Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Relaxing, Fattening Day

Taming Our Dysfunctional Oscilloscope!
Another low key day it was today as Master Yoda would put it. To begin with, we finished our experiment on calculating the speed of light. Turns out that this task was much harder than we thought. Just getting our laser pointer setup to work correctly took about 45 minutes to get done. And don't even mention how much time to it took to decipher time data and calculate an approximate speed of light. Luckily, with the help of our tech assistant Brian and Mary, we were able to find one and bring our error from a 2,500% error to a 33% error within a few more tries.

After fiddling around with the laser light contraption, we took a break and ate lunch. When we came back, we set off to work again in our interest groups. Since we had some methanol within our cloud chamber, it was supposedly easier to see particles coming in to the chamber. This advantage didn't really show itself until at the tail end of our experimentation for today. Here's some footage of it. The white lines that you see are created by subatomic particles called muons. Muons pass through the atmosphere and earth all the time undetected until conditions set up by the particle cloud chamber are instituted.

A Sad Looking Cone Paired With a Delicious Looking Cookie!
At the end of day, I hung out with my friends and talked about how our classes were as we got ice cream and cookies. I'm very sad that I'll be leaving them in just 4 days! I really enjoyed the time I had with them and with the teachers here at Penn. So I hope to "savor" the last few days that I have here!

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