I just started working in the lab over this Winter Term, and I'll be continuing into the next semester. I'm a senior Geology and Environmental Studies double-major from Baltimore, MD, and I'm thrilled to be doing research in this lab.
I've been learning the nuts and bolts of working in the lab: what we do, and how to do it. I've been learning how to leach samples, centrifuge them, dry them down, and then run them in the Germanium detector. There's only Monica and myself working in the lab right now, so there is plenty to do!
|Sieving a soil sample|
|Pouring a dried sample into a leaching bottle|
|Pouring Hydrochloric Acid into a sample to leach it|
|Once the leachate is removed from the solid residue through centrifuging,|
I add Sodium Hydroxide to neutralize it
To test how much water is absorbed, I took some prepared samples and dried them down by placing them on the hot plate for two days. Of the nine samples, I chose three each of various masses to be left open, closed, or closed and sealed with electrical tape. I just started the experiment this morning, but I'm already seeing results, particularly from the samples left open to the air.
|Water absorption experiment|
Until next time,
|Selfie with Harbin (the germanium detector)|