Week 9: NIST Photoshoot and Frontiers in Optics

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Sunday, July 31, 2022


Valeria Viteri-Pflucker

This week was a little weird for me at work. The week before was time for rapid data collection, and Monday I had to figure out how to process all of it, create the plots, and put them into an abstract for Frontiers in Optics due on Tuesday. I got it done! The tough part was that my advisor was on vacation this week, so I had to figure out a lot by myself. On Tuesday, I rehearsed my presentation and updated it so I could give it on Wednesday to the Nanoscale Spectroscopy Group. When I gave the presentation, they had a lot of ideas of ways to improve it, so I will be working on that next week. My goal for the rest of the week was to write a blog post for the NIST website. For this blog post, I needed to talk about myself, my journey in physics, my research at NIST, and my experiences this summer. I completed my rough draft on Friday titled What’s a Physicist: Summer as a Society of Physics Students Intern at NIST, focusing on my journey of understanding what a physicist does and how the SPS internship has shaped that through the diversity of posts the cohort has been in. Lots done this week! The abstract deadline was extended for the conference, so I will be adding theoretical curves to the data with Jared next week, editing my presentation (a lot), and doing a photoshoot with a photographer at NIST in the lab for the blog post.

Something fun this week was that I wanted Div and Taylor to have pictures of them at NIST before we leave for the last time (maybe) next week. I brought my camera and we took a big chunk of day out to document our experiences and the spaces we worked in, to remember. I added some of the pictures. We didn’t take pictures of me in my lab since a photographer is coming on Tuesday, and my advisor wasn’t here to make sure safety protocol was followed.

Outside of that, we played our second to last session of Dungeons and Dragons. We just found the bad guys’ layer, and Janessa was sent in alone. Survival TBD. On Saturday, Taylor and I went to the Museum of the Bible and had a fantastic time. So much to see! We also got to see a statue of Newton. After the museum (we were there for about 5 hours), we had Korean BBQ with a group of 9, then Justin took us to my very first speak easy! It was inside of a suspicious black door. We opened the title-less door to find two bouncers asking for IDs, and inside was a much classier bar than I’m used to seeing. Candles everywhere! We had a good time. Nicole brought some non-physicists in the group, and I proceeded to talk to one of them for a long time about quantum mechanics which blew their mind. That was quite fun. Today (Sunday) I went to the Museum of Natural History with Div, Taylor, and Anthony. The dinosaur exhibit was super cool, I saw some amazing taxidermy, and the stones/gems section was remarkable. Next week is the last week! Bittersweet times.

Taylor in his natural habitat
NIST Library
Group photo
Div in PEEM Lab
Photographer Valeria

Valeria Viteri-Pflucker