Written Proposal

Project: Looking for Dark Matter in the Rotation Curves of the Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram

Department of Natural Sciences: Physics

Project adviser:  Dr. Scott Schneider

Researched by: Ceré L. Rettig

E-mail: crettig@ltu.edu

Ceré L. Rettig June 2014

What is a galaxy rotation curve?

Galaxy rotation curves are a graphical analysis obtained from the magnitude of the orbital velocities of visible stars in a particular galaxy and their radial distance from the galaxies center, typically depicted with a scatter plot.

ngc3198_rc

What is the Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram?

The Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram is a way to classify galaxies.  Mr. Edwin Hubble believed that the elliptical galaxies (E0, E3, E5, E7) are “early galaxies” and that the lenticular (S0), and spiral galaxies (Sa, Sb, Sc, SBa, SBb, SBc) or “late galaxies” evolved from the elliptical galaxies.  In this model the lenticular galaxies are viewed as a transition type between the elliptical and spiral galaxies.  While this evolution model has been found to be incorrect, this is a good diagram used for galaxy classification.

Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram

What is dark matter?

Dark matter accounts for effects that appear to be the result of mass where such mass cannot be seen.  It attracts or exerts a gravitational inward pull on the visible matter surrounding it.

Are we sure it is not dark energy?

Yes, because dark energy repels or pushes outward.

What is already known about spiral galaxy rotation curves?

Rotation curves are an essential tool for determining mass distribution in spiral galaxies, and provide fundamental information for understanding the evolution and formation of spiral galaxies.

The existing programs that will be used were created by:

Dane Falberg is another student at Lawrence Technological University who is working on an astrophysics project advised by Dr. Scott Schneider. I will use his project to understand, and build my own genetic algorithm program using Java.

Project Objectives:t.

  • Research galaxy rotation curves for the six different types of spiral galaxies.
  • Investigate mathematical models for ordinary matter and dark matter to generate rotation curves.
  • Research genetic algorithms.
  • Study Dane Falberg’s programing with genetic algorithms.
  • Create the software, to fit galaxy rotation.
  • If time is available see if this process can be done with lenticular galaxies.

References

J.Q. Feng and C.F. Gallo, Res. Astron. Astrophys. 11 1429-1449, 1 (2011).
P. Charbonneau, Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 101 309-334, 1 (1995).
Y. Sofue and V. Rubin, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 39 181-0015, 1(2000).

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Proposal Requirements

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Written Proposal FINAL CLR

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Written Proposal Evaluation Rubric

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Final Proposal_Cere Rettig

Proposal Presentation

Project: Looking for Dark Matter in the Rotation Curves of the Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram

Department of Natural Sciences: Physics

Project adviser:  Dr. Scott Schneider

Presented by: Ceré L. Rettig

E-mail: crettig@ltu.edu

Ceré L. Rettig June 2014

Project Objectives:

  • Research galaxy rotation curves for the six different types of spiral galaxies.
  • Investigate mathematical models for ordinary matter and dark matter to generate rotation curves.
  • Research genetic algorithms.
  • Study Dane Falberg’s programing with genetic algorithms.
  • Create the software, to fit galaxy rotation.
  • If time is available see if this process can be done with lenticular galaxies.

Dane Falberg is another student at Lawrence Technological University who is working on an astrophysics project advised by Dr. Scott Schneider.  I will use his project to understand and build my own genetic algorithm program using java for this project that I will be able to use and modify for this project.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea of doing a galaxy rotation curve project for the different types of spiral galaxies while accounting for dark matter came from Dr. Scott Schneider.  The idea of using genetic algorithms came from: P. Charbonneau, The Astrophysical Journal Supplemental Series 309, 101 (1995).  I decided to bring it all together with the Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram because it is a general galaxy diagram that works for this project.

Hubble Tuning Fork Galaxy Diagram

What is dark matter?

Dark matter accounts for effects that appear to be the result of mass where such mass cannot be seen.  It attracts or exerts a gravitational inward pull on the visible matter surrounding it.

Are we sure it is not dark energy?

Yes, because dark energy repels or pushes outward.

What is a galaxy rotation curve?

Galaxy rotation curves are a graphical analysis obtained from the magnitude of the orbital velocities of visible stars in a particular galaxy and their radial distance from the galaxies center, typically depicted with a scatter plot.

What does this look like?

ngc3198_rc

Similar to Dr. Scott's in office drawing.

Thank you Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick for pointing out unlike the first graph (the one in my midterm presentation) the one I drew and used in my proposal presentation does not have the axes labeled.

What is a genetic algorithm?

