Nanomechanical Beam

John Teufel from the Konrad Lehnert group came to me about fixing up this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) image. I believe Cindy Regal took the original SEM image. SEM images the sample surface by scanning it with a high-energy beam of electrons in a raster scan pattern. I just basically helped him clean up the image and colorized it to help emphasize areas of interest in the image and to bring more of 3d depth back into the image. The image is taken from a top view angle. The area of the interest in the image is the very thin string strip run inning horizontally from the square like plates. Thats where all the action is taking place.

CO2 Splash Collisions

I worked closely with Brad Perkins from the David Nesbitt Group. Well I actually started this project in December 2007, but my project queue was being overloaded with immediate deadlines from the Jun Ye group, Kapteyn Groups, and yes yes even NIST. So I put this project on pause for about 5 months which was fine because Brad's research was being embargo by the publishers forever (don't ask me why). The embargo was just lifted early this august 2008 which was just in time for the new JILA Light & Matter issue. blah blah this project took a while b/c of the dynamics and weird publishers holding onto the rights.

Here are the technical details behind this image. Ok so Brad has all this data (yea numbers and stuff) and put them into a computer program called "VMD (version 1.6.5)" which converts the data trajectories to visual simulation in 3D. This was great because he showed me what he rendered, but they didn't look that good and looked pretty blocky. VMD is open sourced and sometimes updated. Well VMD is not the easiest program to figure out how to get it render with better shapes and resolution, so I told brad that we should try to get the model in Maya and pull off some really good high res renders. Sounds simple, especially since I figured out how to get VMD to export the model as an .obj file. But NO! VMD DID create the .obj file but DIDN'T do it incorrectly (remember guys ....VMD is an open source program and support for it is not top notch), but I figured out to make a 3d file that could be brought into Blender (last ditch efforts) and then from Blender to Maya. Well this worked. I got it into Maya, but I couldn't do auto smooth on geometry to increase the shape qualities for 2 reasons: (1) the geometry was in triangles and not quads (Maya likes quads, but all these open source programs like putting their geometry in triangles ) (2) the whole object was one big mesh with intersecting parts going everywhere. I naturally cursed myself. Well i just recreated the whole thing in maya with better geometry using the original data points. It took too long (really a full weeks worth), but I got it finished, colored, and fixed up. phewwww all that work for regular to minor improvements. Well I had a week's worth of down time to dedicate to working in Maya. The good news is that I did get more familiar with using Maya's short cut key strokes and using Mac version of Maya. Sometimes I really do miss Maya and doing 3D projects and Sometimes I don't.

Brad made some simulations that I spliced together and put on the web and you should check them out on the JILA website (link below)