2514: Lab Equipment

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Lab Equipment
I've been working on chocolate bar annealing techniques to try to produce the perfect laser s'more. Maybe don't mention that on the grant application though.
Title text: I've been working on chocolate bar annealing techniques to try to produce the perfect laser s'more. Maybe don't mention that on the grant application though.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a LASER TOASTED MARSHMALLOW - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic claims that in every science lab, there exist some piece of equipment that sticks around less for being useful, and more because the scientists and technicians just think the device is really cool.

The comic presents a laser technician lab. While giving a tour Ponytail shows a spectrometer — a device that examines light emitted from or through samples, this one might be a mass spectrometer which works by firing lasers at the sample to convert it into ions. Next she shows the "Nd:YAG" laser. "Nd:YAG" stands for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet; it is a lasing medium commonly used in lasers. Lastly she shows off a decommissioned laser not used in experiments, but rather for toasting marshmallows.

Contrariwise, laser etching and cutting is commonly available in makerspaces, and toasted marshmallows can be made with high-definition shapes and textures.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
Ponytail: The spectrometer is over here, the Nd:YAG lasers are over here,
Ponytail: and in the corner is a laser that turned out not to be useful for us, but we keep it because it's fun to toast marshmallows with it.
[Caption below the panel]
Every lab in every field has some piece of equipment like this.

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What kind of lasers are used in mass spectroscopy? 10:58, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

SFAIK, none. Electron beams can be used, but not sure laser-ablation is a big thing in this subfeld. So I just edited that detail out and added what a plain (i.e. light) spectrometer is. (More likely, this being a laser-lab perhaps making use of novel materials, not a primarily materials-analysis one)
Any actual Laser Lab-Persons reading this might know otherwise, of course, if they can stop melting things for fun and bother to explain things to us... 18:09, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix-assisted_laser_desorption/ionization#Laser I don't know any other uses for lasers in mass spectroscopy, but MALDI (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization) is commonly used in biochemistry and polymer chemistry (and chemistry of any other fragile macromolecule) to ionize molecules in the sample without breaking (fragmenting) them. It is called a "soft" ionization method due to it's propensity to leave the ions in one piece - something shared with ElectroSpray Ionization (ESI), which is commonly used for same purposes, but doesn't use lasers. 20:15, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
So, yeah, your link says that lasers are used for ionization (I think of large molecules?) prior to mass spectrometry. The information removal would have been in error. 20:59, 11 September 2021 (UTC) (addendum:unless mass spectrometers don't look like the drawing?)
Why are we even assuming "mass spectroscopy" when it's just a "spectrometer" mention, in the context of laser-light research? If it's not the obvious (to me) application, it could be one of many other disparate developments. 21:52, 11 September 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, that was my fault, I was the one who put "mass spectrometer." This is why we have multiple editors. 00:39, 12 September 2021 (UTC)

This could have been my lab in the late 1980's. We used a Nd:YAG laser as a light source for Raman Spectroscopy with a stepper motor controlled diffraction grating spectrometer (I think that was what it was called - was over thirty years ago) controlled via a GPIB (IEEE-488) bus by an Apricot PC running custom APL code (don't ask). One issue was that as it was an IR beam it had its own black painted room that was closed before a spectrum was run (took I think maybe half an hour). Dhericean (talk) 09:14, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

Annealing and Tempering

Annealing and tempering are used in wider contexts than chocolate and glass, specifically both copper and iron can be annealed and tempered (and most of their alloys). for more information a good place to start is a knife making video where you anneal the knife and then harden just the edge before final sharpening. 18:09, 12 September 2021 (UTC)

I don't even know where the glass thing came from. I thought a perfectly good link to annealing (definitely including metal, it even says this in the bit I wrote) might be over-explaining what might be related to chocolate tempering, and then suddenly we're talking about glass which is far more complicated (just ask Prince Rupert). But that's amorphous solids for you, right..? 23:14, 12 September 2021 (UTC)
If you have an example of annealing in scientific research then give one, otherwise the phrase "but more likely Randall means a use of annealing in scientific research" sounds like you are speculating about the existence of annealing in scientific research. 01:18, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
That was added by(/after?) the jewelry comment-adder, not the initial annealing reference that I (being the above IP, etc) made. I thought that was distracting too (I didn't think that its use in jewelry added anything to the fact that it was a (general) metal-treatment) but if I was to complain about everything added/changed by people other than me I should at least get myself a named-login to build up a reputation for being a grumpy old man about everyone else 'spoiling' things. (And, honestly, I like the actual improvements/corrections that others do, but there's even less reason to wax lyrical about those...) Right, no more from me, at least here on this commentary. Have fun, y'all... 19:07, 14 September 2021 (UTC)


This is new:

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...popover on the page. Didn't seem to stop me editing/previewing. Is it in response from all the (other) Cloudflare errors we've been getting recently, someone activiting a safety-net? 18:09, 11 September 2021 (UTC)


Do you want a s'more? 04:37, 18 September 2021 (UTC)Hamilton Porter

Pretexts for Research

It sounds like there's a common theme between the title-text of this comic and 2128:_New_Robot. In this case, the project is being justified by an unspecified but presumably serious reason, whilst the real reason is frivolous. In the New Robot case, the project is being justified by a serious but also spurious reason (search and rescue), whilst the real reason is unspecified but strongly implied to be frivolous. Would it make sense to link to that and possibly other comics with similar themes? 08:34, 26 April 2022 (UTC)