It was quite a day.
I have been working on an exciting and very difficult experiment recently. There were always some problems that stopped my progress. Finally, I got everything setup on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was very keen on my first attempt. Perhaps I was too keen, I got annoyed easily when the first part of the experiment didn’t work. So I modified my experiment and tried again today. Still, it didn’t go well in the morning. I was much more patient and calmer than yesterday. To further improve my experiment, I read some papers on similar experiments. I also asked my supervisor for his suggestion.
In the afternoon, the work went better. I got suspicious results that might be the thing I was expecting. My supervisor was very pleased and thought these results were even better than our prediction because they were very new and rare. Afterwards, we made an ambitious plan (challenging experiments) to get fancy data based on these results.
I felt great after the conversation with my supervisor. However, I worried that the data was too good to be true. So I checked it carefully. Not surprisingly, the results were noise from the microscope. I was a bit frustrated and also worried that my supervisor might be disappointed.
Well, I tried again in the evening. One advantage of my experiment is that the later I do it, the better the performance. I felt pretty chilled and didn’t expect much. I got very lucky this time. The microscope was happy to produce many great images. Though there were a few good signs during imaging, I didn’t take them too seriously. When the microscope was no longer happy, I went home. I wasn’t in a good mood because of the “amazing results” in the afternoon were actually noise.
I analysed the evening data at home. Magic happened! My experiment worked and produced cool and genuine results. Most importantly, they are very promising for future exploration. My next step is to accumulate more data and look for the underlying scientific insights. It is going to be really fun and challenging. I am very happy and motivated to take this challenge.
Materials Science PhD Student