Week 5: Spectrum Fit for a King

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Thursday, July 2, 2015


Max Torke

Another quiet weekend was spent going out and eating in with the rest of the interns.  Drew had several college friends visiting from North Carolina on Saturday so we spent that night relaxing in the intern housing.  On Sunday I went bouldering and tried bubble tea for the first time.  The gym is next to a small shopping center so Rachel and I have been trying all the restaurants.  The gym is about an hour from our housing in Woodley Park so I have been listening to podcasts and reading the news during my hour commutes to NASA and the climbing gym.  I have been rediscovering an interest in policy.  I still haven’t made a decision about what I will do after this summer, but talking to the Mather Policy Interns has stoked a renewed interest in politics.

The interns went to another Nats baseball game on Wednesday to celebrate Connor's birthday.  The Nats and Braves played a great game with the Nats winning by a single run.  Even a great professional baseball game can't compare to the ridiculousness of the Congressional Baseball Game.  Following this win with a 7-0 obliteration of the Braves on Thursday, the interns ordered loads of pizza through a promotion for the Nats' win.  Drew also showcased some of his mad rapping skills, which was entertaining (his rap name is Bro Jangles).

At NASA I have finished the general structure of my simulator.  By inputting dielectric specifications given in a scientific article I was able to recreate the simulations and experimental results published in the article.  The first MATLAB plot I generated shows the transmittance through a dielectric layer.  Now, the code is being modified to include absorption features.  These absorption features correspond to molecular vibrations characteristic of Teflon.  Without the use of modeling software these features can’t be predicted, so I simply fit absorption features to the experimental spectrum.  I then plotted the dielectric function’s real and imaginary parts.

The final step is to change the physical model used for the piece of porous Teflon.  Instead of considering the Zitex as a uniform Teflon sheet with a lower density than solid Telfon, it will be treated as a composite material of solid Teflon containing small pockets of air.  This has proven to be quite the task since these spheres may roughly the size of a wavelength.  The simplifications I have been using will no longer be valid.  This problem requires more consideration.  I hope to have a solution by next week!  The summer is almost over.  All too soon.

Max Torke