Local high-tech company k-Space hosted the Dexter High School AP calculus students for their annual Calculus is Great field trip day. Teacher Dewey Scott took his three AP Calculus classes to get a tour of k-Space and to see how the company utilizes calculus to make measurements with their products. Examples included finding the band edge position in diffuse reflectance spectra, and determining film thickness from analyzing spectral interference fringes.
Professor Roy Clarke of the University of Michigan Physics Department was on-hand to discuss solar panels and increasing their efficiency. k-Space is one of the leading suppliers of photovoltaic metrology to solar panel manufacturers and researchers all of the world. Their instruments monitor important quality factors in the production process in real time, which saves the manufacturers money and ultimately helps to lower the cost of solar panels, making them affordable to more people and companies around the world. This, of course, helps lowering green house gas emissions. A company like k-Space is a perfect example of how advanced knowledge in math and physics can make a positive difference in the world.