Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chemistry Update - March 2014

Don't worry, I won't actually be featuring any real chemistry here, I just thought I'd share a few exciting photos relating to chemistry that have happened recently. The first is that I was recently trained on the XRD (powder x-ray diffraction) instrument, and went with a colleague to run TEM. XRD sample prep is pretty boring, but TEM sure is adorable. If you look carefully at the picture below, you'll see tiny copper circles, "grids" as we call them. We place a tiny drop of our sample onto them and look with the fancy microscope for nanometer-sized things. Pretty cool right?
 My university is also in the middle of hosting perspective graduate students. I like to say that this is the time to relax as we wine-and-dine the students into attending, but it certainly has a few pluses for current graduate students. The Inorganic Division usually puts a big dinner together, and current graduate students cook a seasonal or regional meal for all of the division. I usually cook a fair amount of dishes for this, but this year I decided that I'm too busy and tired, so offered just to do something small. A friend and I did volunteer to do the periodic table of cupcakes though, we couldn't help ourselves. Although note to self : putting buttercream in ziplocs and then attempting to frost with the corner cut off does NOT work if the frosting is still cold. We just poked holes in the bag and had to frost with a butter knife (!?!?!), no fun or style involved. But, taste is key.

We also woke up at the #*$&crack of dawn (before dawn, actually) to meet the perspectives on a snowshoeing adventure. Lucky for us, one of the assistant professors organized everything and had our equipment ready to go. It turns out you just strap them over your shoes. Here are a few shots from us wandering around a lake, just 45 minutes outside Seattle.

Been up to anything interesting recently?


Edie said...

So awesome science! I knew people in my REU who did XRD all day and I never knew how it worked...oops. You're such a role model graduate student by still hanging out with recruits! *high five*

Sophia said...

I wish the cupcakes turned out a little better. The frosting was such a mess!!! haha