Shay Wins Regional Science and Engineering Fair!
Observations of Gas In The Infrared Spectrum
Will The Chemical Composition of Gas Affect Infrared Transmittance?
April 2004 (Norco, CA ) — Shay Edwards (second from left in above photo), 13 year old science student at Norco Intermediate School, which has an enrollment of 1,200 7th and 8th graders, in Norco, California won the Regional Science and Engineering Fair on April 21, 2004.
The fair began on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 with the competitors standing by their exhibits throughout the day. The intrepid students are waiting for a visit from one of the five judges who make up the panel of experts. Judges, noted for their scientific and engineering expertise, are representatives of the academic community. A competitor is visited by one judge who has particular expertise in the area of the student’s interest and project. During the visit, the judge poses questions to the student competitor and examines materials the student has on display. This process is known as “the interview” and requires that the students man their displays until all exhibits have been visited by the judge; a process that in this competition lasted four hours.
The much awaited Awards Day for the Regional Science Fair took place on the following day, Wednesday, April 21, 2004. An elated Shay Edwards took first place in the physics category for his project entitled: Transmissivity: Observations of Gas In The Infrared Spectrum ~ Will The Chemical Composition of Gas Affect Infrared Transmittance? (An abstract of the project is offered below.) At the conclusion of the ceremony, Edwards walked away with a Gold Medal that proclaimed his accomplishment and an invitation to compete at the State Level.
This accomplishment is the more noteworthy in that Edwards began as just one of approximately 10,000 eager entrants from 46 school districts and 31 private schools. This most recently completed competition embraced approximately 750 participants winnowed from the much larger field of entry trying to secure one of the 82 much sought after positions that lead to the State Fair. This marks the 53rd California State Science and Engineering Fair which will be held May 24 through May 25. Of particular note is the LA Coliseum, venue of the Awards Ceremony, adjacent to USC.
The purpose of my science project was to study the influence of the chemical composition of gas on its ability to absorb infrared radiation. My main objective was to obscure a heat source with a visibly transmissive gas. I will also be studying the transmission of infrared light through the gas.
I hypothesized that the composition of each gas would affect infrared viewing. To test my hypothesis I decided to use a Spectroradiometer, which operates in the spectral range from 2.5 to 14.5 um, and an 8-12 micron infrared camera with digital imagery. Testing was performed on Sulfur Hexafluoride, Carbon Dioxide, Tetrafluoroethane, Ammonia, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetone, Freon 13, Resmethrin, and a can of air. A Blackbody was used as a constant heat source.
Every gas was tested in a controlled environment and photographed before and during the testing. Using the SR5000 Spectroradiometer wide range capabilities I was able to look at one micron at a time with each gas tested. After the SR5000 testing, I was then able to proceed using the information that I had gathered and test with the infrared imaging system on the same gases to visually look for obscuration of the heat source. All results were recorded in a logbook.
If you wish to send a word of encouragement, you may send Shay an e-mail. This email address will expire May 12,. 2004.