Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time in the lab with my advisor, setting up equipment for the diffusion experiment. The way we set up an experiment was more about doing it right than making it look good. For instance, we needed to raise something a bit, so we used a folded paper towel. We needed a way to attach two parts, so we cut a straw. I find it so amusing that normal items are being used to help physics.

We’re so close to beginning, although the experiment isn’t that exciting. It’ll be about a week of diffusion at the molecular level, which I’m assured is slow. So what will happen is that I set up my experiment and wait. I won’t, of course, have to wait there for a week, but I will have to monitor it to make sure the computer doesn’t crash or someone doesn’t bump into the equipment.

I look forward to beginning. Not only is this allowing me to make progress in my thesis, but also I haven’t run an experiment from beginning to end. My advisor also hopes to make some cool discoveries. The other students (undergrads) ran a sloppy version of the experiment in his lab. Instead of injecting glycerin into the water, one of them carefully blew in coffee. Evidently, his lungs are so damaged from smoking that he was able to do this slow enough. In their sloppy experiment, they proved my advisor’s theory right.

I think the next few weeks of experiments are going to be fun. The lab is really excited, and everyone is just really awesome to be around. Stay tuned for more updates!