Monday, June 2, 20008
Today we went to the American Physics Center (APC) in College Court Maryland, which is just the name of the building. It is home to the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and three of its member groups, American Physical Society (APS), American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and American Association of Physics in Medicine (AAPM). The other seven members are Acoustical Society of America (ASA), American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Crystallographic Association (ACA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing (AVS), Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society of Rheology (SoR). The main point of going to APC was to get some know be introduced to the important people who worked there and get a better idea of what we were expected to do this summer. While we were there, we got a tour of the building and talked to people from APS, AAPT, and the AIP statistical research. We also got to wonder around and meet people.
After our orientation, Gary White drove Kunal and I out to Gaithersburg Maryland to see National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At NIST, Kunal and I met our advisors and got a tour of the labs. We are working in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (EEEL) division of NIST. More specifically, I am working in the field of macroelectroncis, because the devices I am working with are not incredibly tiny. My advisor is named Nadine Gengel-Hackett. Before the internship, I had received some information about what I would be doing, but in person she was able to explain it better. What I will be doing experiments on are flexible electronic devices. These devices are made on overhead transpierces, like the kind used in school, so they are quite flexible. So I will be testing theses devices to make sure that they work when being flexed.
After another orientation, Kunal and I got to experience the first of many hour long commutes home.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The first order of business when we got to NIST this morning was to get our security badges. All the buildings at NIST are connected but you need a badge to get into all of them, so with out the badges we were kind of helpless. Once we were settled in with our badges and access to the computer, I started reading articles about the research I would be doing. Nadine also has a SURF student working with her, who has already been here a week and has started to learn her way around. So in the afternoon, Nadine taught both of us how to use the evaporator, a machine that we both will be using. To evaporate a metal takes a lot of time. Since it is done in a vacuum chamber, we must vent and re-vacuum the machine before we can evaporate. This took the rest of the day.
Yesterday, Jenna, Mary and I had decided to go see Sex and the City. So after work we took the metro to Court House, on my side of the river, and saw the movie. We were going to walk to the movie theater in Georgetown, but it was raining and to get to Court House there isn't much walking involved.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Once a month at NIST, at least in the EEEL department, they have Journal Club. Someone picks a journal article and all the researchers come together and discuss it, and today was that day. The main motivation for this is to be aware of interesting things going on in different fields, because some times scientist get so caught up in their work they don't pay attention to anything else. I had gotten and read the article yesterday. I thought that Journal Club would be more a discussion of the science of the article, which I mostly understood, but really they were criticizing the actual experiment. The main problem with the article that had been chosen was that it didn't give enough specifics of how they did things. This can be hard in only a 5 page paper, but some of the information that they left out was really important for understanding the experiment. I spent the rest of the day designing the set up for making the sol gel for my devices, doing more reading, and talking to Nadine about the kinds of experiments I could do on the devices. That was until the thunderstorm came...
So around 3:00 it starts raining. At first it's not too bad but it keeps getting darker and winder out side. Then the power goes completely off. It was only off for a few seconds. I was mostly thinking about all the experiments that were running that now had to be done all over again. Everything seemed like it was fine after that. But then someone announced that the national weather service had us under a tornado warning and everyone had to go to the basement. When that was over there wasn't much time to do anything else, also only one of the three transformers working, so it was possible for the power to go out again.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
We had planed on doing an evaporation today, but sinc