1971 International Science & Engineering Fair

Tom Takes Highest Honors in Physics at 1971 International Science & Engineering Fair; "An Investigation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance As A Means of Spectroscopy For Select Compounds Containing Hydrogen Nuclei", Building an NMR Spectrometer

In 1971, as a senior at Flagstaff Arizona Highschool, Tom took highest honors in the field of Physics at the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Kansas City, MO for work he did in the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance as a Means of Spectroscopy. A special award was presented by Dr. Glen Seaborg, then Director of the United States Atomic Energy Commision as well as a summer stay at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, IL.


This picture is the official picture taken at the 1971 Kansas City International Science and Engineering Fair of Tom’s project display and his Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer device. The spectrometer consisted of a large 4,000 Gauss permanent magnetic, a radio frequency oscillator, a variable low frequency sweep circuit and a chamber located in-between the magnetic poles surrounded by two electronic coils; one was the RF excitation coil and the other was the sweep coil. The event was covered for an “Arizona Daily Sun” newspaper front page article with Tom Thorpe (Tamarkin) appearing at an award ceremony, and also in an “Arizona Daily Sun” newspaper third page article (upper right hand corner) with an article featuring Tom Thorpe (Tamarkin) and the International Science and Engineering Fair.


This picture appeared in a 1971 Flagstaff Arizona Daily Sun Newspaper article showing Tom intently watching the screen of his oscilloscope as he tuned the frequency dial on his Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer device looking for the image of magnetic resonance for the chemical sample he was analyzing at the time.


Tom received at the Argonne National Laboratory in Juliette, IL, where he spent part of the summer as an additional award he received from the United States Atomic Energy Commission for his project at the Kansas City fair.


Tom built a highly sensitive “tuned grid” RF oscillator circuit using a 6AK5 and a 6AU6 per the schematic from Tom’s project report (spelling was never Tom’s strong subject…) This drawing shows only the tuned grid oscillator circuit. The high voltage plate power supply drawing was omitted as was the custom at the time because those skilled in the art of designing this type of device understood perfunctory circuits like power supplies. — in North Kansas City, Missouri.


Forty one years later Tom’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer tuned grid oscillator unit was sent back to him by David Sanders, an old high school friend in Flagstaff who found it in his garage. It looks like a switch and a potentiometer were cannibalized by someone over the years. — in North Kansas City, Missouri.


Forty one years later Tom’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer tuned grid oscillator unit was sent back to him by David Sanders, an old high school friend in Flagstaff who found it in his garage. It looks like someone needed a 6AU6 and a 6AK5 as both tubes are missing from their sockets as can be seen from this photo.

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