Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Goodbye, Rittenhouse Lab

Today was our final day in the Rittenhouse Laboratory. It's been really great to have access to the amazing facilities here, and I'll definitely be sad to go back home to the labs at my poor California public school. We spent our entire morning finding the speed of light.

 My group wound up in the basement, trying to aim a laser through a beamsplitter at a mirror 30 feet down the hall, and then get that beam to reflect off of the mirror through a lens to focus on a PN diode. I'd say that it gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "shooting in the dark." Once we got the laser focused, we had a tricky time getting the oscilloscope to work. Finally, we got a number for the speed of light, and it was only .01 off from the number we wanted!

Once we finished our lab, we were done for the day. I went to lunch, and then met with my interest group to discuss our presentation on Thursday. We distributed the different tasks and agreed to put them all together tomorrow. After that, I met with my Hershey Park group to work on our Friday presentations. I think that I'm in good shape for all of my presentations this week.

On a lighter note, I went with the rest of the Penn Team on a trip to play Laser Tag. I've never played Laser Tag before, and I loved the experience! It was a fun contrast to the intensity of the last couple of days of class, although my friends would tell you that I got very competitive about the game. The day ended with a floor meeting about the end of the week and departure from UPenn. I'll miss everyone here, but I think that I am ready to go home.

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