Thursday, March 25, 2010

Regression Analysis of Experimental Results

The equations that best predict the # of revolutions travelled by the carriage for a given Tmax ( maximum value of the imposed harmonic torque) were generated by Regression Analysis of the experimental data (Thanks to my statistically significant other, otherwise known as the stats expert K.H.! Thank You!).

Based on this, the best fit lines were generated for each Tmax (1 A, 2 A, 4 A, 5A). The above graph was generated by plotting the best fit lines together and moving their Y intercept to Zero, in order to make the measurement of the relative angles between them easy to measure.

As you can see from the graphs, as the Tmax increased, the slope steadily went from positive to negative. This clearly highlights the fact that as the maximum torque increased, the number of revolutions came down.

Thus, it has been experimentally demonstrated with a very high degree of correlation that increasing the Tmax of the imposed harmonic torque decreases the number of actual revolutions of the carriage holding the spinning wheels.

The detailed results of the regression analysis are given below.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is a Schumann Resonance?

(The following material is taken from a really great little book I have titled "The Astronomy Cafe" 365 Questions and Answers From "Ask the Astronomer" by author Sten Odenwald. Thanks are given to the author for the information reproduced here.)

Believe it or not, Earth behaves like an enormous electric circuit. The atmosphere is actually a weak conductor, and if there were no sources of charge, its existing electric charge would diffuse away in about 10 minutes. There is a cavity defined by the surface of Earth and the inner edge of the ionosphere, 55 km up. At any moment, the total charge residing in this cavity is 500,000 coulombs. There is a vertical current flow between the ground and the ionosphere between 1 to 3 X 10 -12 amperes per square meter. The resistance of the atmosphere is 200 ohms. The voltage potential is 20,000 volts. There are about 1000 lightning storms at any given moment worldwide. Each produces 0.5 to 1 ampere, and these collectively account for the measured current flow in Earth's electromagnetic cavity.

The Schumann resonances were predicted to exist in 1952 and were first detected in 1954. They are resonant electromagnetic waves that exist in this cavity. Like waves on a spring, they are not present all the time but have to be excited to be observed. They are not caused by anything internal to Earth, its crust, or its core. They seem to be related to electrical activity in the atmosphere, particularly during times of intense lightning activity. They occur at several frequencies between 6 and 50 cycles per second, specifically, 7.8, 14, 20, 26, 33, and 45 hertz, with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 hertz. As long as the properties of Earth's electromagnetic cavity remain about the same, these frequencies remain the same. Presumably there is some change due to the solar sunspot cycle as Earth's ionosphere changes in response to the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Schumann resonances are most easily seen between 20:00 and 22:00 universal time (UT).

Given that Earth's atmosphere carries a charge, a current, and a voltage, it is not surprising to find such electromagnetic waves. Much of the research in the past 20 years has been conducted by the Department of the Navy, which investigates extremely low frequency (ELF) communication with submarines. For more information, see Hans Volland, ed., Handbook of Atmospheric Electrodynamics (CRC Press, 1995). Chapter 11 is on Schumann resonances and was written by Davis Campbell of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska. There is also a history of this research and an extensive bibliography.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Latest Experimental Results

The latest results are added to the previous results to generate this graph. New information includes the following:

a) Results for harmonic torques of time periods 30 seconds - 38 seconds have been added for 1 Amp, 2 Amp and 4 Amp amplitude. These results continue the trend we've seen earlier, namely, a falling rate of revolutions (i.e. a falling average speed) with an increase in both the time period of the applied rate of change of torque and the maximum amplitude of the torque.

b) Results for harmonic torques for time periods 9 seconds - 16 seconds at a maximum torque amplitude of 5 Amp have been added. These results continue the same trend as mentioned above. Being of higher amplitude, these harmonic torques  result in the lowest number of revolutions yet  (for example, 3 revolutions in 8 seconds which translates to roughly 3.8 revolutions in 10 seconds - compare that to the case of a constant 1 Amp torque which nets us 8 revolutions in 10 seconds)!