Wright State University Internship

The Dayton Regional STEM School requires all of its students to complete an internship before graduation. This internship should last at least ten hours and entail the completion of a company project with a mentor. Over the summer of 2018, I completed an internship under the supervision of Dr. Jason Deibel, chair of Wright State University's physics department. This internship gave me the opportunity to experience what it is like to conduct physics research at a university. On this page you will find a daily summary of what I did every day at this internship, as well as a document describing the project I completed with my mentor's assistance in detail.

This report details the work I did on an a small research project with my mentor's assistance. It has been approved to serve as a substitute for my internship reflection.

Day 1

I discussed the requirements for the internship with Dr. Deibel. I then learned a lot about electromagnetic radiation and, specifically, terahertz radiation. I learned about the applications of terahertz radiation. I watched one of Dr. Deibel’s assistants take a picture with a terahertz beam and helped Dr. Deibel align some equipment.

Day 2

I watched a 2-hour video about lab safety and took a test on lab safety that allowed us to do lab work. I went into a laser safety van. Then, Dr. Deibel’s assistant started teaching us how to use the terahertz beam to take measurements and pictures. I watched him do it, took notes, and then repeated the process myself.

Day 3

I read about laser safety, watched a video about laser safety, and took a test on laser safety that was required for lab work. On completion of the laser safety exam, I helped Dr. Deibel align some equipment used for measuring terahertz radiation. Dr. Deibel then showed me some videos about information visualization. For homework, I was to use Excel to make some plots of the measurements I had taken yesterday.

Day 4

Dr. Deibel had to be in Columbus today, so I worked at home. I got an internship laptop from my school. I used it to read some articles Dr. Deibel had sent us about terahertz radiation and its applications as well as complete some online MatLab training.

Day 5

I worked from home again today. I finished reading all the articles about ultrafast lasers and terahertz radiation Dr. Deibel had sent us. I also worked on the online MatLab training Dr. Deibel had sent us. I read several articles under the ‘Light and Vision’ section on the Hyper Physics website. I tried, unsuccessfully, to use Snell’s law to create a model of light refraction. Finally, I used the resources I had received from Dr. Deibel to learn about compressed gas safety, vacuum safety, and cryogen safety.

Day 6

Today Dr. Deibel showed me how to install MatLab on my internship computer. I completed another MatLab tutorial. I got more practice taking measurements – I measured silicon and a wooden floor tile. After that I learned some about COMSOL from Dr. Deibel. For homework I watched a series of COMSOL tutorials on YouTube.

Day 7

My main objective today was to learn how to use COMSOL. I spent all day working through COMSOL tutorials. These tutorials showed me how to simulate the effects of a varying magnetic current on an iron sphere and a simple time-dependent model of an electromagnetic pulse. For homework I set up software on my internship laptop that would allow me to access the simulation computer remotely.

Day 8

Today I reviewed how to take fixed-point measurements with the terahertz beam and did some practice measurements and imaging. I also made a script in MatLab which could read data from fixed-point measurements and plot it. I installed two GUIs which Dr. Deibel’s lab assistant had made to make data processing easier on my internship laptop. I helped Dr. Deibel move some of his modules so that he could take angle-dependent measurements. Lastly, I worked on a simple time-dependent simulation in COMSOL with Dr. Deibel. For homework, I started reading the master’s thesis of a former student of Dr. Deibel’s off of which I will base the simulation I will be making over the next few days.

Day 9

I made three simulations today in COMSOL. All of them were based off the thesis I had been reading, “Extraordinary Optical Transmission in Aligned Carbon Nanotube Devices at Terahertz Frequencies”. None of them worked. I spent the rest of my time working with Dr. Deibel to try to make them work.

Day 10

Dr. Deibel and I tried doing something to make the simulations work. Yesterday, each simulation had taken about half an hour to run. We finished making these changes and ran it between ten and eleven in the morning. It wasn’t even ten percent finished when I left at two in the afternoon. While I was waiting for the simulation to run, I helped align the system that Dr. Deibel was setting up to allow him to do angular-dependent reflection measurements. I also helped Dr. Deibel’s assistant mount graphene for reflection measurements.