I am a sceptic of relativity theory and am trying to become a believer. As far as I know (about this theory), time slows down when some one travels at the speed of light. What about blind people ? Will this effect happen for them as well ?.. I am curious because blind people have nothing to do with light.
By Siv Schwink
July 6, 2012
Urbana—UI Physics undergraduate student Eric Joon Shinn has been awarded an Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award by the U.S. Department of Energy. The award recognizes students for original research that contributes to the development and advancement of sustainable nuclear fuel technologies.
Shinn is lead author of the award-winning paper, “Nuclear Energy Conversion with Stacks of Graphene Nano-capacitors,” presented his sophomore year at the UI Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2012.
Said Shinn, “The search for alternatives to fossil fuels for energy has become a growing concern. One such alternative would be nuclear power, though it receives a lot of criticism because of its associated catastrophic dangers and radioactive by-products. By implementing concepts proposed in our research, the negative aspects of nuclear power can be minimized by reducing the size of nuclear reactors, thus decreasing their catastrophic potential, and by reducing the amount of nuclear waste produced in reactors.”
Shinn works in Physics Professor Alfred Hubler’s Center for Complex Systems research group.
“Conventional nuclear reactors use steam engines to generate electricity. Because small steam engines are inefficient, nuclear power plants are large with large steam engines,” said Hubler, “But even the largest nuclear power plants have only about 35 percent efficiency.
“We propose a new reactor design, where the kinetic energy of nuclear reaction products is directly converted into electrical power. The new type of reactor is not only more efficient, but also much safer, because it is small, has no moving parts, no pressurized steam, and contains only a small amount of nuclear fuel.”
Shinn, who plans to pursue an academic career in physics, said he is grateful to Hubler for his guidance and to the entire research group for their hard work and support.
“The physics program here has been really good, especially because UI is a giant research university with tons of opportunities for research,” said Shinn, “The reason why I so eagerly sought out research early in my college career is because I wanted to have a better idea of what I would like to study in graduate school. Of course in order to get there I need to make sure I work hard and demonstrate my potential.
And that is just what he has done.
Said Hubler, “Eric worked on this difficult project with great determination. He helped to develop the theory and carried out the computer simulations.”
The Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards program awarded 24 prizes in 2012 for student publications and presentations. In addition to cash awards, winning students will have the opportunity to present their winning publication during the American Nuclear Society (ANS) winter meeting, to participate in an Innovators' Forum, and to attend the Department of Energy Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies Annual Meeting.
Shinn said he is looking forward to attending the ANS meeting, and to meeting the other award winners.
Shinn’s co-authors are Alfred Hubler, Dave Lyon, Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, Alexey Bezryadin, and Andrey Belkin.
If you have questions about the Department of Physics or ideas for other stories, contact Siv Schwink, 217.300.2201
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