Category: pro tip

The Great Bipolar High Voltage Power Supply Installation of 2017

What is a bipolar power supply and why do we need it? In the Ra EDM experiment, a high electric field flips sign on a roughly 1-minute cycle. The direction of the field is changed by reversing the sign, or polarity, of the voltage being applied across the “hot” cathode (field is defined by positive-to-negative charge direction). ...

Producing Scientific Diagrams Which Reveal the Relevant Scale @EdwardTufte

Learning how to produce informative and detailed graphical representations of the equipment used for experiments is a critical skill that takes practice and requires detailed knowledge of what is truly important about each component of the apparatus. For the Single Atom Microscope (SAM) project, we designed and assembled a prototype gas handling system (GHS) which ...

Claude Shannon’s 1952 Lecture on Creative Thinking

A lecture by Claude Shannon on Creative Thinking is buried deep inside of his Miscellaneous Writings edited by N. J. A. Sloane & Aaron D. Wyner in 1990. It has been rediscovered in some sense by the authors Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman who have just recently published a biography of Shannon. One of the ...

R.W. Hamming On Creativity

In 1995, R. W. Hamming taught a course at the Naval Postgraduate School titled “The Art of Doing Science and Engineering.” The textbook is here and the lectures are here. My notes on his “Creativity” lecture are below: Creative solutions to problems are like how women’s fashion evolves from year to year based on Vogue magazine: ...

Kristen’s Guide to Success in Spinlab

Spinlab group alumna Kristen Parzuchowski (MSU ’17, now 1st year graduate student at UC-Boulder now) has written an informal “guide to success in Spinlab.” This document has started to take on a life of its own and has been requested several times since she passed it along to the group. She has kindly given me ...

Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

The lab was confronted with a stuck knob on one of our Helium gas regulators. Many of the other lab members attempted to open the outlet valve to the regulator but that proved unsuccessful. I attempted to open the stuck valve as well, even using the strap wrench as shown. I had the thought that ...

Debugging An Obscure Non-Fatal Failure Mode for a TMP 50 Turbopump

While testing the new TMP 50 (S/N31001349549) on the HV setup, it failed three times. All three times, the TMP was started at a pressure of 4E-3 Torr or below and failed about 4 minutes into the acceleration at pressures of 6E-5 Torr or below. Before the last attempt, we ran the roughing pump with the gas ballast valve ...

Label Maker & Logbooks

These are the first two items purchased for Spinlab – a really nice label maker and 100 pack of the best logbooks!