner fee may be considered sometime in the future, and in an email he mentioned that at some point we may need to consider funding arrangements for student dinners.

  Charles Lavan has completed the program for the entire club year, as follows. Future speakers are:

*November 28: Dr. Joe Payer of the Akron University Research Program, on The Physics of Corrosion, including corrosion in prostheses and other challenging situations.

*January 23: Dr. Evelyn Gates, Astrophysicist, Director and CEO of the Cleveland Natural History Museum, and author of a recent book on the speed of light, will talk on Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe.

*February 27: Dr. Gary Hamad from University of Akron will talk about the tearing of vulcanizates.

*March 26: Dr. John Lekki, Sr. Scientist at NASA Glenn will talk on Environmental Monitoring of Microcystis Algae in Lake Erie with Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery.

*April 23: Dr. Andrew Resnick, Assistant Professor of Physics at Cleveland State University will discuss Biofluiddynamics and the Physiological Role of the Primary Cilium.

*May 21: Dr. Chris Martin, Assistant Professor of physics at Oberlin will be talking with us on The Herschel Inner Galaxy Gas Survey.
Chairman Ernst von Meerwall mentioned that we are having the May meeting on the West Side of Akron, in order to explore alternatives to our regular meeting place.

  In his ACESS report, Erdman mentioned that there has been discussion at the ACESS Board meetings about the future of a vital technical community in the Akron area. Anyone with comments on this topic is welcome to email Erdman. Also, the speaker for the ACESS banquet on November 3 will be Christine Milcetich, who is known as an excellent speaker. She will be speaking on “Making a point for Physics Every Day”. Erdman paid our $10 dues at the October ACESS Board meeting and we are now full members.

  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall announced that the Tangier is requesting we meet on the same night as the Torch group, so we may be switching our meetings nights, probably leading to some “derailment” of our program dates. Club officers will discuss this and report at our next meeting, which be at the Tangier.


  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall introduced our speaker as a true hybrid, making the transition from Electrical Engineering to management and now entrepreneurship. He is also very active on School Boards and responsible for the building of the Twinsburg High School, and teaches a course on entrepreneurship.

  Essential research manufactures products involving quantum dots in III-V compounds. It was founded in 1996 as part of the NASA Space Technology Transfer Initiative. In 2001 the company was commercialized and borrowed to invest in semiconductor processing equipment. Today they have no government contracts, and are in commercial microsensor, microfabrication, photovoltaic device and semiconductor foundry markets. The talk will focus on the photovoltaics and semiconductor businesses. Products and services include 3-inch GaAs and InP epi wafers, photodiodes, LEDs and Lasr Diode Bars, and Microsensors. Services include Thin Film Deposition [both insulating and conductive] and Fabrication services. Relatively small, specialized runs involving their technology are their focus.

  Quantum dots involve dimensions of 0.1 to 10 nm [1e-10 to 1e-8 meters]. 0.1nm is roughly an atomic diameter. 100nm is roughly the size of a smoke particle. A quantum well is a very thin layer between two clad conductive layers [i.e., a sandwich]. The conditions for confinement in the quantum well are that:

  The Band Gap of the well has to be less than the Band Gap of the cladding.
The index of refraction of the well has to be greater than that of the cladding, and The thickness of the well must be much much less than the cladding thickness.

  For example in an 808nm laser, the well is a 5 -10nm thick layer of GaAs, [the “meat” of the sandwich], and the cladding is AlGaAs, about 500nm thickness on each side of the GaAs [the “bread” of the sandwich].

  Wells provide1-dimensional confinement; dots [which are actually more like pancakes, with a large radius compared to the thickness], and provide 3-dimensionsal confinement. Defects limit the thickness of quantum wells, but the thickness of a quantum dot is so small that defects are not a limiting factor. Density of states is high in dots, lower in wells. Transitions are intersubband on dots, interband in wells.

  Bohr in 1917 defined the equation for a quantum mechanical particle in a box. This fits the case of a quantum mechanical dot in a 1-dimensional well:

  E = [n2]*[h2]/[8*m*L] Where: E = energy, n = a non-zero integer, h = Planck’s constant, m = mass of the electron, L = (1-dimnsional) width of the well or dot diameter.

