Classroom Project: DIY Stirling Engine

Stirling Engine example courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 Stirling engine example (“Ericsson style hot air engine” by Rob Skinner on

This past week, we had the president of Cool Energy, Sam Weaver, speak to us at work about his commercial Stirling engines. I had known about Stirling engines for a while but was unsure on their specific operation. Sam gave a great talk along with an educational demonstration of a small, tabletop engine.

That’s when it dawned on me. What about having students build their own version of a tabletop Stirling engine? It’s a great way to show how the expansion and contraction of a gas can be transformed into rotational energy. Continue reading

Getting Started With NVIDIA CUDA on Ubuntu 10.04

NVIDIA Graphics Card

DISCLAIMER: This is a post from my old blog that I copied here to help out anyone interested in installing  CUDA on Ubuntu. Please keep in mind that it was written a few years ago with Ubuntu 10.04 and the CUDA toolkit 3.2.16. Obviously some things have changed, but it should at least provide a decent starting place. Continue reading