CRASY

Correlated Rotational Alignment Spectroscopy

The PI Mercury™ C-863.10 and PI Mercury™ C-863.11

The PI Mercury™ C-863 is a DC-motor controller which exists in two versions, i.e., the C-863.10 controller and the C-863.11 controller. Both differ in their firmware and their hardware. That makes it difficult to control them using the same software. Here you’ll find some information on how to deal with the new General Command Set of the Mercury™ C-863.11 controller. (more…)

MHB-382SD Datalogger

We use the MHB-382SD Datalogger to monitor temperature, humidity and pressure in our laboratories. The logger saves the recorded data into a XLS-file. The following zip file contains an executable (Windows 64bit only) which was programmed in LabView 2012. It can be used to display data from the logging device and copy selected data to your computers clipboard:

MHB382SD-Readout (~300kb)MHB-382SD

If you want to know more about the MHB-382SD, please refer to the following manual.

MHB-382SD-Manual

If there is any problem with the program, please keep us informed by using the comment box below.

 

How to align a translation stage

Femtosecond spectroscopy uses an ultrashort laser pulse to start a photo-chemical reaction at a well defined moment in time. A second ultrashort laser pulse can be used to visualize the ongoing photo-chemical reaction [1]. To achieve a precise timing between two laser pulses, a laser beam is usually split into two parts. One part of the beam is directed towards the experiment, the second part passes a translation stage before recombination of both beams occurs. By precisely moving the translation stage by a certain distance, the pathway is increased and laser pulses will arrive with a time delay Δt=Δx/c, where c is the speed of light.

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Affordable translation stage for spectroscopy

The translation stage ‘Standa 960-0060’ sells for $399 and offers a full-step resolution of 1.25 micrometer (200 steps/turn, 250 micrometer per turn). With factor 8 or 16 microstepping, the resolution should be sufficient for interferometric experiments with visible light (156 or 78 nm resolution). The stepper can be easily controlled with an Arduino-based USB controller for a cost of less than $40, but a little soldering is required. (more…)

Arduino Based Sensors

Problem: We need to track environmental variables in our laboratory to identify parameters that affect our measurement results

Solution:  We read out sensors using Arduinos and transfer the sensor data to PCs for storage and analysis. We programmed sensors to analyze temperature, humidity, air pressure, acceleration, and motion. For some sensors (e.g. temperature sensors), the program just involves reading sensor values. For other sensors (e.g., the BMP180 pressure and temperature sensor), a library is required to handle the communication with the sensor. Some programs were written in older Arduino IDEs and they may have to be adapted to work with the new IDE. (more…)

Ask questions like a Pro: Questions you can ask at any scientific seminar

Scientific seminars follow ancient routines. The speaker speaks for his allocated time plus a generous 15% bonus and then the big-shots in the first row ask a few questions. But have you ever noticed that they always ask the same questions? It’s called experience, i.e., they made up their question some 20 years ago. Time for you to get up to speed and participate with your own highly original questions! Don’t have an idea what to ask? Just select one of the generic categories offered  in the PDF file below, and pay attention for some 5 minutes before napping off. Try different questions until you find the one that suits you best! Before you even recognize you will sit in the first row, being a proud member of the establishment!

Generic_seminar_questions.pdf

Scientific Writing

Writing scientific publications seems to be a science on its own for most of young researchers, but there is no magic behind scientific writing! By following simple rules, everybody can improve his writing skills. I summarized these rules in a cheat sheet for scientific writing.

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Of course, you should not expect a miracle. Your principal investigator will always find something to complain about. 😉

If you want to read further on The Science of Scientific Writing, please refer to the article.