Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lasers, Lasers, and More Lasers

Today was not exactly what I have become used to over the past 3 weeks.  We spent the morning in our groups from yesterday, finishing our speed of light experiment.  We sent a laser beam down to one end of the hall and reflected it back. One detector picked up the beam at the beginning, and one detected the reflection.  The time between the two detectors, divided by the distance from the laser to the mirror and back, gives the speed of light. Although finding measurement did not take as long as I expected, we ran into some challenges.  Once we had everything set up, we discovered that the radio waves and x-rays from the most-likely awesome graduate lab experiments were interfering with our signals.  We then had to move our entire apparatus up a level and set everything up again.   In the end, we got an accurate number and we were very excited.

For the rest of the day we were "free," but encouraged to work on the three presentations due in the next three days.  I started by working on the powerpoint for my Quantum Mechanics group, and then met back at the dorm with Mariko, Alysa, and Jessica to work on our other two projects.  We split up the work well, and got a lot done in a few hours.  

We grabbed some dinner before meeting at 5:45 for...wait for it...LASER TAG!  I'm no Barney Stinson, but I had an amazing time.  It was my first time playing laser tag, and I know I will play a lot in the future.  I was exhausted by the time we got back on the bus for the hour ride home. 

Tomorrow is our first day in our new building, and our first presentation day.  Alysa, Jessica, Mariko, and I will present about the exponential properties of radioactive decay and dice tossing.  I'm not sure how well doing Science in an English building will go, but I guess we will just wait and see.

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