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2021 Picnic Day Virtual Physics Presentations

For the 2021 Virtual Picnic Day on Saturday April 17th, we will be presenting four short physics presentations, each followed by questions and answers.

  • 2:00 PM: “Infinities”, Prof. Richard Scalettar
    • “Infinity” is truly a strange object, behaving in ways that no sensible number would.  It is therefore very surprising that it makes an
      appearance in very real ways in various fundamental experiments and theories in physics.
  • 2:30 PM: “Seeing Atoms and Molecules on Surfaces”, Prof. Shirley Chiang
    • The scanning tunneling microscope allows us to “see” individual atoms and molecules on conducting surfaces. The operation of the microscope, which is based on the principle of quantum mechanical tunneling, will be explained. Atomic resolution images will be shown of individual atoms on both metallic and semiconductor surfaces, as well as images of individual molecules, such as benzene, on metal surfaces.
  • 3:00 PM: “The Higgs Boson: A Tale of Three Universes”, Prof. Markus Luty
    • The Higgs boson, an elementary particle discovered in 2012, is a key ingredient in determining the physical laws of nature. This talk will explain the role of the Higgs boson, and how it allows us to experimentally test three different paradigms for the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.
  • 3:30 PM: “Accelerators and Society”, Prof. Eric Prebys
    • Particle accelerators are versatile tools, which not only facilitate a broad range of scientific research, but also have countless applications in other areas, including medicine, industrial processing, and even art.  This talk will give a brief history of the development of accelerators, followed by an overview of their many uses.

Click here for Zoom link:

  • Meeting ID: 982 5690 5182
  • Passcode: physics

A recording of the session will be posted afterwards.


Installing Windows XP in VirtualBox (or other VM)

If you haven’t installed VirtualBox, see the notes here.

You can get a disk image for Windows XP SP3 here.  The product key is now freely available: M6TF9-8XQ2M-YQK9F-7TBB2-XGG88.

At this point, you can install it in any VM, but specific instructions for VirtualBox on Mac can be found here.   Once you’ve installed it, you’ll want to install the VBoxGuestAdditions and set them up to mount your local disks as I described for Windows 10.   Be sure to turn on automatic updates!  There are over 60 that need to be installed.

Note that at least in VirtualBox, the Windows XP VM is pretty fragile until the guest additions are installed and all the patches are in place.  It will crash often, particularly when saving snapshots (luckily it will save them before crashing).  These problems seem to go away once everything is patched and as up to date as possible.

The version of Explorer built into XP is so out of date it can’t even access the internet properly, so before you do anything else, you’ll need to download the FireFox installation file from your host system to a shared drive and use that to install it.  The latest version you can install is 43.0.1, which you can find here.  Once it’s installed, select “Help->About…” and it will update itself to a newer version.  Repeat this several times and it will eventually get to 52.9.0, which is the last version that still supports XP.

The free AVG antivirus software still supports XP, and it’s a good idea to install it ASAP.

Another very useful program is 7-Zip, as there is no good native unpacker in XP.  You can download the 32-bit version here.

Crocker Video Files

Contents of Crocker Video File Disk

This is the contents of Crocker Video File disk, containing the promotional video produced for Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, at UC Davis by WebsEdge.  It includes both the finished product (also available here) and the raw footage.  The latter is too large to post online, and is available on a portable media upon request to Eric Prebys.

  • Crocker Nuclear Lab
    • Exports
      • For APS Meeting.
        • Finished video, with APS titles, available in .mp4 and .mov formats.
      • Stills
        • Propotional stills
      • UCDavis.NOAPSTITLES.mp4:  version without APS titles.
    • Raw Footate:  raw video files, arraged as “clips” in three “cards”.  The directory structure of each card is a bit different, but it goes down to directories with names of the form AAnnnn, containing video files of the form AAnnnnmm.MXF. Here is a list of some media players that can play them. I used VLC.  There are other files with .XML,.SIF, and .CIF extensions that are presumably metadata that’s understood by some video editing software.  Short descriptions of the directory contents are provided below:
      • Card 1
        • CONTENTS
          • Clips01
            • AA5225: Eric Prebys in the Main Control Room
            • AA5226: Zachary Rollins in the Main Control Room
            • AA5227-AA5230: Zachary Rollins in the machine shop, assembling sample targets
            • AA5231: Nick Spada in the machine shop
            • AA5232-AA5236:  Downstairs footage.  Mostly with Hans Berns.
            • AA5237-AA5238:  Kavita Mishra in the ETF area.
            • AA5239: Kavita Mishra, Inder Daftari, and Jessica Scholly in ETF area, prepping for simulated treatment
      • Card 2
        • AA5240-AA5244: Kavita Mishra, Inder Daftari, and Jessica Scholly in ETF area, performing simulated treatment on Linda Deering
        • AA5245-AA5250:  Brian Devine in machine shop, milling a collimator.
        • AA5251-AA5253: Nick Spada in machine shop, working on sample changer.
        • AA5254-AA5256: Nick Spada in North Cave
        • AA5257: Exteriors of front of CNL
        • AA5258: Eric Prebys in the high bay with the cyclotron model
        • AA5259: Closeups of the cyclotron model.
        • AA5260-AA5263: Randy Kemmler and Lena Korkeila in Main Control Room
        • AA5264-AA5265: Larry Laduc coming in back door and grabbing a badge.
        • AA5266-AA5267:  Vault door closing and opening, with a bit of Dave Hemer.
        • AA5268: Inside the vault. Dave Hemer with a shorting plane shoe.
        • AA5269: Footage of cyclotron
      • Card 3
        • CONTENTS
          • Clips01
            • AA5270-AA5274:  Random footage inside cyclotron vault.  David Hemer and Randy Kemmler in some of it.

Eric Prebys’ Web Page

This is my personal page at UC Davis, where I will post information on courses I’m teaching, current research activities, and recent talks I’ve given.

External links: