Three Online Neutron Beam Experiments Based on the iLab Shared Architecture
Keywords:remote Labs, online labs, iLab architecture, web services, engineering education, nuclear physics
Students at MIT have traditionally executed certain experiments in the containment building of the MIT nuclear reactor as part of courses in Nuclear Engineering and the third year laboratory course for Physics majors. A joint team of faculty and research staff from the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (MIT-NRL) and MITâ??s Center for Educational Computing Initiatives have implemented online versions of three classic experiments; (a) a determination of MIT reactor coolant temperature through measurement of thermal neutron velocity, (b) a demonstration of the DeBroglie relationship of the kinetic energy and momentum of thermal neutrons and study of Bragg diffraction through a single copper crystal at various orientations, and (c) a measurement of beam depletion using a variety of shielding filters. These online experiments were implemented using the LabVIEW® virtual instrumentation package and the interactive version of the iLab Shared Architecture (ISA). Initial assessment of the online experiments indicates that they achieve comparable educational outcomes to traditional versions of the labs executed in the reactor containment building.
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