Special Summer Series: Elizabeth Hoover de Galvez from the library's reference department, shares her observations of summer research at Coe. This summer she is working with Dr. Feller's materials science group.
|Kristiana, Anthony, and Arron standing behind a differential scanning calorimeter. |
They are collaborating on a glass research project this summer.
One of the first steps this group is taking is to go back through data collected by previous students and recalculate ΔTg for various forms of lithium- and cesium- borate glasses using a new method described by a meticulous Japanese scientist, Masao Kodama.
I observed Anthony going through the process for several hours (as shown in the time-lapse video below) and realized that there is more to it than I first expected. He looked at many DSC graphs from former years which didn't have the peaks and curves necessary to calculate the change in Tg and realized that the samples would need to be made again and retested.
The whole process isn't at all cut and dried --there are so many things that can go wrong in the process of getting a DSC reading which could skew the results. Just one example is that the sample can crystallize within the chamber if a certain temperature is exceeded, which forces the students to start over and adjust the range of temperatures tested. Below is Arron Potter preparing just one sample for testing in the DSC.