Science and Engineering are the key paradigms for organizing a study of natural phenomena. Science, the active study, seeks to understand and predict. Engineering, the pro-active study, seeks to co-opt and re-purpose. Hand in hand, the study of Science and Engineering, as applied to materials, can be mapped by four significant milestones. These milestones chart the progress of EMAT graduate students through their education and research as they struggle, learn, master and, finally, bequeath answers...
... that raise new questions.
Figure: Modeling distributed gain, pump and signal power profiles along the length of a Waveguide Optical Amplifier.
You've found something new. But does it make sense based on what you already know?
Modeling is the step back-the humble acknowledgment that whatever you've discovered in the lab must ultimately connect by a train of physical laws to the prior knowledge that informs us all. There's something new afoot, but it only makes sense if we can connect it to the past.and in doing so, enable the researcher to predict novel, unprecedented phenomena.
The exercise of modeling completes the science study of a natural phenomenon. It is the attribution of a mathematical language with which to quantitatively describe and predict a phenomenon as a physical system of interacting internal parts. It isn't enough to discover something strange and mysterious-that is exploration. Modeling is what turns exploration into a scientific study and an unknown natural phenomenon into a known physical system.
Past achievements in modeling for the EMAT group include:
Modeling the temperature-dependent energy transfer mechanism between Er and the Si conduction band, giving quantitative description to the quantum efficiency of a Si:Er LED.
Modeling the absorption interaction cross-section of Si nanocrystals in Si-rich Oxide providing a quantitative measure of optical sensitization during Er co-doping.
Modeling the bandgap shrinkage of Ge-on-Si expitaxial films under tensile compression to correlate the extended spectral responsivity of our photodetectors with spectral photo-reflectance measurements.