Sunday, June 7, 2009

Physics Internship at Case Western Reserve Univesity

Hi, my name is Jermaine Taylor, senior, physics major. I am currently conducting my 4th internship going into my senior year at Benedict College. Here at Case we are Experimenting on Light Detectors for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: We are trying to specialize in the detection of gamma-rays and cosmic rays from astrophysical sources. These same experimental techniques can be exploited for a new effort in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). In principle, an advanced civilization that wished to communicate across interstellar distances might find optical signaling processes using rapid-pulsed lasers. If such light pulses are arriving at the Earth, we can detect them with a large-area light detector and fast coincidence electronics. For this summer project, I will work to develop an new detector system that will serve as a prototype for a new kind of Optical SETI experiment. The work requires fabrication, testing, optical calibration, astrophysical observations using the new detector system, and data analysis. The work will be done collaboratively with other members of the HEA group. I was also assigned to reconstruct an 11 year old c# code we tend to use for effective data collection and analysis.

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