Musings on Thomas Edison and Auto Paint Analysis

Step three of my summer research plan is to identify a characteristic spectrum for each manufacturer auto paint sample. We have two different auto paints samples one from Honda and the other from Toyota. To begin the initial testing I performed a normal Raman scan without silver nanoparticles of each paint. One was found to be normal Raman active and the other was not. Normal Raman active means that without silver nanoparticles I was able to identify a characteristic spectrum. After the normal Raman scans, I performed a simple SERS test on each paint. A simple SERS test is done by only applying silver nanoparticles to the paint sample. This yielded some results but not as distinctive of a characteristic spectrum as I would like. In order to get a more characteristic spectrum, I started to develop an extraction method. The extraction method, in theory, would coax out the chromophore or pigment into the solvent making it easier to see a characteristic spectrum with SERS. However, this has not been the case. Auto paint matrixes are extremely complex with multiple additives, binders, resin, and pigments. Due to their complexity I have not been able to fully extract the chromophore, but I have been able to slowly breaking down the matrix with some simple solvents. This has allowed me to see some characteristic spectrum for the two paints, but again not to the distinctiveness that we would like. Research is a complicated process. I often like to take comfort in Thomas Edison’s wise words that he said when he was inventing the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I have not failed either. I’ve just found five ways that won’t extract a paint pigment.

The End of an Era

It’s hard to believe that it’s finally over.

The canoes have been put back on the rack, the crab traps have been cleaned and stacked in the shed, and my dirty, filthy tennis shoes have been thrown in the trash. Thus ends a glorious summer spent on the York River.

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Woody Internship at the Getty: Blog 8

Further Forays into the Museum World

I wrote an earlier blog post entitled “Forays into Museum Exhibitions,” in which I talked about the Exhibit opening I worked and the curator tours I went on. Over the past few weeks I’ve also had the chance to visit various Museum departments and talk with curators and conservators, as well as work another Exhibit opening. The opening was for our new show, London Calling, which is showcasing six British Modernist artists. For this opening we had a DJ performing (of course he played The Clash’s London Calling) and a British cuisine inspired menu with the best item being fish and chips. While staff and press previews ran normally, a new element was added during the press preview. “Social Media Influencers” (read: popular Instagrammers) were invited to attend so that they could post photos and videos to various social media outlets to hopefully increase attendance to the exhibition, particularly from a younger audience. The event ran smoothly and the DJ added a really lively ambience to the experience, so it was definitely an exciting event to work.

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Philosophy Research on Time and Space – Update 1 on Time

My research interest on time now falls primarily on the distinction of A-series and B-series. McTaggart is the philosopher who starts the distinction between A-series and B-series and one primary concern of this distinction is whether “presentness” is objective or subjective. A-series describes the time series in which presentness is objective and independent from perception. On the other hand, B series describes that in which presentness is only a subjective concept and dependent on perception. That is to say, if there is no perceiver, there would be no “now” or “present,” with only events left which is ordered in a certain way (a way which is similar to the way we perceive time, only that we perceive “presentness” as well).

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The Steps Towards Data Analysis

Hello again!  Now that we are all up to speed on how I gathered my data and what I’ve been doing for the past summer it’s time to see what I did with the data that I collected.  Once again I’m looking into the effects of differential timing and duration of mercury exposure on beak redness in male zebra finches.

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