I’m Back! Whats been going on?

I know it’s been awhile, but I have now escaped the clutches of the many things that keep me tied down and busy in order to bring you guys a fresh post.

There has been SO MUCH going on the past couple of months and I must apologize yet again for not keeping this thing updating during such a time. So, I’ll dive right in and giving you a little bit of a briefing on what has happened these past few months and what you can expect in the near future.

You might have been wondering: Chad, why are you slacking with your blog?!. My answer is mainly AP Calculus and robotics. Although I am really quite fond of calculus, it has been a large consumer of my time and has diverted me from this site. On the other hand, robotics is simply another hobby of mine; I have competed in four competitions this year and so far my team has been awarded 4th, 3rd, and 1st places, as well as an award of excellence. The first place and excellence awards qualified us for the international VEX Robotics Championships competition at Disney World this summer (that isn’t until april, but I’ll warn you guys of my absence now so you’ll know beforehand).

Enough with the irrelevant stuff, ey?! On to the reactor/physics research!

First off: I’ve made neutrons!! I am officially a part of the illusive neutron club and also recognized as operating the world’s smallest IEC reactor. The neutron club list can be found here: http://www.fusor.net/board/index.php?site=fusor&bn=fusor_announce&action=view&key=1022854449 .
The youtube video in which I recorded my first neutron producing run can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/votedthewave#p/a/u/2/yxFPNjg5Dv8 .

In other news, I have also upgraded my vacuum system. I am now running a Pfeiffer Thp-055 turbopump instead of the ‘ole diffusion pump. I bought the turbopump on ebay for the ultralow price of $80 and built a controller for it with about $20. The turbopump allows me to take the chamber from atmospheric pressure to ~4.7×10^-7 torr in around 5 minutes; needless to say, its great! (An early test video of the turbo pump can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/votedthewave#p/a/u/0/dRKgAIp7uXU)

Some other small things:
-I had the opportunity speak to the Newnan Rotary club about my reactor. (Email me if you want a copy and I might be to send you one)
-I am currently doing research under Dr. Mark Spraker at North Georgia College for this year’s science fair. (Expect another post concerning that in a few days)
-This past Tuesday I was able to take a tour of ORNL’s SNS and X-10. (I’ll have a post on that later)
-On December 7th I will be speaking at the annual “Eggs and Issues” breakfast hosted at CEC.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. 🙂

-Chad Ramey

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