Week 4!

Share This:

Sunday, June 25, 2023


Eva Rissanen

Hey guys! Here's the rundown of my fourth week in DC. I will preface this by saying I didn't really do a ton of stuff outside of work, but it was a pretty eventful week nontheless.
Monday- We had an off day!!! I got some muuuch needed rest and later in the night the interns had an italian themed potluck!! Everybody really went all out- there was homemade pizza, salad, and sooo many different kinds of pasta. I kinda felt bad for just bringing frozen desserts but overall it was a huge success and I had a great time!
Tuesday- I went to work as per usual, and unfortunately I had to retake all of my data from last week because for some reason the cryocooler only cooled to 13 Kelvin when I needed it to be at 4 Kelvin. This week we successfully cooled the capacitors down to 4K, so I spent most of my time doing that. Then, I went home and worked on my presentation for Wednesday!
Wednesday- Today at work we had a group meeting where my mentors group presented their research progress! Including me! I was a bit nervous because my data could have looked a lot better- there was a lot of visual noise in my graphed data which I wasn’t too happy about. But, I presented and I was able to answer the questions asked (which is the most nerve wracking thing for me)! After that I went and began retaking the room temperature data again, my mentor was able to reduce the noise a lot so I figured it was a good opportunity to get better data. I started on that, then puttered around NIST for the rest of the day.
Thursday was an off campus work day! All of the interns met at the American Center for Physics, where we were blessed with the opportunity to meet and talk to Dr. John Mather!! For those who may not know, Dr. Mather is a Nobel Prize laureate, and he played a big role in studying cosmic background radiation, which in turn proved that the Big Bang actually happened. He’s an incredibly intelligent, super down to earth guy, and getting to meet him is probably the biggest physics flex ever. Definitely telling all of my physics friends when I get home.
Friday was a full work day! I went into NIST at 10am, and left at 4:30ish. I (finally) finished taking the room temperature data and formatted all of the graphs, all that’s left is to analyze the slope and compare the voltage drop in Room temp. vs Cryogenic temp. I think I’ll try and finish that this weekend, since I feel that I’ve spent enough time on this small project anyways, and I want a new challenge to get absorbed into. Before I left work, I started soldering wires to BNC connectors. Next week, I’m going to be helping out a lot with making a new break out box (BOB!), so after I solder the wires to the BNC connectors, I’m also going to have to solder the switch wires to them as well. I foresee a lot of soldering in my future. Later that night, a few of us interns went to see the monuments at night! I will definitely be going again. It's so different compared to seeing them in the day. I'll attach some pics I took during our walk. 
Saturday, I slept in til 1pm (Don’t ask questions. I like to sleep.) and me and my roommate went to Starbucks! A little after that, the interns had lunch together then it was off to the Smithsonian (the art and industry one I think?) for Astronomy on the Mall! Except, I guess now it’s Astronomy at the Smithsonian. It’s been really rainy this entire week, so the event had to be moved indoors. It’s a little funny because I woke up to clear blue skies, but you never know, it could rain later (it did not rain later). The turnout was awesome!! I worked mostly with the gravity well and gave kids marbles to send flying into oblivion. I swear, we lost like 50 marbles. I also worked at the trivia table, and I was honestly quite impressed with how knowedgeable some people were. They knew answers to some questions that I had no clue what the answer was. I also took some time to tour the other tables, and grabbed some super cool space pictures. Overall, I had a great time, and kudos to Emily (the SOCK intern) for all of her hard work setting our group up to participate!!
So that was my week! I think since its been raining for pretty much the whole week it limited the things we could go out and do, but it's looking like (mostly) clear skies next week, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there!

Eva Rissanen