Code UG Weekly Notes 6-20-02

Status Report From: Microgravity Research Program Office
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2002

Physical Sciences Division
Weekly Highlights for Week Ending 6/20/2002

*** Indicates item is appropriate for the HQ senior staff and may appear on the OBPR Web site:


AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARD: BioServe Space Technologies is proud to announce that the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) has selected Dr. Ted Bateman to receive a Young Investigator Award for his abstract submitted to the ASBMR annual conference to be held in San Antonio, Texas this September. This prestigious award is given to the first author, within five years of his/her Ph.D. or M.D., of the highest-ranking abstracts in each submission category. Dr. Bateman will present results from the commercial research BioServe Space Technologies conducted in the Commercial Biomedical Testing Module (CBTM) payload on STS-108 in collaboration with Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company. CBTM examined the ability of osteoprotegerin (OPG) to prevent the bone loss associated with spaceflight in mice. Dr. Paul Kostenuik, Amgen Sr. Scientist, was a CBTM PI and a co-author on the paper. The research abstract entitled "Osteoprotegerin mitigates spaceflight-induced changes in mouse bone mass, density and mineral composition" is the culmination of 5 years of ground and space based research completed by BioServe and Amgen scientists and sponsored and supported by Amgen. Dr. Kostenuik is also presenting an abstract entitled "OPG prevents relative osteopenia and deficits in skeletal strength in mice during a 12-day spaceflight" at the ASBMR conference. OPG is an Amgen discovered protein being developed to treat osteoporosis and metastatic bone cancer. OPG is in FDA Phase II clinical trials.

FLUID PHYSICS PI RECOGNIZED: Fluid Physics PI Prof. Andrea Prosperetti of Johns Hopkins University was elected foreign member, Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of The Netherlands, and to the governing board of the International Conference on Multiphase Flow.


MAY-JUNE NCMR/MSD EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH: Over 900 middle school students from 10 Ohio schools participated in the NASA Amusement Park Pilot program. The students spent several weeks mastering skills for gathering Amusement Park Physics data at Cedar Point, Six Flags, and Kings Island. The teachers were trained earlier in the year to use classroom activities and ride worksheets as part of the pilot program. The K-12 Outreach team visited 6 classrooms to monitor the progress of the program. NCMR and the Microgravity Science Division staffed a microgravity booth at Cedar Point and Six Flags for 3 Amusement Park Physics day events interacting with some 1800 park visitors. They spent Space Day at the Akron Inventors Hall of Fame doing microgravity demonstrations and taking pictures of 600 visitors. The K-12 Outreach team visited three schools for a science fair, career day, and a talk on the effects of microgravity on human physiology. The Curriculum Developer Carol Hodanbosi volunteered on the committee to select the National Winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science hosted by the Ohio Department of Education.


INVESTIGATING THE STRUCTURE OF PARAMAGNETIC AGGREGATES OF COLLOIDAL EMULSIONS (InSPACE ): Refresher Astronaut Crew Training for the GRC-developed InSPACE Glovebox Investigation took place on June 11 at the Johnson Space Center in the Space Station Training Facility. InSPACE is timelined to be operated in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) during Increment 6. Flight Engineer, Don Thomas and Alternate Flight Engineer, Don Petitt performed InSPACE nominal and malfunction procedures under the direction of Dr. Juan Agui , the Project Scientist from the NASA GRC Microgravity Science Division. The crew members successfully utilized the InSPACE training hardware with a flight-like sample in the MSG to obtain the desired microstructure formation and performed the necessary procedures to obtain satisfactory images of the phenomena. The procedures also included recovery from misaligned or out of focus optics. InSPACE was launched on STS-111 and is currently on ISS in stowage.

PHYSICS OF COLLOIDS IN SPACE (PCS): The EXPPCS Avionics Section and Test Section have been transferred to Endeavor for return to Earth. As EXPPCS parts with ISS, the project team would like to say that working with the Increment 2, 3, and 4 crews over the last 14 months has been thrilling! The EXPPCS Project Team appreciates greatly in particular the timely and persistent efforts of Carl Walz and Dan Bursch to perform troubleshooting of the hardware and to prepare EXPPCS for transfer and descent in soft stow on UF-2. We also acknowledge the hard work and interest of the LIS, POIC Cadre, MRPO, KSC, and JSC. It's great to work with such a dedicated group of folks who have been at the very center of what the ISS is and what it is doing to ultimately enhance the quality of human life. The efforts of all to get us to ISS and get/keep EXPPCS up and running once we got there enabled EXPPCS to be the resounding success that it was. Given a successful ground recovery of the Avionics Section in the coming months, EXPPCS is to be launched with a new set of samples and reinstated in EXPRESS Rack 2 for microgravity operations in June 2003 (12A.1).

DYNAMX/CQ TEAM PROPOGATES TEMPERATURE WAVE AGAINST THE FLOW OF HEAT: The team of researchers working on the DYNAMX/CQ probe at the University of New Mexico has observed, for the first time, a new propagating temperature wave that moves against the direction of the heat flux vector. The researchers worked in the self-organized heat transport state within normal fluid helium near the superfluid transition in 4He. This mode of temperature wave was predicted in a 1998 article "Trapped Second Sound Waves on a Nonequilibrium Superfluid-Normal Interface" by Weichman, Prasad, Mukhopadhyay, and Miller in Physical Review Letters (Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 4923-4926 (1998)).



