The purpose of the Term Paper is to have you study one practical application of electricity and magnetism that was not discussed in the lectures . There are many novel topics that could be selected from science, engineering, bioengineering, etc. Select a topic that most interests you.. It is strongly recommended that you select a topic that does not require knowledge of quantum mechanics. Check with Professor Cline before you start in order to ensure that the relevance and scope of your project is appropriate to P142.
There are a myriad possible topics that could be chosen, examples of topics that have been submitted to me as P142 term papers in recent years are:
Atmospheric electricity and lightning, motion of charged particles in a galactic magnetic field, Aurora Borealis, Alfven waves, magnetic confinement, charged particle accelerator, cyclotron, mass spectrometer, velocity filter, quadrupole focussing element, Faraday's original experiments, Maxwell's contributions, light emitting diode, pulsars, sunspots, whimshurst machine, magnetic dipole, earth dynamo theory, comet tail, rainbow, muon storage ring, geomagnetosphere, synchrotron radiation.
Aspect of AC or DC current generation or distribution, transformer, alternator, cathode ray tube, telephone, computer disk, metal detector, Xerography, Tesla coil, klystron, television, magnetic levitation, coin or bill detector, homopolar generator, induction ring launcher, brushless motor, radio frequency identification tags, credit card reader.
Electrocardiogram apparatus, EEG, cochlear implants.
Electrical guitar pick off, microphone or speaker, tape recorder.
The term paper should be about 5 pages long and under no circumstances, longer than 10 pages. This length is insufficient to give a comprehensive discussion of any of the topics listed. Therefore, restrict your paper to one very specific and localized aspect of the topic chosen. That is, it is much better to discuss, in detail, one specific aspect of the topic rather than presenting an overview. The discussion of the phenomenon chosen should include a schematic derivation starting from the basic Maxwell's equations. If the mathematics is too complicated for an exact derivation, indicate the basic steps and assumptions in the derivation and reference the source of your final equations. Put numbers in your equations to indicate the order of magnitude of the effects being studied. Minimize the engineering or biological aspects of your problem; it is the underlying physics of the problem, and how it relates to P142, that is of most interest to me. Please type the text but the equations may be hand written if you prefer since the equation editor for Word is primative and inconvenient to use.
This term paper will carry 10% of the grade for the course and I will grade all the term papers. Possible starting references for most of the topics mentioned are "Scientific American" or "Physics Today" and the web. The problem you will encounter is that such starting references are too elementary for P142, therefore you will need to look at advanced reference texts on your topic. Check with the Librarian in the POA Library if you need assistance in locating references. List the references that you used for your paper. The paper must be handed in by Wednesday 13 December 2006.