Friday, July 10, 2009

day 5 (FRIDAY)

Today was pretty much the first day I had a chance to actually work on a specific project all day, instead of attending the Imaging Science class, the IDL class, or preparing for safety training in the MicroE building. We got free doughnuts at the staff meeting, and then my actual work started. After brainstorming with Peter and Chris (RIT students doing summer research) for some of the morning on the optical vortices lenses, I decided to work on a project with Duygu while I wait to get trained and certified. Our job is to make polyvinyl alcohol in order to test the effects of different dyes and inks. Today, we made the first batch in Tom Smith's (very nice guy) chemistry lab next door. We are also testing different thicknesses of the PVA so we are going to need quite a bit of it. Luckily it is not that hard to make and we have a lot of extra materials. The PVA was a 5% solution, and currently it is evaporating the 95% water that we do not want. The hardest part was calculating the volume of PVA we needed to get a certain thickness. It does not seem hard but the units kept getting messed up and luckily we had an ex- math major in the lab to help out. Other than that, everything went smoothly and we should be able to do the final steps Monday if it behaves favorably over the weekend. In addition, Dr, Swartzlander took our optics department out to lunch today at the Pita Pit which was surprisingly good.

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