Thursday, July 24, 2014

Radio Telescopes

We had an interesting class today where my classmates and I had to be broken up into separate groups for lab tours! A large variety of science labs were available for us, since we were able to tour labs on nanotechnology, soft matter, and telescopes. My favorite tour was the one in a newly remodeled building called the Singh Center of Nanotechnology. Besides the fact that the building's architecture was absolutely beautiful, what really caught my attention was the Clean Room, where researchers dress in full-bodied overcoats, gloves, and eye glasses to ensure that their experiments aren't skewed by any possible dust or hair particles that might interfere with the experiment. 
Satellite from the roof
After our tours were finished, Jim Aguirre gave us a lecture since he was our guest speaker for the day. He discussed the significance of telescopes, galaxies, super clusters and a lot more interesting facts which was very helpful for me, since I was able to apply all of that new knowledge into my radio telescope group. When we were ready to go meet up with our groups after lunch, I was especially excited since the radio telescope group were going to a mini field-trip to see a satellite that's around the area. The group met up with Jim, since he was the one to drive us to the facility. 

Group photo
We were all taken aback by the size of the satellite we saw! It was a lot larger than the average sizes (such as the one that we work with in our group) and even had quite a bit of history tied to it. The radio telescope was an old satellite from the '80s, which is of no use anymore. It turned out that the original plans for the telescope during the '80s was to tear it down. However, they figured that taking down the satellite would require a large amount of money and funds, so they kept it in the facility rather than taking it down.

My day ended with watching scary movies with friends, and karaoke night in the lounge. Although it wasn't the most popular activity available for us, it was also one of our last events put together by the program, making it host a pretty large amount of people. After we left karaoke night, we all congregated together in one of our dorms to work on our final physics presentation for tomorrow. It seems so different to think of tomorrow as the last day of so many things. The last day with my amazing new friends. The last day with the one-and-only wonderful instructors: Bill, Mary, and Craig. The last day of discovery, growth, and learning for this extravagant summer at UPenn. 
Working on final presentations
Our exciting roller coaster is finally coming to an end, and although I am not prepared at all for this sudden stop, I hope that I'll be able to finish off strong and have the best experience that I can. 

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