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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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I have "cool kit" envy. [20100624|17:13]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I’m a little jealous of the bloke today. This morning, he popped over to the physics department with a vial of the pollen grains he’s currently studying to use their Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to look at them under various water vapour pressures. He sent me a few of the pictures this afternoon. Please note that while you can embiggen a bit them by clicking on them, I can’t provide higher resolution versions because they will potentially be published in future.

We begin at high water vapour pressure, where you can see a wall of ice bearing down on this hapless little 20-micron pollen grain:

Help meee


The water vapour pressure was duly lowered and the ice wall retreated, though the pollen grains still have little water droplet “zits” on them.



Finally, a couple of close-ups of the pollen grains at high water vapour pressure...



And low water vapour pressure. (I had to pump up the contrast on this one as it was pretty washed out.) You can see that the pollen grain has started to dry out internally, like a grape turning into a raisin.



So what does it mean? Er, we don’t know yet, as these images need to be analysed in conjunction with the bloke’s aerosol experiments on the pollen grains. His job is so cool. ♥
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2010-06-24 16:44 (UTC)
you two are the coolest couple i know. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-25 15:45 (UTC)
Thermally?
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2010-06-24 18:13 (UTC)
Keen!

Also, I love how "embiggen" has become entrenched in our generation's vocabulary.
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From: pbristow
2010-06-25 04:17 (UTC)
That tends to happen with cromulent words.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-25 15:50 (UTC)
It doesn't even seem to be an internet-exclusive neologism any more.
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From: pbristow
2010-06-25 16:46 (UTC)
Well, it never was, was it? {CROGGLED FROWN]

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From: pbristow
2010-06-25 04:21 (UTC)
You lie! These are clearly long-range spy-scans of a Rutan, climing one of the ice walls of its native planet, Ruta 3.

And no wonder they manage to build decent spaceships, with great plains of virtually pure metals lying around the place...

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-25 15:52 (UTC)
Their biggest problem must have been overcoming excessive electrical conductivity.
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From: pbristow
2010-06-25 16:49 (UTC)
Indeed! Some of their early mistakes were simply shocking... [DUCKS ROTTEN FRUIT]
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2010-06-25 12:40 (UTC)
Mmmm science pr0n.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-25 15:46 (UTC)
Totally. He made an animation of a pollen grain dehydrating. Naughty Particle Video!
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[User Picture]From: painted_dreams
2010-06-26 17:21 (UTC)
Wow that is very interesting. I wish I understood more of it but fascinating all the same :-D I love it when you post science stuff.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-26 21:47 (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoy it even if it's all bit technical. :-)
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