Table of Contents
appreciate the Physics of Learning perspective, or seeing how data
collection and web page data analysis has
been done in large labs over many years.
might be interested in a Vortex-Assisted Wing Power System or the visual and interactive apps I've written:
Gaussian Data Fitting, Atomic and Molecular Mass Identification, Visual Nuclear Magnetic Resonance simulator for teaching
and learning NMR. Download them for free by clicking on the links.
Books: Like Star Trek, my
novels go where
"no one has gone before". The
mysteries of real science and actual current trends are used to fuel
passions and motivations of villains and superheroes, and thus give
readers a real glimpse into our future. Check out 2020, or Alien Science.
Other Ideas: Reinforced Misinformation, Old Time Piano,... I'll post news on other ideas as they develop, so bookmark/favorite this
site and check back and pay it
forward by spreading the word through the worlds of social media.
Electric Bicycle, No Pedals!
bicycle with 2 electric hub motors gets about 3
miles a penny and is better for the environment than driving a car.
Some people might be
able to avoid driving a car in congested traffic with a no-pedal
ebike. It's an ebike so you won't arrive at work all sweaty like you
might on a regular bike.
Here is the story of a
geothermal heat pump I installed at my home
which provides both low cost heating and air conditioning. Click the picture to find out why and how
I installed this cost-saving environmentally friendly system.
Solar Tree House
prices of photovoltaics and it
obvious that solar panels will help solve our problems with energy and
change. So I added grid-tied solar panels to my home and now can enjoy
the electric company's meter spinning backward on sunny days. By
installing it myself, I was able to get a payback of about 5 years.
With zero maintenance costs, it's now making free money for me.
this idea on the internet. I modified it
and my wife found our septic tank at our camp on Sebec lake with it.
Click the picture to read the story about how we finally found the tank
with this device after all other methods failed.
buy personal plows at places like Home Depot. I don't know what I would
do without mine. It beats snowblowing my
300 foot driveway and definitely beats paying someone who may or may
up to plow my driveway. Unfortunately the plow puts a high load on my
Escape's front end 2" hitch which can bend the hitch downward. This
unusual fix with a strap is surprisingly strong.
I try to
hockey twice a week year round and I like
sharp skates. Rather than pay $5 to $10 every few weeks to get the
opted to build my own skate sharpener. I've used this $150 setup for
twenty years and saved over $1700!
the picture to read the story about our solar-powered canoe
with wheels. There is nothing like quietly and effortlessly motoring
along the Stillwater River in Orono, Maine and observing (sneaking up on) the
birds and beavers and other wildlife that live there. The portable light-weight
wheels are mounted on with straps that go across the bottom of the
canoe holding the two wheel assemblies in the right place. The wheels
can be left on when in the water and can be used to provide extra
stability when plastic bumpers are strapped to the outside of the
wheels. The left and right wheel assemblies don't take up
much room, so they can be stowed away for long trips involving
multiple portages. Although I haven't tried it yet, the wheels are
designed to be mounted or taken off when in the water.
SUV Roof Tent
This is the story about a cool, clean and
practical way to go camping.
Build a top rack that unfolds into a
7'X7' tent platform with a hole in it for climbing through the sunroof
and into a low-cost Coleman 7'X7' tent. There is room for a queen size
mattress and other things in the tent. The tent and foam mattress fold
up and are easily stored inside the SUV when travelling. The platform
folds up and can be used as a top rack for a canoe or kayaks.
Here is the story of a baby backhoe I
purchased from Harbor
Freight. It's an amazing design which I improved by adding front wheels
and a bucket
thumb. The page also describes how to load and unload the backhoe from
donated to University
Many called about this free $100,000 NMR
posted one evening in an NMR newsgroup. I just happened to be first to
its value and say yes, we definitely want it. Its been an essential
research tool. We throw away so much in our society and spend so much
on the latest newest fad. Wouldn't it be better for the environment and
our budgets to recycle and spend wisely. For example, people throw
away computers because they have a virus that slows them down.
Why not just reformat
the hard drive. Even a Windows XP box with Deep Freeze software that
restores the PC back to a pristine state after each use, can keep an
computer functioning productively for years if not decades.
