Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Everyday, class pushes me to the brink of understanding.  Today, it pushed me a little farther.  Ryan lectured us in the morning about the duality of light as a wave and a particle.  Light will behave as a wave in some situations, but in others it is seen as a bundle of particles called a photon.  One theory explains half of light's behavior, and on explains the other half. So is light a particle or a wave? Yes. Don't worry, Ryan assured us that no one really understands this branch of physics.  

After that head-spinning lecture, Bill took over and taught us about experimental error and uncertainty.  I hope to pursue a career in scientific research, so this lesson was very pertinent.  There are many things that can go wrong in an experiment, whether it's the fault of equipment, scientists, or something completely random.  To have a good result, a scientist must take many measurements and report the uncertainty that goes along with their mean number.  Although scientists go through a long process before they can report a confident result, that answer has a lot of evidence backing it.  

By 12:30, I definitely needed an hour of lunch to let the morning set in.  After we returned, we went straight up to the lab and measured Planck's Constant for different LED light bulbs.  We got the chance to use a lot high-quality equipment and I was super excited when my group got an accurate answer.  

After class, I helped Mariko with her soccer training.  I know this sounds strenuous, but I basically threw balls at her head for about twenty minutes and she amazed me with her soccer talents.  After dinner, I went on a run with David, and we got back just in time for the Ice Cream Social.  A nice cool bowl of ice cream was the perfect way to end a long and crazy day. 

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