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Collaborative Research Betweem Physics And Electrical Engineering Technology Classes.

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.149.1 - 5.149.12



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Paper Authors

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Terrence P. O'Connor

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Inter-university Extremely Low Frequency /Ultra Low Frequency Cooperative Project

Terrence P. O’Connor, Purdue University


Undergraduate students of Indiana University Southeast (IUS) and Purdue University collaborated to research the phenomena of natural occurring signals in the Extremely Low Frequency and Ultra Low Frequency ranges. Physics students of IUS fabricated coil antennas intended to receive signals from single hertz to approximately 100 hertz. The intent of the physics students research was to detect and analyze signals, especially those of terrestrial origin such as the Schumann resonances, lightning resonances, and the postulated electromagnetic signals that are pre-cursors to earthquake activity. Purdue Electrical Engineering Technology students designed amplification and active filter circuitry for the IUS physics students to use in their research. The Purdue students did this as a part of their RF and Power Electronics class. The relationship between these two universities respective programs proved to be mutually beneficial. The Purdue students had the experience of designing and fabricating a device which was put into immediate use. The IUS physics students supplied weekly feedback to the Purdue students on the signals that they had detected. The physics students gained a greater appreciation of electronics and the Purdue students an understanding of the physics under investigation. This project has proven to be interesting enough to continue on for three years and has received two grants from the Purdue Research Foundation. The present state of the research is briefly described.


It has long been assumed that most of the interesting phenomena in the electromagnetic spectrum occur at frequencies above 3 kHz and indeed humans have made the greatest use of this part of the EM spectrum. However it is now known that a plethora of naturally occurring electromagnetic signals exist in the ranges of the EM spectrum called Extremely Low Frequency (ELF), 3 Hz to 3 KHz and Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) below 3 Hz. Many of these signals are of geophysical origin and because of a dearth of information existing on these phenomena, they merit further investigation. Known naturally occurring ELF/ULF signals encompass Schumann resonances, direct signals from lightning, and postulated electromagnetic precursors of earthquake. Manmade sources in these bands include the ubiquitous 60Hz power grid noise (50Hz in Europe) and secret submarine signals.

O'Connor, T. P. (2000, June), Collaborative Research Betweem Physics And Electrical Engineering Technology Classes. Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8210

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