Chemistry Web Page Analysis
UMaine students can now collect
data on advanced scientific
instrumentation and analyze their data on their smart phones, tablets's
laptops. This is part of the innovative ICN project initiated and
by Prof. Mitchell Bruce, Prof. Francois Amar and Robert Kirk.
Do Students Obey the Laws of Physics?
As teachers and learners, we use
terms applied to our physical world to help us explain and discuss our teaching and learning experiences. For
example: "Students should pass in their work on time.
Teachers develop optimum learning paths. I ran out of energy studying last night. We
had a heated discussion. I’m going to force myself to learn this." Can we learn more about
teaching and learning by carrying this analogy
further? An interesting exercise is to utilize the rich resource of terms and
mathematical relationships in
physics. Extending the analogy this way may help science teachers define
pedagogical parameters and more fully understand the relationships between
to Ring Spectrometers. How to make a spectrometer that measures light
intensity versus wavelength. It utilizes a ring
grating made from a CD or DVD and a webcam. The picture shows a
rainbow spectrum produced by a common CD with light from a fluorescent
lamp. You can see the mercury lines and the broader spectrum from
the phosphors of the lamp. I thought this was so
cool, I patented it.
Interactive Gaussian Fitting Program
Spectroscopic data often produces overlapping peaks where each fits the mathematical formula: I= Io e -k ((X-Xo)/w)2
where Io is the intensity of the peak, Xo is the position of the peak,
and w is the width of the peak. There are numerical analysis programs
for determining the peaks and their properties, but I prefer to see
what is happening as I am analysing the data. This visual and
interactive approach is what the above program does. Check out the Help
file for more info. This Windows program will take text two column, intensity and wavelength, CSV files and
find the peaks using a best guess, iterative approach. Click to
Identification Smart Tool
a chemical mass from a mass spectrometer into this Mass Identification
Smart Tool and it will search for all possible chemical combinations
that add up to that mass. For example, enter 120 as shown above and the
program will output the compounds shown on the right in the picture.
This Windows program utilizes chemical fonts, ChemSerif.TTF and
ChemsanSerif.TTF, that must be installed in your Windows Font folder.
You will probably have to restart Windows to properly install them. To
save processing time, the isotope library can be shortened and altered
so that only the relevant elements are searched. Click to download a
zipped folder that contains all the needed files and run the setup
The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" by Richard Feynman is one of
the most amazing books I've ever read. Most physicist take quantum
mechanics and are told to not try to understand why our quantum world
is the way it is, just do the math. Feyman admits Quantum
Electrodynamics is strange right in the title, but he goes on to give
an amazingly simple description of QED, and the way our world works, in
terms of processing all possible paths to determine how something might
happen. Well computers are good at doing repetitive things like
analyzing all possible paths. That is what my QED program does. Where
will a photon go after it hits four narrow parallel mirrors? The image
show the statistical probability of where that photon might end up.
It's a diffraction pattern, something similar to what you might see
when you squint your eyes while looking at a distant bright point light
source. You can change the mirrors and positions and distances in the
program. Oddly enough, heavier particles like electrons, protons and
atoms also produce similar patterns. The program is visual and both
interactive. Click to download this Windows program.
is an NMR simulation program I wrote to teach basic Nuclear Magnetic
Resonance concepts. NMR is the most important instrument chemists have
for identifying organic chemicals.
Most universities and large companies that deal with organic chemistry
have at least one NMR. MRIs used in hospitals are a type of NMR. Bad
results and poor decisions can happen when an instrument user doesn't
understand how an instrument works. The instrument becomes a mysterious
black box that magically produces data. This is a form of Garbage In,
Garbage Out. So I wrote this program so that users can see what is
happening when they do NMR, and the general effect NMR parameters have
on their data. I also added some interactive visual game options
to the programming that make learning NMR fun. Click on the image aboved to download the lates version of this Windows
program, VisualVnmrJ.exe written for a Varian NMR. Click Help in the program for more info. Contact
me for a Bruker version or more info. Click here to download a zipped folder with a tutorial program with images for VnmrJ.
