Wednesday, 1 April 2009

I break stuff...

I feel kind of bad about this one though. In my most recent lab, I burnt out a diode and blew a fuse. When I put it like that, it doesn't seem so bad as diodes cost about 0.2p and fuses are pretty cheap too. Only thing is, the diode I killed was soldered onto the delicate inside of a cryostat, which is maintained in a vacuum. To repair said dead diode, a new one had to be carefully soldered into place and then the whole kit had to be vacuum pumped for 48 hours. Oh, and the fuse I blew was the digital multimeter's fuse , which isn't that easy to replace either. Oops.

As you can guess, the lab technicians aren't my biggest fans right now... And it was a result of me being reckless and not checking that all the dials were turned to 'zero' before I switched stuff on - I sent 9V through electronics that can only handle about 1V. At least I learnt my lesson. For now.

The weird thing about it though was that I then walked over to the next bench (I now had to share their equipment since mine was out for the next two days) and as soon as I stood there, all their kit started reading 'zero'. When I stayed a safe distance away and they reset it, it was all okay. They were surprised but I wasn't - I have a really bad habit of breaking stuff without even trying! I am on my 4th iPod, have killed my speakers twice and blew up the PSU of our family PC. Even my Dad's phone had a funny turn when I used it the other day. I really hope that my phone lasts - I just bought myself a Blackberry Bold and love it to bits.

Maybe it's a good thing that CERN and Fermilab turned me down - I'd have had to warn them about my reputation. Maybe I should be studying theoretical physics instead of experimental!


  1. Clearly, you are wearing the Pauli halo. :D