Friday, February 6, 2009


Well, in the words of Dr. Isis, I am being "bent over by science."

I went to run some experiments on my equipment yesterday, (equipment that I designed and built), and one of my two heaters was not working. The very expensive, fancy heater that is one of the key innovations in the machine. Did I mention expensive? That I've broken once before? The first time I broke one was unexpected, my advisor was very understanding that these things do happen during research, and I changed my design to account for the reason it broke.

But this time when I saw my data going screwy, I just had a sinking feeling. I checked all my wiring, everything was good. I opened up the machine and took out the heater... and it was shattered. Blast.

The worst part to me as a scientist is I have no idea why it broke. It can't be the same reason it broke last time, because I changed my design, unless of course I was wrong last time about the reason it broke. Tomorrow I am going to double-check my calculations for some design decisions I made, and make sure I didn't design something else stupidly. I sent in a note to my supplier to ask for a quote for a new one, so I can get it replaced as soon as I can. But I don't want to replace it unless I know why the damn thing broke, or it'll just break again.

And I'm not really sure what I'm going to tell my advisor at our next meeting (which happens to be one of the one-on-one variety... of course...). The truth, I guess, along with my calculations that I'm double checking, and any guesses I have as to why.

Crimeny. Did I forget to tell my equipment I am trying to graduate?

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