QUANTITATIVE INTERPRETATION OF OPTICAL EMISSION SENSORS FOR MICROGRAVITY EXPERIMENTS: Dr. Greg Smith of the Molecular Physics Laboratory of SRI International leads this ground-based project to develop optical emission sensor strategies for microgravity combustion experiments. The specific goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate quantitative relationships between flame emission measurements and flame properties. Recently, LIF quenching measurements of Swan band C2(d-a) were made in the various low pressure flames to provide the decay information needed in the mechanism and to deduce excited state C2(d) production rate parameters from the emission data. Measurements were completed for eight flames, involving hydrogen, ethane, and ethylene fuels, and air and nitrous oxide oxidizers. Temperature data was taken by laser-induced fluorescence using 15 rotational lines in the R branch of the OH(A-X) 0-0 band near 307 nm. After careful corrections for the line strength, quenching, and absorption, rotational populations were obtained from which temperatures are determined. The completed final analysis indicated fast rates and no significant dependence on water. A preliminary draft manuscript has been prepared on the C2 measurements and modeling conclusions. Recommended rate constants are C + CH2 ® C2(d) + H2 k = 2.9 x 10-11 cm3/molec/s; C2(d) + M ® C2 + M k = 8 x 10-11.

HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGING OF FLAME SPREAD OVER SOLID FUEL SURFACES USING ADAPTIVE FABRY-PEROT FILTERS: The objective of this work, led by T. Rawlins of Physical Sciences, is to develop an instrument (AIRIS, or Adaptive InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer) for spectrally-resolved imaging of important combustion species in the mid-infrared region. The instrument is based on a Fabry-Perot interferometer in low order coupled to an infrared focal plane array camera; the low order operation ensures that the interferometer acts as a narrow bandpass filter. One mirror of the Fabry-Perot unit can translate so that the wavelength passed by the filter can be tuned electronically. In this manner a data cube can be swept out consisting of an x-y spatial image with wavelength as the 3rd axis. The PI has recently developed a set of experimental and computational procedures for evaluating the optical properties of the Fabry-Perot mirror sets. The mirror set for the 3.5-5 mm region were shown to have experimentally determined properties such as finesse and Free Spectral Range that were well predicted by the optical model. A mirror set in the 2-3 mm band which was obtained for use on a different contract had somewhat degraded performance compared to prediction. Recently, mirror calibration issues were more closely investigated, including the issues related to the accuracy and stability of the mirror spacing. Absolute wavelength accuracy of the etalon was measured at +/- 0.02 mm. The mirrors were found to hold calibration over a period of several months during which the instrument was shipped to another site, used there, and shipped back. During this time care was taken to make sure that when not in use the etalon was stored with the mirror plane positioned perpendicular to the gravity vector. This had not been done in earlier calibration periods, and in those, the mirror calibration drifted within a few days. It is hypothesized that there is a small but significant sag in the movable mirror when the etalon remains parallel to the gravity vector for extended times.


SHEAR-WAVE MACH CONES OBSERVED IN 2D DUSTY PLASMA: Fluid Physics PI Prof. John Goree (U. of Iowa) and colleagues recently observed Mach cones composed of shear waves in a two-dimensional screened-Coulomb crystal. Highly charged microspheres suspended in a plasma and interacting with a repulsive Yukawa potential arranged themselves in a triangular lattice with hexagonal symmetry. Compressional wave Mach cones have been observed in previous experiments by several research groups, and Fluid Physics PI Prof. Amitava Bhattacharjee (U. of Iowa) had predicted the existence of shear-wave Mach cones in dusty plasma systems. The shear-wave Mach cones in the Goree experiment were excited by applying a force from the radiation pressure of a moving laser beam whose velocity was higher than the shear-wave sound speed but lower than the compressional sound speed in the dusty plasma. The cone's opening angle obeyed the Mach-cone-angle relation and the experimental results closely followed results of a molecular-dynamics simulation. Mach cones in solids are of interest in the fields of seismology and materials science. This work is described in PRL Vol. 88, pp. 135001-1 - 135001-4 (2002).


PREDICTION OF NONUNIVERSALITY RELEVANT TO FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS EXPERIMENTS: In a recent manuscript "Nonuniversal size dependence of the free energy of confined systems near criticality" by X.S. Chen and V. Dohm, the authors have shown that, within the field-theoretic Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson model, finite-size scaling for the free energy is not as generally valid as anticipated previously. The results both for periodic boundary conditions and for Dirichlet boundary conditions show that in systems with long-range interactions - such as van der Waals forces - the singular part of the free energy and the critical Casimir force have a nonuniversal non-scaling contribution that dominates the universal scaling part above criticality (and presumably also below criticality) for sufficiently large size of the system. Nonuniversal non-scaling contributions should also exist for the specific heat and the thermal conductivity of confined systems. Van der Waals type interactions do not change the universal critical behavior of BULK thermodynamic quantities but become non-negligible for the asymptotic finite-size critical behavior. The van der Waals forces exist in all real fluids. This result may have significant consequences for the interpretation of existing finite-size data of the specific heat, of the critical Casimir effect and of the finite-size thermal conductivity near the superfluid transition of 4He.

The paper has been accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. E and will appear in August 2002. Prof. Dohm is a co-investigator on Fundamental Physics experiments and is a member of the Fundamental Physics Discipline Working Group.



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