Oberlin Blogs

Welcome to my laboratory

October 17, 2010

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Recently, I realized that I spend about ten hours a day in the Science Center. Part of this is due to the fact that I spend a lot of time doing work for thermo. Part of this is due to the fact that I don't want to go back to my house to do work when I'm just going to have to venture back to campus later in the day. And part of this is due to the fact that I'm once again doing research. Now, granted, that part really only amounts to three or four hours a week, but those are another three or four hours on top of everything else.

This past week, once I was done running an NMR on the product I'd just synthesized, I took some photos of the lab that I work in to share with the internet at large.

A whiteboard filled with scientific reactions
Here is our whiteboard, showing the reactions that we're working on right now. My reaction is the one in the middle, and it's pretty simple, but my technique can definitely be refined. The product I just synthesized and then tested is really impure.
A lab table filled with bottles and contraptions
Here's the center of the lab. That's my notebook on the table right there. As you can see, the lab is currently very, very clean and very, very organized, which makes me a little jumpy, but makes the other student who's in the lab with me at the same times happy.
A hood in a lab
Two of the three hoods in the lab. The one that's open is the one that I regularly use. If you squint, you can see some of what I used to begin my reaction sitting there, happily awaiting the time when I decide to do the whole process over again.
Two desks with a shelf above filled with books
And finally, the desk and shelf area of the lab. This is where I sit and frantically work on thermo while I'm waiting for my reaction to proceed on its own. This is also where we have a sweet radio/CD player. The aforementioned student who works in the lab on the same days as me and I have started compiling some fantastic mixes to do chemistry to.

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