Physics Hackerson 2017

We are a team composed of people with different talent. Two Cegep students with little experience with Arduino gadgets and coding experience met with two undergraduate students who are experts in coding. After a brief debate, we came to a consensus to map the path of an electron in the presence of electric fields. In order to demonstrate our project, we first made digital representation of the electron's path. Furthermore, we wanted to have a physical representation of the field mapping. We combined our knowledge in different areas and together, built a physical model with robotics components. This is the part where we faced many difficult challenges. We needed to build a robotic arm that can support a laser. We also needed to figure out how to communicate our data collected through the program with the arduino board. This is a very challenging problem and we asked many people including mentors for advice. After trying many different approaches, we solved our communication problem by using an intermediate app, Python to allow our program (swift) to talk to our arduino board.

The accomplishment that we are proud of

Within 24 hours, we integrated software visualization with hardware visualization. We also built a server and client system to allow two computers to communicate with each other. The electron is moving in the presence of ions and we have a UI to adjust the position and the charge of the ions. We are very excited of what we have done.

What we have learned

To maximizes the use of the skills everyone had, we had to figure out a way to communicate between different coding languages, mainly between C++ and Swift. This led us to learn how to create a server with python, which would be able to extract the information sent in a request made by the Swift program, which would then be translated to the Arduino by serial communication. We did so to maximize the time, and split the work so we would make it in time. Furthermore, we encountered mainly difficulties to make the angle matches the projections we wanted. We learned how to host a server on python and use serial communication.

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