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Because Physics is better than your major

  1. Nov 15, 2011 #1

    Pengwuino

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    So sometimes people ask "why physics?" and I tell them about all that BS about learning how the world works, doing stuff that challenges me and interests me....

    but this is the actual answer:

    15x4hub.jpg

    X-ray laser experiment designed to be awesome

    23k6cn6.jpg

    ZOMG WHAT IS THAT?!?

    fe3wba.jpg

    More awesome. AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT DOES.

    o6bi38.jpg

    Okay this is more badass when they're actually here doing experiments

    2z4l9pe.jpg

    SLAC Main Control Center, and the people working there act like they don't have a sweet *** job.

    349ck0o.jpg

    Oh and to top it all off, dinner with a Nobel Prize winner.

    SO WHERE WAS I?

    Oh, right, I was at the Stanford Linear Accelerator National Lab for the APS CA/NV section meeting. They gave us a tour of the accelerator facility and here are my crappy photos. For cereal, though, what other areas (I know this isn't just a physicist's job) gets to play with awesome, massive experiments like this? Hell, I gave a talk, so the room was paid for by the APS! Then, oh, right, freaken Nobel Prize winner. How many people in other majors get to say stuff like that?

    So, in conclusion, Physics is just better than whatever you're studying. I'm hyper right now.

    DISCUSS!!!!!
     
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  3. Nov 15, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    I see a lot of tin foil and duct tape. :tongue2:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  4. Nov 15, 2011 #3
    I see lots of wires!

    Yayy for EEs!
     
  5. Nov 15, 2011 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Yah I was meaning to ask why is there so much tin foil on these experiments!?!? LIKE THIS:

    2ceqb7a.jpg
     
  6. Nov 15, 2011 #5

    russ_watters

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    I do air conditioning because its cool. :cool:
     
  7. Nov 15, 2011 #6

    lisab

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    I bet, with the leftovers, they make tin foil hats :biggrin:.
     
  8. Nov 15, 2011 #7

    Dembadon

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    Experiments in my field can be done with pencil and paper, thereby saving millions of dollars. Thus, mathematics is better. What say you?
     
  9. Nov 15, 2011 #8
    I bet it took a lot of engineers to design and build that equipment so you physicists could play with it. :cool:
     
  10. Nov 15, 2011 #9
    That's a standard gizmoidal deviceitron. They're constructed from restaurant grade 5 gallon steel buckets, tin cans, tin foil, and whatever random wire you have on hand. Some can cost as much as $200.00, so not every experimental facility can afford one. They're amazing: they do pretty much anything you claim they do, and you never have to demonstrate that because they're always down for maintenance.
     
  11. Nov 15, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    :rofl:
     
  12. Nov 15, 2011 #11

    micromass

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    Wow, these photo's are sooo cool, peng!!
     
  13. Nov 15, 2011 #12

    Dembadon

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    Seriously though, I'm pretty jealous. That looks awesome.
     
  14. Nov 15, 2011 #13

    Pengwuino

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: that's hilarious!
     
  15. Nov 16, 2011 #14

    Chi Meson

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    plus, with a pencil and paper I can make a drawing of an x-ray laser.

    :snarky:

    also, with the foil, aren't they supposed to put the shiny side inward?
     
  16. Nov 16, 2011 #15

    ZapperZ

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    The foil are there to help during bake-outs.

    When a system start from atmospheric pressure and the pumped down to ultra-high vacuum level, you need to do a number of things to hasten the vacuum level to get to that. One of the things that is typically done is to bake the walls of the chamber to above 100 C (some time even up to 200 or 300 C). So there are typically heating tapes wrapped around these vacuum systems. To reduce heat loss to the surrounding, and to promote uniform heating, we tend to wrap the chambers/structures with aluminum foil.

    http://physicsandphysicists.blogspot.com/2007/03/its-shiny-and-glittery-and-covered-with.html

    BTW, you were probably at the LCLS facility. However, I'm not sure if what you saw was one of the LCLS beamline, part of the LINACS, or part of the LCLS main accelerator itself.

    Zz.
     
  17. Nov 16, 2011 #16

    Monique

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    Biologists get to play with awesome instruments too, with the difference that we don't care about the number of wires and valves: it's the experimental result that counts :tongue:
    Of course you are free to your own opinion :wink:
     
  18. Nov 16, 2011 #17

    Pengwuino

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    Woohoo Zapper smartens this thread up :D

    I think we were at the LCLS beamline.

    That last pic with all the tinfoil was at the SSRL.

    The humungousness of the buildings made focusing a camera kind of difficult. We saw the Collider Experimental Hall and there was a pit like, 4 stories deep and a football field long and I couldn't get any good pictures because my stupid camera couldn't focus right :(. The 2 mile tunnel with all the klystrons was impossible to focus too!

    PFF, if you don't care about the number of wires, what else is there to care about?! :grumpy:
     
  19. Nov 16, 2011 #18

    ZapperZ

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    Oooh.. you missed a golden opportunity to tell Monique that most of what Biologists use as their awesome equipment started out as equipments that physicists use! :)

    Zz.
     
  20. Nov 16, 2011 #19

    Pengwuino

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    Score! Second hand technology :biggrin:

    I need to get a job at a national lab. I don't think the coolness factor would ever wear off. If it did, I would probably cry.
     
  21. Nov 16, 2011 #20

    Monique

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    Oh sure, I would entirely agree with that: physics was a big part of my education as a biologist and we heavily rely on insights in physics for our experiments.

    For instance the new super-resolution microscope that uses the non-linear de-excitation of fluorescent dyes to overcome the resolution limit imposed by diffraction with standard confocal laser scanning microscopes and conventional far-field optical microscopes (I stole that from Wikipedia).

    Cool technology, but the biologist has the cool application :wink:
     
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