So earlier in the week, I had a great opportunity to visit the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).
It was fascinating to see the reactor, control room, and all the cool experiments–not things you see every day, right?
For safety, we had to wear devices that measured radioactivity and also go through machines that checked us afterward.
When one person in our group went through the scanner, it went off with a red alert, and the poor individual obviously got really scared–like OMG is there some contamination on me or something.
But they went through again and it turned out it was just a false positive, thank G-d.
I guess these really can be dangerous substances to work around, but still so marvelous how the scientists harness these neutron beams and direct them to all sort of fascinating scientific experiments.
Being around all this science makes me think whether if I could do it all again–wondering aloud–whether I would pursue an education in one of these amazing scientific disciplines and work in the lab like a “mad scientist”–exploring and discovering new things and figuring out the mysteries of the universe and how the world really works.
What a fun, fun field to work in! 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and Art by 4th grader, Phillip Kenney)