  This technology is used in Essential Research's products and in their 3-inch wafer lines for custom runs and processing of LEDs about 10,000 LEDs per wafer]. The technology is used for their commercial products and their foundry services, which include processing binary, ternary and quaternary III-V alloys and lattice-matched and mis-matched structures and arrays of quantum wells and dots. They provide these products and services to relatively low-volume producers who need hundreds or thousands of parts, not millions, in areas such as specialized medical equipment.

  We thanked the speaker for his excellent presentation, and asked a few specific questions on their processing and applications. Contact William King Essential Research directly for more detailed information.


Akron Physics Club


Meeting Announcement: MONDAY, November 28, 2011 - TANGIER, 6:00 PM

Dr. Joe Payer, Corrosion and Reliability Engineering, University of Akron

will be speaking on:

The University of Akron Corrosion and Reliability Engineering Program - Fighting the $400 Billion Annual Costs of Corrosion 

Corrosion adversely affects our daily lives and the U.S. economy. There is a critical national need for better corrosion control. A cornerstone of the UAkron Corrosion and Reliability Engineering program is the BS on Corrosion Engineering degree—the only such degree in the United States. The focus is on the intersection of corrosion science, engineering and management to reduce corrosion costs and to increase reliability and safety.

Our technical thrusts and current research include
· Multi-scale, Multi-level Treatment of Performance Assessment
· Modeling and Prediction of Corrosion Damage Evolution
· Early Stages of Biofilm Formation and Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion
· Corrosion Under Insulation
· Induced AC Corrosion of Pipelines in Shared Right-of-Ways
· Implantable Neuroprosthesis Systems

In order to increase safety and reliability and to reduce costs of corrosion, a combination of policy and management strategies and technical strategies are required. Establishing vibrant industrial partnerships with the UAkron Corrosion and Reliability Engineering program are essential to attain the goals of corrosion workforce development, advanced corrosion mitigation technologies, and enhanced systems health monitoring/performance assessment.

The Speaker:
Dr. Joe H. Payer is the Research Director of the UAkron Corrosion and Reliability Engineering program and an internationally recognized expert in corrosion and materials performance. Prior to joining UAkron in July 2009, Dr. Payer directed the U.S. Department of Energy, multi-university, Corrosion and Materials Performance Cooperative at Case Western Reserve University. He is former director of the Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences at Case. Dr. Payer is a Fellow of ASM International, a Fellow and past president of NACE International, and received the ASTM Sam Tour Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Development and Evaluation of Corrosion Testing Methods. Dr. Payer's expertise includes materials selection, failure analysis, development and verification of corrosion control methods, advances to test methods and monitoring systems and determination of degradation mechanisms.

Minutes, November 28, 2011


  Charlie Wilson's illness was mentioned, and we signed a card to him. We were all surprised and very sad to hear of his death the following morning. He died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 at age 87. "Lucky Charlie," as he often called himself, had a long, happy life. On Thanksgiving Day he was able to express his love and gratitude and enjoy a final dinner with all four of his children and four of his five grandchildren. His death from leukemia four days later was swift and gentle.

  Charlie was Professor of Physics at University of Akron from 1965 to 1989 and in retirement was active in the Akron Physics Club and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife, Marty Ann Wilson, in 2002. We will miss his good humor and the many interesting discussions with him.

  Will Wilson, Charlie's son, will bring some of Charlie's physics books to the January meeting. The family wanted the Physics Club to have first option on them. They include the Feynman series, many standard references, such as the CRC Handbook, and many interesting titles. Our thought this would be an opportunity for Members to have some of Charlie's interesting books, for only a few bucks apiece, and we could raise a few bucks by distributing them through a silent auction.

  Treasurer Dan Galehouse reports that the current balance is $244.45 which is down one dollar from October ($245.45). The total expense was $18 x 18 = $324 and the total collected funds were $19 x 17 = $323. The cash on hand checks out.

