Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet, sweet graph of confirmation

Of course, in science there is no such thing as confirmation. Only supporting evidence or falsification. So here is the supporting evidence that made me weird out my colleagues with a protracted happy-dance:

Unfortunately I can't tell you what it is about, because it most likely is publishable, and therefore sekrit until actually published. Suffice to say that I have had a pet-theory for about a year or so, and this theory requires that the two graphs above are the same - which they are. Hence - happy dance.


  1. I'd tell you I used my weird science ninja powers to deduce the meaning of the graphs, but we both know I'd be lying.

    I'm glad, though, that following your hunch has been vindicated. I had similar results pursuing tin whiskers. Since it's already published, I could actually tell people about it.

  2. Grats to the mighty power of the graph :)
    I guess one axis is a pressure ... well, maybe I should wait till you can tell :)

  3. yay!! am happy for you. cheerio, mate!

  4. @Stephanie: Tin whiskers? As in high voltage whiskers, or something completely different?

    @Petrarca: Ich sag niiiix...

    @aniger: me too, thanks!

  5. Whiskers that grow from pure tin plating, in some cases to tens of mm long. The issue was whether or not these tin whiskers could lead to metal vapor arcing because the enclosure was pressurized to 1 atmosphere of nitrogen (as opposed to just shorting/vaporizing if energized). Metal vapor arcing allows high power transfer and is extremely destructive to, well, everything, as I'm sure you know.

    When evaluating the risk of these whiskers, the assumption was made that, because the boxes weren't at vacuum, MVA at 28 VDC was noncredible. We did a test. Guess what, it was more than credible, it melted the test stand, in both air and nitrogen. In fact, my buds in the lab (I work a desk) have had MVA at voltages less than 10 VDC. Scary, no? Here's a link to the paper. Actually, http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/ has a lot of fascinating metal whisker info.

  6. Congratulation! Way to fit the curve :)

  7. Hey Stephanie, thanks for the link to the papers! I didn't know you could get MVA (and whisker-growth) at such low DC values - fascinating stuff.