Week 7: Diffracting Fireworks

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


Kelby Peterson

As promised this week's post will start with the 4th of July celebrations. I was very lucky and my girlfriend came to visit me for the weekend. We met up with all the interns Friday morning and spent the day with a blanket laid out near the Washington Monument. We listened to the local music, played card games, snacked, and explored the area while waiting for the fireworks show. We had a great time handing out diffraction glasses to the children around us, explaining how they work and watching the fireworks through them. So much more amazing!

The rest of the weekend was spent touring Udvar Hazy, the Air and Space Museum extension, relaxing, watching Netflix, and recouping from the crazy adventures of the 4th. Udvar Hazy was awe-inspiring, we were able to see the retired Space Shuttle that resides there, countless planes, satellite replicas, and other cool-nerdy things. It was fantastic.

Photo: Orbiter Space Shuttle at Udvar Hazy

My week at work was a transition week. I continued analysis of the exfoliated materials. We decided to re-try the mechanical exfoliation with longer durations for the exfoliation. After that there was a hold up in that process so I was placed on another project. I began analysis of anthrax proteins in lipid bilayers. It is an entirely new project, though still within the bio-pore field. It was really fascinating and a lot of fun. Less waiting, all the equipment was there and I knew exactly what to do. A lot of my time has been spent on understanding what the measurements are showing, as I take them, and learning how this new system and experiment works. I'm excited to see how this progresses.

This week ended with Ben Perez and I taking the other interns (minus Ashley) on a tour of NIST. We were able to start the day off with a tour of the NIST Center of Neutron Research. Which was amazing in and of itself. After that we were able to tour the precision microscopy labs, with state of the art Scanning Electron Microscopes (including the one I used earlier this summer), Atomic Force Microscopes (fancier than the one I use), and other imaging equipment. We then toured the Nanofabrication facility and ended our day touring the labs I work in every day.

Kelby Peterson