Monthly Archives: March 2015

One who counts

Change something anything! Be irrational, grab and grasp at the world, and slowly take hold of … what? There is nothing to be said which is this important. It’s not really a matter of fact approach.

Geiger sat in the darkness. Watching and counting. This is an example remembered easily. The original story is something about Rutherford and his alpha particles bouncing off the thin gold sheet. It was during the age of ‘plum pudding’ atoms. Anyways. Eventually we progressed from that old age into this new age. The age of heavy protons and neutrons resting in the nucleus while around their massive center whip tiny electrons. The entire precarious structure held together by the Forces.

The progress was done by counting over many days. On each day new measurements were recorded. The team worked tirelessly. The experiment carried on for months.

The beginning and ending of experiments is remembered by measurement. Most of my experimental time has taken place in the age of electronics. One is simply able to place the sensor, check the output, and begin the experiment. There is less watching and counting now. But we still want to count as much as we can. We need more sensors.

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Learning By Doing

As the sunlight filters in through the bright blue window, another lazy weekend travels past. Once again I am considering the homework requests from various classes, and neatly writing lists. At the same time, it’s quite a productive morning and the rate of incoming tasks is less than the rate of outgoing tasks.

The homework requests are fun and interesting, mostly because they are not complete. When I actually begin to work on the task is really only a small component of the process which is to learn how by doing how. The titles or names of the tasks are quite massive. Things which take up entire bookcases. Over 800 books of material!

Instead of working, I begin to learn how to work. Quickly traversing the web, finding software, viewing neat slices of training video, configuring environments and planning a line of attack. Behind my work lies a neat Lab Journal, just like the type kept in the thousands of other research labs. The journal is my list of doings.

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