Genetic algorithms are a quick computational approach using evolution through natural selection. They are often used in computer science, artificial intelligence and computer-aided engineering design but not as often in physical sciences. In this project they will be used as a quick but effective approach to solving mathematical equations.

A special thanks to Len Hernandez for attending my presentation!

Faculty: Dr. Shannon TimmonsDr. Julie Zwiesler-VollickDr. Nicole VilleneuveJeffery Morrissette, student presentations.

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 Proposal Presentation Dark Matter in the Rotation Curves FINAL

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Proposal Presentation Evaluation Rubric

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Proposal Presentation Evaluation_Cere Rettig

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Proposal Requirements

Research with Humans and Animals

This is when I learned research with humans does not necessarily mean some crazy Frankenstein experiment.

“A living individual person about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or identifiable private information.”

It could be something as simple as testing if sports drinks actually have an effect on athletes, or if energy drinks really help you stay awake.  If research with humans is going to be done an IRB form must be submitted before doing research with humans.

IRB Review Criteria

  • There must be a benefit.
  • The protocol must minimize the risks.
  • There must be an equitable selection of subjects.
  • Participation must be informed and voluntary. No unfair inducements such as large cash payments.
  • Privacy and confidentiality of subjects and data must be protected.

Research with animals, while I cannot say I like that research is done with animals I understand it has helped save lives with vaccines and advances in technology.  It is comforting to know there ethical ways to use animals for research just as there are for humans.

The 3 R’s of Animal Research

  • Replacement: Replacing conscious, living vertebrates with cell or tissue cultures, computer models, and/or less-developed animal species.
  • Refinement: Using any technique or procedure that decreases the suffering, or enriches the life of an animal used in research.
  • Reduction: Using the fewest number of animals possible in a research project to gain statistically significant results.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Animals and Humans

Faculty: Dr. Jeffery Morrissette

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Research with Humans and Animals

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Research with Human Subjects_Morrissette

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – The Science and Ethics of Animal Research_Morrissette

Biosafety

I learned a lot about biology and biosafety in this discussion since I have not been in a biology class or lab.  I honestly thought it was going to be quite boring but it was really interesting.  I never knew there was a difference between a chemical fume hood and a biological safety cabinet, to me they both look the same.  I learned the difference between biowaste and trash and how to dispose of them.  Did you know there are also proper procedures for the autoclave?  When I saw a student use it there did not appear to be any particular procedures, maybe I was not fully paying attention since it was not equipment I used and knew little about.

legohazmatbiohazard

Faculty:  Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Basics of Biosafety_ZV

Midterm Presentation

At this time I had discussed my senior project with both Dr. Scott Schneider and Dr. Valentina Tobos.  I knew Dr. Scott was going to be my adviser since we had previously discussed what type of physics project I was interested in doing at the 2013 Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.  On January 18, 2013 at that time I stated I was interested in a project in astrophysics.  When Dr. Scott and I discussed my project this time, I knew I wanted a project in theoretical astrophysics, and that I would like to study the formation and evolution of galaxies after graduation.  We discussed many project ideas he had but I did not find them particularly interesting.  At this time I stated what I was interested in, and we discussed what I would be capable of doing as an undergraduate. After some time we came up with the idea of obtaining an understanding of galaxy rotation curves and the use of genetic algorithms while accounting for dark matter.  I did not have a strong understanding of the project at this time, but it sounded interesting!

images (2)

Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons, student presentations.

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 Midterm Presentation CLR

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Midterm Presentation Evaluation Rubric

PSC 3001 Midterm Presentation Evaluation_Cere Rettig

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Proposal Requirements

Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

The term conflict of interest I was vaguely familiar with before this discussion.  I had an idea of what it meant but I was not sure how it applied to research.  This showed me how there is a lot to think about before beginning a research project, that it may not be a simple decision.  While it may appear to be exactly what you are looking for you have to keep in mind your: personal, intellectual, financial, and professional interests to decide if this is truly the best opportunity.

GotEthics

Conflict of Interest

Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

Professional Ethics

Professional ethics is a topic that is incredibly important for any undergraduate degree.  I know many students, myself included, often wonder why there is this LTU Honor Code we must have on everything we submit to our professors.  Well, someone must have thought they would be clever enough to “beat the system” and not put in as much effort as others and come out with a fantastic grade.  While discussing professional ethics it was made more clear that perhaps the circumstances a person is in can and often will influence their behavior.  This does not make it alright for someone to not be ethical but, it makes you think a bit differently to see how someone else may be thinking.

Professional Ethics

Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Professional Ethics

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Professional Ethics

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Assignment 2

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – CLR Assignment 2

More Evidence of Stem Cell Errors _ The Scientist Magazine®