2011 Physics Internships at Wesleyan

2011 Physics Internships at Wesleyan

2011 Physics Internships at Wesleyan

DennyVincent's NASA geophysics report summary. The Marcellus shale formation is a layer of rock containing natural gas that underlies a large portion of the Appalachian Basin. The gas lies 1-2 miles beneath the Earth's surface.

 
New technology called fracking has made it cost-effective to extract this natural gas. High-pressure water is forced down the shaft, which created small fractures in the shale. Horizontal drilling technology was developed to collect the natural gas. A single drilling rig drills downward about 6000 feet and then makes a 90° horizontal turn for about a mile
.
 
Iwasinvited to a drilling site near my home and talked to a geologist and an engineer at the site. They let me take pictures and gave me a sample of the shale and flowback fluid
The fluid's flow rate must be just right to effectively retrieve the gas. The gas industry is actively researching the most effective fluids and flow rates.
 
My research explored three variables: type of fluid, flow rate, and the composition of different types of shale. Funding was provided by the NASA-WV Space Grant Consortium
Joe Satterfield's NASA research. Joe worked with Dr. DeLaney to measure velocities of a supernova remnant using photos from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Funding was provided by the NASA-WV Space Grant Consortium.
 
Chera Rogers studied the hyperfine spectrum of potassium in our laser lab. Her research mentor was Dr. Wiest. The NASA-WV Space Grant Consortium provided Chera's funding.
 
Norm Biggs and Ryan Mischler studied energy sources for a possible human colony on Mars. Dr. Wiest guided their research and the NASA-WV Space Grant Consortium provided their funding.
 
Heather Graffius worked with Dr. Wiest in our laser lab to measure the energy structure of lithium. The Appalachian College Association Ledford Fellowship Program funded her research.

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