Monday, October 16, 2017

Thesis Day

Today I've been looking at materials/design for my proposed "Biomimetic Silk Spinner."
(I have included my idea so far, though I've redacted the labels). The crucial part of this will actually be getting the 'dope' from SLU. I am still working on an email to tentatively request some. If not I can try (probably can't) to make my own with e coli, (or dissolve silk in acid...?), or just make a prototype as part of the presentation (that won't work b/c I don't have all the materials.)

I have actually made a few changes material-wise, structurally I haven't.

- Noah

What I've been up to

Just got back from shreveport. We got 1st place (kinda). Yay? I am so dead. (that is a figure of speech that in this context means that I am exausted). Tomorrow's gonna be a rough day. I also have some homework to finish cause I haven't had much time over this three-day weekend. Oh the irony. But so if I don't have the best use of my mental faculties tomorrow, you'll know why.

I worked on college stuff at school wednesday (PSAT day). I finished several supplementals, and am gettgin some wotk done on my apptx. I tried to do a recornding satirfay but I physically couldnt, my chops are messed up from marching band. I had a meeting with Rice's band dir and head of physics dept and took a honors mech class friday before my interview. I thought it wnt okay, esp since i havent been on one. 

- Noah

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

College Work

I've been working on college stuff as the Nov. 1 deadline draws near. I have turned in all my recommendation letter information, heard back from the interviewer at MIT, and been working on supplemental essays. I still need to have all those looked over, make recordings of "Carnival of Venice: Fantasia Brillante" and "Gospel John" later, finish my art portfolio (4-5 more pieces), and finish my self-reported grades. Hopefully I'll have a hard copy of my transcript within a couple of days.

- Noah

Saturday, October 7, 2017

TREK Week (9/30-10/7)

This past week was probably the most busy and hectic that I've had yet this year. With ACT, TREK, and Battle of the Bands, I have had no time to work on thesis. I have been working on college stuff though. I also earned my Eagle Scout Rank Wednesday. I will be having my Rice interview Friday and have sent an email requesting an interview time for MIT.

Oh, well actually last Sunday, I talked on the phone with someone that I knew from 3RF, and we talked about where/how/when I was to map a strewnfield, if there is one. Apparently there will be some construction going on later in November, so I need to map before then, or later in the year. At this point, the spider silk idea looks more doable and would be easier to execute than having to schedule more than a week out in the desert to spend hours looking for space metal. Hopefully, after this week (which is still packed) I'll be able to devote significantly more time on thesis/college apps.

- Noah

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday and Saturday

To account for today and tomorrow, I will be out of town, camping,  and unable to make any progress on my thesis, I may bring paper to work on essays or short answers, but that’s about it. 

- Noah

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Senior Survey

Today in Thesis, I worked on my senior survey. I hope I'm not making the responses too long. I may go back later to shorten a couple.

I also checked my math with Dr. Jensen (about the pressure I calculated in the post on Tuesday), and she said that to the best she could tell, I was right.

I will talk to 3RF Sunday about the strewnfield. I also am drafting a careful email to Dr. Rising to ask for some of the spider protein dope to experiment with. If she says yes, I probably will just drop the strewnfield idea and commit to spider silk. It's really cool to think that I already have the capability to design this thing and make calculations for it. I likely won't post all the math and methods, in case this becomes a big thing that could end up with a patent.

- Noah

Busy, Busy (Wed. 9/27)

So Wednesday, I didn't get home till about 6:30, then I went and recorded some trumpet playing till about 8:30, and by that time, I was really tired.

This technically is for college, 'cause I'm submitting the recordings I did to MIT, though I may want to make more to see if I can do it better.

- Noah

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Thesis calculations - math!

So I've sent emails to the director and assistant director of the band at MIT, and the head of the physics dept. to let them know I'm interested and ask a couple of questions.

I also found out about what kind of pressure I'm dealing with for the silk spinner. I derived the equation:

P = (2ΔXm)/(πr²t²) = 2ΔXmπ⁻¹r⁻²t⁻²

to find the pressure (P) that I will need.

a simplified version:

P = (ma)/(πr²)

So, if I want the silk to travel ~7.5 meters (~24.6 feet) in 1 second, the acceleration will be 15 m/s².
I said the mass of the silk is 1X10⁻³ kg (which is very generous), and the change is negligible as more silk is extruded. I also said the radius of the opening in the extruder is .5mm.

I came out with 19,098.593171 kgm⁻¹s⁻² or ~19.1 kPa, which is ~ 2.90075 psi. So, about 3 psi should be plenty, which is good, because I was worried about it being a dangerously high pressure. The small radius combined with the small mass allows a small pressure to be sufficient enough to accelerate it.

Of course, this could be wrong, but there's only one way to find out...

I've been looking at some glass capillaries and solenoid valves to build with. I still need to acquire the acidic buffers and the all-important dope.

Update: (I found out the density of typical spider silk)

P = 2ΔXρₛLt⁻²
P = aρₛL

ρₛ being the density of spider silk which is ~1.3 g/cm³ (= 1300kg/m³), L being the length of the silk which should be 7.5m, and a being the acceleration which should be 15 ms⁻². With this new knowledge of mass, the pressure should be 146.25 kPa or ~21.21 psi. So a little less than average tire pressure - not too dangerous. I will double check my math, and I can always change the variables to lower the pressure. For an actual presentation, I think 5 ft/s is sufficient, so I can cut down on length and acceleration. (psi should be ~.88 psi for 5ft/s) However, for experimental purposes, I will start with what I have specified and modify from there.

The only thing I need to check is the maximum rate of production of fibers to make sure that the polymerization process itself can keep up with the ejection speed.

All in a day's work

- Noah

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The past 4 days

I've been working on my resume and senior survey. My resume was far too long, and probably still is. I finished the senior survey at the end of last year, but I wanted to update it and change a few things.

I also plan on calling a guy at 3RF later today to talk about my thesis. I will also be sending another email to Dr. Rising.

- Noah