May 21, 2004  




7th Graderís Science Project

By Evie Pless

I recently had the unique opportunity to test my science fair experiment at SLAC.

Evie Pless (l) and Morgan Jones (r) work on their science fair project in the Klystron Gallery. (Photo by Neil Calder)

My name is Evie Pless, and I am in seventh grade at La Entrada. This year I focused my science fair project on laser communication. After developing and building a laser communication device that transmits sound signals, I tested my device over a variety of distances. When I learned I was invited to participate in the California State Science Fair I decided to try to test my device over even farther distances. I was fortunate to come in contact with Neil Calder, Director of Communications at SLAC.

Mr. Calder organized my visit and gave up part of his Saturday to help me, for which I am very grateful. Testing the communication device at SLAC was interesting and a lot of fun. Merely being in the Klystron Gallery, SLACís famous two mile building, is fascinating. I also enjoyed learning about SLAC which, beforehand, I knew very little about.

Not only was my visit at SLAC enjoyable, it was a very productive testing session. To transmit sound, the laser in my device pulses rapidly óthe pulse width depending on the signal. This is known as pulse width modulation. I was fortunate to be able to use SLACís facility because outdoor testing had proven to be difficult and less controlled. At SLAC I collected valuable data and was able to reach my peak distance. This event and information will improve the quality of my project, and I hope it will promote interest in SLAC at the California State Science Fair. I feel privileged to have taken this tripóit was a memorable experience.


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday May 18, 2004 by Emily Ball