All posts by Matt

Wirelessly powered non-magnetic rotary actuator

(image of mechanism #77 from Henry T. Brown’s Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements, via The leading systematic uncertainty in our group’s test of the equivalence principle is variations in the local gravity gradient.  The gravity gradient is the spatial derivative of the gravitational field—the amount of change in the strength and … Continue … Continue reading Wirelessly powered non-magnetic rotary actuator

A motorized turntable in under 15 (times pi) minutes

I shared an office with a postdoc, Krishna, whose work centered around building an instrument to measure seismic tilt for LIGO, the gravity-wave observatory that made the first detection of gravitational waves. The instrument consisted of a long bar with weights on each end that hung from a pair of thin flexures EDM-cut from beryllium … Continue reading A motorized turntable in under 15 (times pi) minutes

High-intensity laser pulse simulation

As an undergraduate, I worked for two years in a high-intensity optics group.  We were studying high-harmonic generation by femtosecond laser pulses passing through a dilute inert gas.  These pulses have energies of millijoules and peak intensities of 1015 watts/cm2 (a comparable intensity could be achieved by focusing all of the sunlight hitting … Continue … Continue reading High-intensity laser pulse simulation