NEXT MEETING: January 27, 2023
6:30pm - FYI - Winter Constellations
7:30pm - Speaker: Bruce Pollard     Topic: Lightwaves and Their Uses


Light Waves in January!

amateria Published on January 12, 2023

Our January meeting will be held on Friday, January 27 at the Ponderosa fire station.

We will have 2 excellent talks during the FYI session and the main presentation. At 6:30, the FYI session will provide helpful and fun information about the winter constellations. Then, at 7:30, you can enjoy our main presentation on light waves by Dr. Bruce Pollard.

Here is the zoom info

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84473617954?pwd=TkdmUncrODF4U2dTUmNQTkNrNUgwdz09

Meeting ID: 844 7361 7954
Passcode: 298908
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,84473617954#,,,,*298908# US (Houston)
+12532158782,,84473617954#,,,,*298908# US (Tacoma)

Light Waves and Their Uses: Albert Michelson

In 1907, Albert Michelson was the first American physicist to receive the Nobel Prize for his “Instruments of precision and the spectroscopic and meteorological investigations he executed with them”. The instruments Michelson developed all focused on the newish concept that light could be thought of as a wave.

In this presentation, Dr. Pollard will describe and demonstrate some of the experiments that opened the window of light as a wave to scientists around the world at the turn of the 20th century.  The talk will feature how the interference property of light can be used to make astronomical measurements.  It will start with a basic introduction to the properties of light.  Next it describes Michelson’s work which includes the famous Michelson Interferometer which evolved into the Fourier Transform Spectrometer and was used for the Michelson-Morley experiment.  Throughout the talk we will see how modern technology such as computerized data collection would have enabled Michelson’s work.

Bruce Pollard Bio:

Bruce Pollard is a 20-year veteran of the North Houston Astronomy Club having held many positions including currently being president of the group.  Bruce grew up in Wisconsin and got his PhD at the U of Florida in Chemistry; specializing in design and automation of atomic spectrometers. He taught Analytical Chemistry at Marquette University for 8 years and spent 25 years helping chemical companies use computers and automation to do research, improve their processes and preserve the environment.  Now “retired” , Dr. Pollard consults for ship channel chemical companies and not for profit service groups.  He helps share the sky with others by facilitating observation at the Insperity and George Observatories. His research interest is expanding the single channel signal to noise studies that were part of his thesis 45 years ago to the camera detectors that have millions of channels we use for astronomical studies today.

See you there!