Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mariko!

Today, instead of starting class with a lecture, we became test subjects for one of the other interest groups. They were working with a non-Newtonian fluid made from corn starch and water, for all those who might want to try it at home. I was amazed at by the quicksand like fluid, which seemed solid if you tried to move it really fast, but then became liquid if you moved it slowly. There was tubs filled with the fluid that we had to run through, or cartwheel through if your are feeling brave. I was scared of getting stuck, so I didn't run on it, but it did went up messed around with it.

Before going back to class, Bill gave us a quick history lecture about all the buildings outside. I felt sad because they all had such great backgrounds, but then ended up as a storage unit for medical waste or an apartment. We watched BLAST, which is a documentary about today's guest speaker, Mark Devlin, and his project in Antarctica. He would build the biggest balloon ever, attach a telescope to it, and then launch it into space. His mission was to not only get a better picture of the universe, but to get a better understanding of galaxies. I was astonished when I learned that he nearly lost all of his data because of one technical difficulty. The data managed to get back to Earth, but was lost in the snow.

After the film, we got a chance to have the actual man who did it. Mark Devlin talked about the telescope in more detail, which was not mentioned in the film. He then talked about his previous launches and new launches. At the moment, he is working on another, BLAST-pol. This time, he will be looking for the formation of stars. One think that interested me to get even more involved with physics was that that the whole research team consisted of two or three actual professors, the rest being graduate students.

After lunch, we continued our work with our interest groups. Craig saved us a ton of time today by already starting the cooling process, which literally is a game of patience. At first, we tried to use more powerful source, but noticed that it was letting to much air current in, so we had to switch to yesterday's source. Although we used yesterday's source, we didn't get the same results. We gave the magnet more power, hoping for an even bigger curve. The excitement of the strong source didn't leave the room and Bill noticed this. He found something that would stop the air current and BWALA, it worked. Unfortunately, we ended up running out of dry ice, so the fun ended as it was just starting.
Look....There's A Beta
I regret going to play soccer. We didn't have any plans for the evening, for Mariko's birthday, so I went. I did get a text that plans were made, but read it too late. So instead of having Indian food, I got the same old dinner at Houston's.

Tomorrow, the Physics Academy students are given the chance to sleep in. We will be going to The Franklin Institute at 9:30AM. I will use my sleep wisely, so that tomorrow I can enjoy it to the fullest.

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