“Quantum Mechanics Is Magic”: The Making of “Spin polarization and quantum statistical effects in ultracold ionizing collisions”

This was the last of the experiments that I did for my thesis (it’s not the last xenon paper I’m an author on, but the work for that one was done while I was writing up), so my memories of it are bound up with the thesis-writing process. My favorite story about this stuff was […]

True Lab Stories: Fire Safety

Typing up the demolition story reminded me of another before-my-time NIST story. Again, the statute of limitations has run, so it’s probably safe to tell this. As mentioned in the earlier post, it was very expensive to get the official facilities team at NIST to do construction work, so a lot of things used to […]

True Lab Stories: Demolition Men

This is actually sort of a pre-lab story, as it happened before my lab in grad school was even established. It pre-dates my time at NIST, and happened long enough ago that the statute of limitations has surely run out, so I feel safe telling it. The lab I worked in in grad school was […]

True Lab Stories: Evil Professor Tricks

A week or two ago, one of my students measured the power output of a grating-locked diode laser, and came into my office saying “I think I may have killed the laser.” The power output was much too low for a laser of that type, which is a bad sign. So, we went down to […]