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Author Topic: Mike and Jorge visit UC  (Read 1825 times)


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Mike and Jorge visit UC
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:26:29 PM »

This was an outstanding weekend for the UC players.  First a Saturday full of top spinning will lots of great people in Miamisburg and to cap off the weekend a visit from Jorge and Mike with a much more relaxed pace.  We did a tour of some of our research labs, looked at various top making tools and parts and stuff, did some low key spinning of tops that were missed on Saturday and had some great conversations.  Thanks guys for coming down we won't forget it!

the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Mike and Jorge visit UC
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 08:43:14 AM »

It was really cool to stop by and relax with tops on the UC campus.  I gained a greater appreciation for all the work and effort behind their top making and the amazing progress they have made in two years.  I am sitting here shaking my head at all they have done.  It is stunning.  And when they committed to coming to our top fest in the Burg, it really changed things.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

On a personal note, it was very daunting to hear everyone talk about the work done in that Physics department and all their machines and experiments.  Granted, I was pretty tired already, but my mind couldn't begin to keep up with the discussions.  It was very easy to close my eyes in John's office and doze off only to wake up in the middle of another conversation that I, again, did not know anything about.

Thanks for your time and your tour.
Happiness runs in a circular motion!!!


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Re: Mike and Jorge visit UC
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 09:56:59 AM »

The visit Sunday with the guys at the University of Cincinnati was amazing. Unfortunately Tai-Min (TML) was out of town but fortunately I could meet him and his wife Saturday morning at the festival.

The visit started with a tour of their labs and I have always been interested in physics so I loved it. First Brian (hemingsoft) showed me TML's experiment. Well, I did not really "see" the tinny (quantum) dot with my eyes, but the 1-story high thermos (dewar) inside which the experiment was running below 1 degree above absolute zero (the liquefied helium 4 provided by John (Johnm), the He3 by the government at $10K the evaporating liter). Brian was characterizing the high frequency  response (that Kondo effect is strange), while counting 1 electron at a time as they escaped the dot. Aaron (physboy2357) showed me his very impressive laser lab, running an experiment spread over something like 5 isolation tables. It started with two 5W titanium sapphire lasers, doubled to an emerald green (nice to work in the visible) amplified and tuned (OPA), the whole works, that after the long optical train of adjustments converged on a little semiconductor nanotube a few microns long and tens of nanometers thick. This time I did "see" that little hair thanks to a cooled CCD.

Next came the tour of the machine shops and labs where John's great tops come to life. The department main shop is very complete, with several large lathes and mills, even a CNC machining center. Then we saw the smaller student shop where he makes most of the tips, and finally the place where he turns the top bodies. After seeing all the big metal machining tools, the wood lathe looked small and it was difficult to visualize the big tops coming out of it. There were several tops in diverse degrees of finishing, some of good size, the glued plywood waiting to be turned. After visiting his office I saw the plastic and molding area. He had one ready to be taken out of the mold so a witness the birth of a Cincy recycled top: I felt like a new dad, thanks! As a side note, Mike took plastic chips waiting to be molded to display in the Hall of Fame  ???

John's office has on display the history of top making and playing in Cincy. I got to throw an early twin spin he made out of wood, see the abuse they had subjected their tops during training, the beautifully polished and "tuned" quicksilver, a failed prototype of a bubble making top, the cannibalized hard drives from which he takes the bearings for the tops, etc, etc.

We finally woke up Mike and went to throw tops on the grassy knoll by the famous dumpsters. Patrick, a theoretical physicist that will hopefully come to the forum soon, joined us. I finished throwing the Cincy big tops (that reminds me that I forgot to throw Chubby  :( ). I was lucky and avoided the fire hydrant, the sink hole and the other hazards of this course. We finally went for dinner and we almost hit gold when we found a place called Toppers Pizza, but it will not be open for a few more weeks.

Thank you guys! That was an incredible visit in an incredible weekend.


PS:  I'll try to post some photos later but I need to do lots of work before leaving Thursday . . .