Week 7: What Balance?

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Monday, July 25, 2016


Jose Corona

Wow, I am writing this blog about week seven… Where has summer run off to?  The countdown has definitely begun (19 more days) and in a week from today is August! Anyways, week seven was one of exciting events like the AAS meeting and the NIST teacher program… And the NIST tour was this week as well. 

The AAS meeting was a great experience. The speakers who came, including John Mather, were enthusiastic about their work.  These individuals all very much enjoy what they do, and this too me was a time to fully understand to love your job. I have heard the classic line of, “Enjoy what you do, and you will never work again a day in your life.”  Well now I actually know what they mean.  The speaker talked about what they do, in addition to their past experience in the field and the ‘why’ they got involved in their field.  I must find my niche and be able to apply that in my graduate school years to really get the maximum education possible out of my time at North Carolina A&T starting in a few weeks. (super pumped!)

Friday we had a full day at NIST.  First as an outreach experience dedicated to helping Elementary and Middle school teachers to apply fun and inexpensive physics demonstrations for their students.  The teachers all seemed to enjoy the event and learned a lot from it (myself included).  Samantha and I had the acoustics station, where she did the Boomwhackers demonstration and I had the cup phones!  Right before we had lunch, I was bored so began working on this

Maria helped me in putting together this… thing haha.

Afterwards, we all had lunch and proceeded to having the tour of NIST! I learned new things about NIST, and two of three labs we saw were underground.  I was fascinated by the Watt Balance.  It is incredible to believe that in a couple of years NIST is standardizing seven base units of measurement widely used in science and industry.  These units include: time (s), length (m), temperature (K), electrical current (A), quantity of substance (mol), luminous intensity (cd), and finally mass (kg).  The Watt Balance Project is revolutionary and will eliminate the issues faced with the current measurement of the kilogram.

 The Ballistic’s Lab was also very fun and informative.  Even though we have great technology, much of the incrimination is still subjective, and NIST is trying to put a statistical number in order to make the process more objective (it is scary to think that much of the incrimination done today is still based on human opinion).   The final lab that we visited was in the opposite corridor from where I work.  I am fascinated on how fast technology is advancing, and it is thanks to individuals involved in this type of research.  One thing they held at a high priority was reliability! They did a great job in putting this idea into perspective with the example of a having a pacemaker failure. 

This weekend, I was able to drive home and visit family.  It was a great opportunity to recharge for the final three weeks of the internship and prepare myself to grind out some work for the remainder of the internship!

Jose Corona