My name is Garrett Lee and I am currently working with Dr. Karen Sauer. My project is to research, design, and build a probe for detecting the magnetic resonance of a material at zero field. I approached Dr. Sauer last year to ask her about opportunities to do research within her lab as Electrodynamics was one of my favorite topics in physics. I ultimately became interested in this specific project after talking with Dr. Sauer about research opportunities within her lab, and after learning more about the various areas that I can do research in we eventually settled on the magnetic resonance frequency as my project goal.
My primary job from day to day is to find materials suitable for the experiment, and to research solutions to physics problems. If no solutions or research can be found on a particular topic then I must derive a solution to the problem myself, and simulating said solution using software such as Matlab to see if it matches up to our experimental data. An example of a recently solved problem was finding the capacitance between two wires with antiparallel currents. The capacitance between two near wires had been interfering with a coil we were using, so I had to devise a way to reduce the capacitance which can we now know can be done by inserting a low dielectric material between them, or by increasing their separation.
This project is apart of my long term goals as I wish to enter into a PhD program in the near future and gaining research experience in this field will help me in choosing programs, my field of study, and help with the actual admission process. Getting experience in the more experimental side of physics, which is what my project is, will be a great asset when deciding if I want to pursue a degree in theoretical or experimental physics. Additionally, working within the field of electrodynamics helps to give me an idea if it is this field or a related field that I’d like to pursue graduate work in.