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2D Heat Flow

The heat equation is well-understood and can be solved for simple geometries and boundary conditions. It’s also an interesting system for computational modeling. With quantitative data it’s possible to directly compare computational models and experimental data for an interesting upper-division undergraduate physics lab experiment. This apparatus provides that data.
The apparatus is made possible by the availability of individually-addressed temperature sensors and user-friendly microcontroller development systems. By combining sensors and microcontroller, one can precisely measure temperature at hundreds of points on an object simultaneously. Immersion participants will build their own apparatus to take back to their home institution.
In addition to providing an interesting combination of measurement and modeling, the apparatus affords students opportunity to gain experience working with microcontrollers, programming computers for data collection in LabVIEW, Python, or other languages, and experimental design.


Learning goals:  Arduino programming, computer interfacing with data-collection devices, computational modeling, comparison of models and data, 3D data visualization.

Day 1: build the 2D Heat Flow apparatus
Day 2: Finish building, programming and test of the microcontroller, start of data collection
Day 3: Computational modeling, comparison of data and models

Participants should bring a Laptop and Notebook.

Safety concerns:  Use of open flame an option.

Cost estimate:  $300 per unit. Immersion participants will each build one unit to keep, the cost of which is included in the Immersion registration.