Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Monday, August 24, 2009

Long Burn

I forgot to switch of my experiment  last week I conducted a long-term experiment: Leave the plasma burning over night at about a quarter power. For fun I also switched off the cooling.

Surprisingly, my reactor did not melt down - all I managed to produce is some pretty heat discolouration of the electrode.

Actually, I even learnt a few things due to my mishap experiment, and not only "don't forget to switch off your plasma when you leave". By far the most power seems to be concentrated at the edges of the depression I had - this I suspected, but didn't know for sure. Furthermore, my perspex-rings at the edges (not shown in the picture above, but they would cover the holes you see at the top) were not damaged at all, which was quite surprising.

Also, the cooling water evaporated, blew off the rubber water tubes, and made a general mess. I was afraid that I would have a leak somewhere, but everything seems to be ok. Phew.


  1. Alas, I cant count how often 'mishaps' led to new physical insights. Do you remember those glorious Kirchmayr lectures? *sic*

  2. I know from experience that being brilliant does not preclude absent-mindedness.

    Glad no real harm was done.

  3. Yes, Stephanie B, to use rpg-terms (nerd, nerd, nerd ... nerd attack got u): a high INT doesn't imply high WIS ... *g*

  4. @Stephanie: Indeed, and unfortunately the reverse is also untrue: Not being brilliant doesn't preclude absent-mindedness either ;)

    @Peter: Yes, mishaps can be useful - if they don't burn down your lab...