Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome! The Equilibrium is an Open Access undergraduate, interdisciplinary research journal supported by Earl Warren College at UC San Diego. Founded in 2013, The Equilibrium was established to publish student research at UCSD, connect the faculty to the student body, provide research-related resources and information, and support stimulating academic discourse and exchange of ideas and research at the undergraduate level. It is intended to not only be an opportunity for students involved in research to showcase their work and form a supportive community, but is also a way to get other students inspired and involved with research. The Equilibrium works directly under the Warren Provost’s Office. The Equilibrium accepts student research submissions from ALL UCSD colleges and in ANY discipline.

To contact us, please email:



Low Efficiency Upconversion Nanoparticles for High-Resolution Coalignment of Near-Infrared and Visible Light Paths on a Light Microscope

One major technical barrier in working with both NIR and visible light on an optical microscope is obtaining their precise coalignment at the imaging plane position. Current techniques require complex setups and software. Photon upconverting particles (UCPs) can bridge this gap as they are excited by NIR light but emit in the visible range. Here, two different UCPs have been identified, high-efficiency micro540-UCPs and lower efficiency nano545-UCPs are compared, and it is found that the lower efficiency nano-UCPs were superior for precise coalignment of the NIR beam with the visible light path consistent with limited particle-to-particle energy transfer, superlinear power dependence for emission, and much smaller particle size.

The Wishes Tree

In the Fall of 2016, Bazmandegan participated in an event celebrating Community Day, the 75th anniversary of the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. The theme of the show revolved around artistic workshops that engaged the general public in social issues. One particular exhibition that was on display at the museum, Berkeley Protest Posters, was a collection of posters made by UC Berkeley students during the 70’s that called for an end to the Vietnam War. Bazmandegan was struck by the intensity of the involvement of students in the past and how they used widely accessible art materials to stage their protest This show inspired Bazmandegan to engage the public in a peaceful protest and encourage them to respond to the idea of protest differently. He drew inspiration from his past installation, The Wishes Tree, to ful ll this new idea of protest. For his art project, protesting was as simple as making a wish to work towards for the future. This gesture was meant to empower people about their own ability to stage a protest to make a meaningful change in their own lives or in society. In a workshop called Protest Wishes, held during Community Day, Bazmandegan asked people of all ages to write down their wishes onto pieces of ribbon, which he collected.

A Time Series Correlation Analysis Using the Keeling Curve as an Alternative Evaluation Method for Carbon Emission Modeling

This study uses atmospheric CO2 concentration data (the Keeling Curve) as an alternative measurement of anthropogenic carbon emissions to test the relationship between environmental pressure and economic development. Using verified detrending procedures, no significant relationship is observed between global population growth and increases in atmospheric carbon concentration. Changes in world GDP, however, have a significant effect on CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. GDP per capita is also a strong indicator of the Keeling Curve. The use of the affluence level, GDP per capita, correlates to the environmental impact when the environmental pressure is altered to atmospheric CO2 concentration, even though population does not correlate with the Keeling Curve.

Tactical Urbanism: A Plan for the Revitalization of Vacant and Decrepit Spaces

Current research on tactical urbanism suggests that temporary buildings in vacant spaces has given rise to more successful areas and reinvigorated sites for permanent buildings. Tactical urbanism raises three fundamental problems: risks, onsite design, and externalities. This research paper addresses these problems. Specifically, the study focuses on Quartyard in San Diego, California and relies on interviews, participant observation, and reviewing policies. The research will contribute to the literature on tactical urbanism, but it will also be shared with private developers and city officials in the hope of temporary buildings will be used more frequently to revitalize abandoned spaces.

Additive Manufacturing Materials and Design Considerations for Thunniform Propulsion

A series of polymer fins were designed and made using additive manufacturing techniques, to be tested by the Human Powered Submarine team at UC San Diego in a wet submarine that utilizes a thunniform method of propulsion. A 3D printer was also constructed in order to print these fins efficiently. Designs were inspired by the shape and semi-flexible properties of fish caudal fins. Materials utilized included polylactic acid (PLA), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), PC-ABS blends, Nylon, and thermoplastic urethane (TPU) polymers. Of these materials, polycarbonate proved most practical for this application. Factors that were qualitatively considered during the practical testing were the material properties of a specific polymer, the surface area of the propulsive  fin, and the shape of the  fin. The low-cost polycarbonate processing techniques used in this project are also applicable to the additive manufacturing field in general.

Air Quality: Population Density and Transportation Emissions

Air quality is still a major problem in much of the world. Greenhouse gases and other pollutants still continually make their way into our atmosphere. On a global scale these emissions contribute to climate change. On a local level they contribute to air pollution which contributes to heart and lung diseases.

This study looks at population density within the land-use of an area to determine if there is a negative correlation with transportation emissions. The goal of this study is to enrich our understanding of how we contribute to air pollution. My hypothesis predicted that population density leads to lower average driving distances which in turn improves air quality.