Because Physics is better than your major

Gold Member
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:

X-ray laser experiment designed to be awesome

ZOMG WHAT IS THAT?!?

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

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

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

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!!!!!

Evo
Mentor

ZOMG WHAT IS THAT?!?

More awesome. AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT DOES.
I see a lot of tin foil and duct tape. :tongue2:

Last edited:
I see lots of wires!

Yayy for EEs!

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

russ_watters
Mentor
I do air conditioning because its cool.

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I see a lot of tin foil and duct tape. :tongue2:
I bet, with the leftovers, they make tin foil hats .

Gold Member
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....

...

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

DISCUSS!!!!!
Experiments in my field can be done with pencil and paper, thereby saving millions of dollars. Thus, mathematics is better. What say you?

I bet it took a lot of engineers to design and build that equipment so you physicists could play with it.

ZOMG WHAT IS THAT?!?
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. Evo Mentor 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.
:rofl:

Wow, these photo's are sooo cool, peng!!

Gold Member
Penguino said:
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....

...

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

DISCUSS!!!!!
Experiments in my field can be done with pencil and paper, thereby saving millions of dollars. Thus, mathematics is better. What say you?
Seriously though, I'm pretty jealous. That looks awesome.

Gold Member
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.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: that's hilarious!

Chi Meson
Homework Helper
Experiments in my field can be done with pencil and paper, thereby saving millions of dollars. Thus, mathematics is better. What say you?
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?

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

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.

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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?
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:
So, in conclusion, Physics is just better than whatever you're studying. I'm hyper right now.

DISCUSS!!!!!
Of course you are free to your own opinion

Gold Member
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!

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:
PFF, if you don't care about the number of wires, what else is there to care about?! :grumpy:

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
PFF, if you don't care about the number of wires, what else is there to care about?! :grumpy:
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.

Gold Member
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.
Score! Second hand technology

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.

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.
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

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
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
Ah, you're forgetting that since I started out as a condensed matter physicists, I also have cool applications for the technology.

Biologists use the light from synchrotron radiation to image biological structures. I, on the other hand, used such light to perform spectroscopy on interesting material. The result can be something like my avatar. So yes, physicists not only care about the hardware, but we also make use of them. There are exotic stuff being done with STM right now, for example, that you will drool over if it ever gets modified to work on biological problems.

So we have the best of both worlds!

:)

Zz.

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ah, you're forgetting that since I started out as a condensed matter physicists, I also have cool applications for the technology.
Oh, I'm definitely not forgetting that, I was just challenging Penguino

Can it make a cup of tea? If not, my kettle trumps.

dlgoff
Gold Member
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:

X-ray laser experiment designed to be awesome

ZOMG WHAT IS THAT?!?

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

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

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

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!!!!!
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.
I think I'm in love. :!!)

My heart beats faster, my mind wonders, ... I just want to touch it.

Gold Member
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).\
If you didn't add that last part in parenthesis, I was going to tell you to stop making up large words! :P

Science rocks, it makes me sadface to think of people who work the most mundane boring jobs their entire life that contribute very little to the world.