While thinking of all the talk recently about Moore’s Law and at the same time recalling my experience at the Cyclotron at Texas A&M (Radiation Effects Facility) I thought of another law that we all know, Murphy’s Law. Just to refresh your memory, Murphy’s Law states “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” For some reference and history you can visit the Wikipedia page on this expression at: Murphy’s Law. There is some very interesting reading there on the variants of the expression and the origins.
One particularly interesting excerpt from the page is this one: “From its initial public announcement, Murphy's law quickly spread to various technical cultures connected to Aerospace engineering. Before long, variants had passed into the popular imagination, changing as they went.” Considering that I am currently working within aerospace engineering it was quite interesting to find this statement!
My mind made the connection between all of this because of the experience I had at the Cyclotron. This was my first time visiting the Cyclotron and performing radiation testing and I learned a lot. I spent my last blog giving a simple overview of the facility and letting you know just how neat and interesting it is. I would be remiss to leave the topic and not give any insight into the actual testing that was performed.
As many of you probably already know there is a lot of preparation that must be completed prior to making a trip to another lab or facility to perform any type of testing or experimentation. In this case I worked with several people within Analog Devices to prepare and functionally test the devices that we wanted to evaluate at the Cyclotron at Texas A&M. We were able to get everything confirmed as functional and ready to go and proceeded to ship all the necessary equipment to a third party company that we work with to perform testing at the Cyclotron. So far so good with no issues. With plane tickets in hand and hotel reservations in place, a colleague and I made the trip to College Station, Texas to perform the experiments we had planned.
We flew down on Friday so we could be in town and ready to begin our experiments the next day. I was quite thrilled to have a few moments in Texas to seek out and enjoy some delicious brisket. Much to my pleasure, College Station did not let me down. I actually had the pleasure to sample J. Cody’s Steak and Barbeque on Friday and also sample C&J Barbeque on Saturday. While I certainly have to give the nod to C&J (I had the beef, chicken, and pork there) the folks at J. Cody’s also did a great job on their brisket. I’d strongly recommend stopping in at either of these great places if you are ever in College Station. Enough food discussion for now, let’s get back to the testing.
We arrived at the Cyclotron with full stomachs about two hours before our slotted time which was about 2:00PM. We did this so that we could set things up and do some functional tests onsite. Just outside the data room at the Cyclotron there is an area where there are some long tables where we could set up and test everything before moving into the data room and running the cabling down to the in air station. This area is just to the left of the data room shown in the picture below (picture courtesy of Texas A&M). Things went well during this part of the afternoon.
Data Room at the Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M (Image courtesy of Reference 1)