  Charles Lavan reviewed the programs through May, which are listed on the website and remain unchanged. On Feb. 27 Dr. Gary Hamed from University of Akron will talk about the tearing of vulcanizates.

  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall announced that after discussion with the Tangier, our meetings through April will be at the Tangier, on the 4th Monday, as originally planned.
[Since our meeting, the Joint Societies Meeting was announced, for the evening of January 16. The presentation will be on "New Technologies for a New Economy" and should be interesting. See ACESS website for details at http://acessinc.org .]


  Chairman Ernst von Meerwall introduced our speaker. He worked at Battelle, and directed the US Department of Energy Multi-University Corrosion and Materials Performance Center at Case Western University. He is a fellow of many societies, including being both a Fellow and Past President of the NACE, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

  The program at the University of Akron University is branded Corrosion and Reliability Engineering. Reliability is the end result of good corrosion risk management. It was started at Akron 3-4 years ago, as the Corrosion Squad. First graduates of the program will graduate in 2015, including 1 year of co-op experience. The team includes many engineering disciplines and a business major. Dr. Payer was the only full-time faculty member involved in corrosion until August 2010. Since then other faculty members with extensive industrial and research have joined, bringing the faculty to 5 people. 15 sophomores and 25 freshman students are in the program. They work with other groups at the University in polymer science, applied mathematics and many engineering fields to solve corrosion problems. They will be moving into a new building on Wolf Ledges Road in 2012, which will house them as the National Center for Corrosion

  Government and industry are getting interested in the corrosion work going on at University of Akron. They got a $2million grant last year to start up some specific programs, and industry has expressed interest in graduates from the program. Some of the areas are corrosion management, corrosion damage evolution, early stages of biofilm formation which change the environment from a non-corrosive to a corrosive situation [such as sulfate to sulfide ion transformation]. AC-induced corrosion is also studied. In the US, the cost of corrosion is $276 billion annually.

  Some examples of corrosion problems: 1) A few years ago corrosion in the bottom of the Alaska pipeline lead to a significant oil spill in the arctic tundra. This greatly increased industry's interest in corrosion in pipelines, leading to the question of reliability of the nested problems related to corrosion at many points in large systems. 2) The problem of storing radioactive waste. How do we determine a system that will keep such waste safe for 10,000 years? 3) Concrete is a passivating agent, but it is porous, so saltwater seeps through the concrete corroding the reinforcing steel. ODOT is very interested in order to predict life of the 26,000 road bridges in Ohio. University of Akron is developing an expert system to predict failures due to such mechanisms.

  Some areas they are studying to determine the mechanisms involved: 1) It has been thought that ac currents do not affect corrosion, but recent developments have shown examples of significant corrosion on new well-passivated pipelines in power right-ways, so the mechanism of corrosion due to ac currents induced by power lines needs to be reconsidered. 2) Microbially-induced corrosion where the mechanisms for biofilm growth are being studied, 3)corrosion in insulated pipes which leads to unscheduled down time in many types of industrial facilities [scaffolding alone to look at the corrosion can cost $10million]. These types of programs will lead a leadership position for University of Akron in the corrosion field.

  Passivity is the property of developing a thin passive ceramic-like oxide layer on an otherwise reactive material. Iron, Nickel, Chromium, and Titanium all can be passive, isolating the metal from the corrosive environment. If a metal is in a liquid, it will either 1) do nothing [immune], 2) react noticeably [active corrosion], or 3) passivate, wherein a passivation layer is formed which greatly minimizes the rate of corrosion so there is no noticeable reaction. One way of studying this to map regions of immunity, reaction, or passivation for a given metal and environment. These look at oxidizing potential [eh] vs. the ph [acidity] of the environment and are useful for determining corrosion rates of many metals in many environments. Typically the passivation layers are 5-10 nanometers thick, containing some defects, which are studied in order to develop models, projections and new composite corrosion-resistant materials.

  We thanked the speaker for his excellent presentation, and asked a few specific questions on hardening processes, the effects of cracks, migration between states on the eh-ph diagrams, weathering steels which do not work well if they are always wet, crumbling porches and parking decks, and stress corrosion cracking.