Laboratory Learning Program 2024 - Re-creation of Joseph Henry's Historic Scientific Devices (MAE-01)

Research Opportunity Number: MAE-01

Project Title: Re-creation of Joseph Henry's Historic Scientific Devices

Project Summary: Princeton has a collection of the scientific instruments used by Prof. Joseph Henry, who was a professor of natural philosophy at Princeton College from 1832-1846. He left Princeton to become the first and founding Secretary of the Smithsonian in 1846. He held that position until his death in 1878. Prof Henry was one of the two most prominent American scientists in the 19th century. The other was Willard Gibbs of Yale. The unit of electrical inductance, the henry, is named for him based on his early research in the then-new field of electro-magnetism. Summer students will be tasked with researching the history of one of Joseph Henry's experiments and will re-create the experimental device and measurements. This is a continuing project. Students in the past have studied and replicated his original electric motor, his thermoelectric battery, his galvanometer, his method of magnetizing steel, and so on. The specific device and topic is to be determined based on a large collection of 19th century devices that Prof. Henry used in his research and teaching that are in storage.

Student Roles and Responsibilities: The student(s) will do research in historical documents and work with elementary electronic devices

Additional Considerations: Start and end dates are flexible, but the student should be available essentially full-time (6 hours per day - 5 days per week - 8 weeks).

Department/Institute: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Faculty Sponsor: Michael Littman

Participation Dates: 6/24/2024 to 8/19/2024

Stipend Offered: $0

Number of Internships Available: 0-2

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024, midnight eastern daylight time