Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students

Project description

Nuances of magnetic variometers

(supervisor: Heather McCreadie)

Nature of project: experimental, experimental

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes only.

Project description and methodology

Magnetic measurements have been in existence for millennia. This project looks at how a magnetometer works culminating in the deployment of a magnetometer for a short period of time. The initial scope will investigate the history of the technology of magnetometers. The focus will be on the developments in technology and the precision and size of the instruments. In recording geomagnetic data knowledge of the geomagnetic environment needs to be utilised. An investigation of data will project the physics behind the measurements. An instrument which has not yet been deployed will be installed temporarily so base effects can be gauged. In this section of the project the focus will be on the technical aspects of a magnetic observatory.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
This project is geared towards a physicist extremely interested in instrumentation and its development.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: Deriving the coefficients to enable the magnetometer data to be used in nanotesla is a requirement of the year 4 project.

Please speak to Heather McCreadie (hem18) if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. M. Eschenhagen; Magnetic intensity variometers First published: June 1900 https://doi.org/10.1029/TE005i002p00059
  2. J. Jankowski and C. Sucksdorff IAGA Guide for Magnetic Measurements and Observatory Practice (1996) ISBN: 0-9650686-2-5 Electronic version
  3. S. Chapman and Bartells, J. (1962) Geomagnetism, Volume 1, Clarendon Press

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

Initial Matlab assistance.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
historical search of instrumentation annalsend of October
instrument familiarisation Christmas
deployment of magnetometerend of February

Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form