What a day in the Coriolis lab looks like

You have seen plenty of images of our experiments over the last weeks (and if you have not, scroll back on the blog!). Time to show you what a day in the Coriolis lab looks like for us!

Above, you see Nadine and Adrian watching experiments. For each experiment, we spend approximately 30 to 40 minutes in the dark, on the rotating platform, lit by the green glow of the laser in the tank and by the occasional emergency exit sign flashing past (as the tank rotates past twice every minute. So if you think Nadine and Adrian look a little green in the face, it might not just be the laser ;-)). During that time, we take a lot of pictures, some of which you saw on the blog already, but we mainly stare into the tank, trying to understand what we are seeing. Nadine takes a lot of notes about all kinds of things: When the experiment started, at what time it transitioned into new phases, what settings were used, if there were problems or special occurrences like for example a lot of bubbles coming from the source. And we are continuously discussing our observations and how we interpret them, because depending on how well we think an experiment worked, we will have to make decisions on how exactly the next one will be done. And it is quite stressful to rely on our observations alone without having processed and analysed the actual data! But that part of the research will still take years to complete, so we can’t wait for that right now.

Here is a time lapse over two experiments and the setup periods in between (and hang on for a second if they don’t start playing right away, they will eventually). And don’t forget: We are on the rotating platform for the whole time!

When we are not running experiments, or if there are longer breaks between experiments because the water in the tank needs to settle into solid body rotation, we work in the office you see below. I wanted to make a time lapse of us working in there, too, but then we decided to just have lunch instead, so you only see a very short one and then we leave. First things first! 🙂

It’s just a normal office and we work on our computers in very much the same way we would in any other office in any other place. Except that we only need to walk a couple dozen steps to be back on the rotating platform, and that is still very exciting 🙂

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