Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can't Wait Until Tomorrow!

This morning in class was spent in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Hershey Park.  I could tell you that I am not looking forward to this at all, but that would be a boldfaced lie.  I love roller coasters.  We learned how to use the data logging equipment and we picked the ride that we will be analyzing.  My group, consisting of Mariko, Alysa, and our friend Jessica, will be analyzing Wildcat, an aggressive thrill ride (or so it says on the website).  
Well that doesn't look too aggressive
Our outfits for tomorrow
We practiced taking data with our new toys for a bit before regrouping and changing pace.  Craig took over and gave us the background on the Millikan Oil Drop Experiment.  In the early 1900s, Robert Millikan and his two grad students performed an experiment where they shot an electron off a drop of oil and studied the behavior of the charged drop.  After many hours of oily concentration, the trio found the charge of one electron, a number used frequently in science today.  Millikan got the full credit for the experiment, hence the name, and he received a Nobel prize.  Apparently, snubbing the grad students is a common theme in the scientific world.  

We broke for lunch a little earlier than usual, and I discovered that the salad bar options at lunch are much more extensive than the ones at dinner.  Trying to stay healthy, I skipped the soda and drank a bottle of milk, which went very nicely with they insomnia cookie I bought before returning to class.

In the afternoon, we broke into our lab groups and actually got to perform the Millikan Oil Drop Experiment.  It was difficult to focus on the tiny drops of oil, and the apparatus we were using had 200 volts running through it, providing a nice risky experience.  It felt amazing to experience practically the same experiment Millikan did 100 years ago.

My afternoon was very relaxing.  I mailed some letters, read some of my book, and ran some errands, all before going to dinner with Alysa, Chloe, and Ivette.  I tend to eat a lot at dinner because it is purchased through a meal-swipe and served all-you-can-eat style.  I finished the day with a nice, long run. Tonight I will try and get some rest because tomorrow is a big, big day.

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