Sunday, November 17, 2019

Winning the Lottery - Week of Nov. 11th

A new project began at the Weatherford household this week.  Father and son decided that the tradition of installing the outdoor Christmas lights year after year needed a technology upgrade.
With all of the experience and knowledge of Halloween costume lighting, the boys transferred that background to create a plan for LED lighting outside.

Cam is always intrigued by science and wants to know how things were made and when.
The first Light-Emitting Diode (LED) with practical use was first documented in the 1950's.  Gallium Arsenide had started experimentation with the use of the semiconductor that subsequently led to the development of the very first LED with practical use. In 1962, Nick Holonyak, Jr. invented the first LED that could produce visible red light.  
LEDs create light by electroluminescence in a semiconductor material. Electroluminescence is the phenomenon of a material emitting light when electric current or an electric field 
is passed through it - this happens when electrons are sent through the material and fill electron holes. An electron hole exists where an atom lacks electrons (negatively charged) and therefore has a positive charge. Semiconductor materials like germanium or silicon can be "doped" to create and control the number of electron holes. Doping is the adding of other elements to the semiconductor material to change its properties. By doping a semiconductor you can make two separate types of semiconductors in the same crystal. The boundary between the two types is called a p-n junction. The junction only allows current to pass through it one way, this is why they are used as diodes. LEDs are made using p-n junctions. As electrons pass through one crystal to the other they fill electron holes. They emit photons (light). This is also how the semiconductor laser works.

Nightly work of connecting the reels of light together and determining how to get power to the roof-line without running multiple extension cords became a part of every evening discussion.
Each week, Cam continues to work diligently at PT.
The weekend brought a visit from Mary Jo on Friday evening while Cam's parents wrapped up the Halloween project
with a recap and dinner.
Saturday morning, Ms. Ann arrived to hang out with her buddy all day and into
early evening.  Chris and Jane were off to Ann Arbor to see the big U of M football game up close and personal, thanks to Ms. Molly and her mom, Bobbi.  The game was chilly, but exhilarating as we watched with over 111,000 other people.


Back in Grand Rapids, Ann and Cam spent the day playing games, visiting Heidi's farm stand and even finishing some school work.  Ms. Patti stopped by a couple of times to help out and it was a treat for both Cam and his parents to have separate fun-filled days.  We are grateful for these priceless gifts.
When Ms. Ann accidentally left her winter vest behind, Chris took the opportunity to send a pic of him modeling the coat.


Although Cam's dad didn't hold onto the warm garment, Cam's mom was given a big surprise this week that she was more than happy to keep.  At school, Jane met with Cam's teacher for a conference update.  After hearing a glowing report, she stopped in the media center to check out the scholastic book sale.  While there, Cam's mom purchased some raffle tickets for a gift basket.  It was filled with a new cookbook, treats, candles, soap and a warm blanket.  Jane couldn't believe it!  Cam declared it was like 'winning the lottery!'


Camology Quotes:
Cam had a physical at the doc office prior to his physical therapy.  He had a flu shot plus 3 other shots for 12-year physical.  Cam has always done well with medical shots and seems to barely flinch.  I told his PT, Patrick, that he was a champ. 
Patrick said, "wow Cam, you're tough!"
To which Cam replied:
"I'm as tough as a cookie that has been in the freezer for 4 days!"

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