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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Green with envy, I tell you. [20090427|11:45]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[with a hint of |Front Line Assembly - Surface Patterns]

Optical jealousy


Last week, I went for drinks with my friend who is now also a chemist masquerading as a physicist a physics lecturer at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. About a month ago, he got a big shiny grant to set up his first experimental system to do femtosecond spectroscopy.

What this means in laymans terms is that he now has a lot of money to spend on toys, including lasers and the bits that go with lasers, like an optics table, mirrors, mounts for the mirrors, posts to hold the mirrors, etc.

So what's in the picture, you ask? Clearly that's not the expensive laser. No, those are post holders. Anodized, coloured post holders. Anyone who's done a degree in natural sciences or worked in a laser lab will tell you that post holders are always black. If you have a number of different laser beams crammed together on one table, your only option for distinguishing their paths used to be coloured electrical tape.

Apparently, that's not true any more. And I'm horribly jealous. Of all the things I could be jealous about, I'm jealous because there are now coloured post holders available (at twice the price of the black ones) and I don't get to use them.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner, pouting.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-27 16:32 (UTC)
I think you could fit about three pencils in each of them, so they could be pencil-holders, although not electric. The hypothetical pencils could be electric, though!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-27 16:31 (UTC)
Currently, I'm doing the Fizgig tantrum behind my desk. WANT. POSTS.
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2009-04-27 14:01 (UTC)
wow. optical table bling. what company are those from? also wondering what the grooves along the bores are for.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-27 16:35 (UTC)
They're from Orlin (http://www.opto-mechanics.co.uk/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=66). I'm not sure what the grooves are for, especially since posts are usually cylindrical. Maybe it's to let you lower things just that little bit extra by making space for an adjustment screw? Seems like a dangerous idea.
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2009-04-29 01:13 (UTC)
interesting. the datasheet makes it sound like the grooves are for ensuring two-line contact against the post, which makes sense. (i wonder about how much it accelerates wear on the post holder or the post, or displaces the post axis off-center, though.) Edmund Optics has post holders with three brass inserts that run along the length of the bore for centering and stability. not sure about Newport.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-04-27 16:56 (UTC)
You have geek envy!

Me and experiments don't go, so I'm not envious at all!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-28 10:17 (UTC)
Indeed I do.

The theoretical v experimental preference seems to be quite a strong one. Almost as strong is organic chemistry v physical chemistry!
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[User Picture]From: becala
2009-04-27 22:58 (UTC)
This post is so cute it makes my eyes turn into anime semi-circles and my mouth disappear.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-28 10:18 (UTC)
Like this icon!

It must be highly amusing for people when you & I are together and do that at the same time.
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[User Picture]From: becala
2009-04-28 18:02 (UTC)
Yes, but I suspect they find it just plain unnerving when our bodies get itty-bitty and our heads get HUGE and then we start speaking in really squeaky voices.
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From: secretsquirrel7
2009-04-29 15:37 (UTC)
It is.
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[User Picture]From: alice_mccoy
2009-04-28 13:42 (UTC)
Such gorgeous shades of shiny, they look like jewels.
I wont show my boy because he likes gadget bling.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-28 21:03 (UTC)
There's no point in ordering them unless you have an optics table on which to put them. And you can't order matching mounts either. So they're not that great, really.

...Except they're so SHINY! Argh!
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2009-04-29 01:06 (UTC)
would colour coding of the mounts make much difference? how many optical table layouts are so crowded that you can't see the post holder for a given mount?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-04-29 06:44 (UTC)
It would be aesthetically pleasing? I think these are pretty much totally unnecessary, as they aren't doing anything that a bit of coloured electrical tape can't.
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