The End is a New Beginning

Well the end of the summer has come and it is almost time to pack up and head back to Williamsburg for school.  But first Id like to let everyone know how the last couple weeks of research went.  As the end of summer drew nearer, the pace of work in our lab picked up.  There was so much to do in so little time! 

My research advisor and I decided that my primary goal should be to identify those tricky blues and greens from the Carolina Room that I mentioned in an earlier post.  After working with the samples for another week using a variety of laser wavelenghts and focusing in on different areas of the spectrum, I still hadnt seen anything new or helpful.  I was also getting a little bit frustrated. 

It was then that I learned the value of perserverance and some creative thinking.  In a last ditch effort, we decided to try looking at a brand new set of samples from the Carolina Room both with and without our nanoparticles.  After taking hundreds of spectra in the last week, I was finally able to confirm the identity of the blue pigment in all of the samples. 

Although this discovery answered many of the questions that we had set out to answer at the beginning of the summer, it also created many more in the process.  Why were we able to obtain a viable spectrum now instead of earlier in the summer?  Is there another key component in the paint composition that is causing interference with the technique? Is it better to use different kinds of substrates for different kinds of pigments?  As it turns out, the summer has provided me with a wide variety of directions to pursue further research during the fall and spring semesters.  The end of Summer Research 2011 is a new beginning for the school year!

Thank you so much to everyone who followed this blog over the summer and to those who made my research experience this summer possible!  I couldn’t have enjoyed it more!


  1. Your research sounds very interesting Lindsay. I’m glad that you were able to determine what blue pigments were used in the Carolina Room and hope that you are able to further develop your technique over the the semester.