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 4, 013111 (2012); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3683527
Due to the rising demand for low-cost clean energy, the
development of efficient wind and water energy-generating systems is
one of the major goals of this century. A novel approach for extracting energy efficiently
from wind and water currents utilizes a tail-weighted wing following a
figure-eight trajectory. Our prototype consists of a vertical
ribbon-type wing suspended at its endpoints by swivel bearings. Energy is extracted from the longitudinal pumping motion that occurs at the endpoints of this flexing wing. Since the forces in these wings are in tension like a suspension bridge,
the design can potentially be scaled up to much larger sizes than
current systems and sweep across enormous areas of moving fluid with a relatively small amount of material. High-speed photography is used to map out the trajectory of a prototype wing and to monitor water flow around the wing. These observations along with data from an interactive computer simulation program are used to study the vortices and hydrodynamic forces
that propel the wing along the figure-eight trajectory. Our prototype
is low-cost, simple to fabricate and extracts a high amount, 30%, of
the total energy in the water that flows through it.
authors thank the faculty, staff, and students at the University of
Maine who supported this research and the Maine Technology Institute
for funding this research with two Seed Grants.
Current Research Topic: K2, a modified version of Kelvin's Generator, generates electrical sparks from falling water.
Is there an
anti-universe all around us? This is not just something out of one of
my sci-fi books. Click the picture to download
an excerpt from one of my sci-fi books. It lists things that modern
science can't explain and describes how an anti-universe where time
travels backward might be the
answer. A paper published
recently in a reputable journal describes the same thing in the
language of advanced physics. Is it Alien Science? What do you think?
Old-Time Piano Music
Old time piano music from another era. My Dad
could play piano "by ear". Whistle a tune and he could play
it. The joy
he received by playing for others taught me the benefits of paying it
forward, that giving something to others somehow eventually comes back
to benefit all of us. Click the picture to see a selection of
songs. I think "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is my favorite.
Our nation has a serious misinformation problem:
Our Brave New World has
misinformation reinforcement mechanisms that reinforce the convictions
of the misinformed. In the old days we would rely on the credibility of
major newspapers and a few major news channels like CBS News, NBC News
and ABC News. These news outlets had their reputations to protect.
Errors in news reporting was news in itself that resulted in damage
to their reputations and loss of market share. Modern technology
brought with it cable news and then internet news. These formats don't
compete for large market shares. They only need to appeal to a limited
market of believers. This amplified the output of propaganda news,
unchecked "news" that was not based on reality as much as
reinforcing the beliefs of its viewers. Slick, colorful,
emotional and sexy "news" became more important than real news. These
news outlets could convey any message they wanted, and usually served
the interests of the rich and powerful rather than the worthy goals of
a democratic people. More people became enslaved as they worked harder
for less, yet they continued to vote against their own best interests
under the influence of unchecked propaganda news.
The word "News" implies a meaningful
contract between the news service and the viewer. The viewer assumes
the information presented is verifiable and presented without bias. As
such, news shows should not have free speech rights. Shows that offer
opinion labeled as news should be held liable for the damages they
cause. For example Fox News should be held liable for the
misinformation they have spread about Covid-19 and voting machines.
News shows that are really opinion shows should present a warning label
at the start of their shows, much like the
warning label on a package of cigarettes. The warning should include a
record of when and how often the commentator has been proved wrong. If
a commentator reported that Covid was a hoax and their reporting
resulted in many deaths, every subsequent report of theirs should
include a suitable warning. Warning: This commentator has made false
comments about Covid that have resulted in multiple deaths.
America’s democracy requires that we get our news from reputable
sources. Learn about which news sources have the best records on truth in
reporting from: https://www.adfontesmedia.com/
A Science Fiction Novel by Pol Bard
brilliant and beautiful graduate student on a sure path to becoming a
highly-paid astrophysicist. So why did she allow herself to become
by a mysterious and struggling student named Joe Abre? Why did she
held the keys to the universe? Click the picture to get a free preview from Amazon.com. Pol Bard is my pen name.
Click here for hints for those trying to find the places described in the book.
years ago with degrees and skills in
engineering and physics in hand, I began a long series of diverse
been called a Renaissance
Man, someone with interests and
skills in a
wide variety of areas.
also aspire to the idea of "paying
it forward", that is giving something to someone with the idea that
they will give something to someone else. Eventually we all win.
here I am paying it forward by presenting information on tried and true
ideas that I or others have used successfully.
website reports the latest news about various projects and prototypes.
Some have been completed and some are still evolving and their story is
ongoing. The diverse list below should have something fascinating for everyone. Click on the project titles
or pictures on this website to get more info on each project.
Click here for publications and contact info