Saturday, July 26, 2014

Science isn’t always linear

 These days mostly I build scientific instrumentation- I don’t do a lot of science.  But last year I did get a small grant to look at some novel stuff.  I don’t want to go into it right now; but the process was interesting enough to share.  Figure one shows how we thought the project would progress; that is what we proposed to the funding body.
 Figure 1: We’ll do this- what could possibly go wrong?

Figure two is how it all actually went down. Obviously, there were a few complications, dead-ends, and in the end we discovered some cool stuff, which was actually not too far from where we were aiming to go.  The point is that science, especially natural science, does not always flow in a linear, predictable, orderly manner.  But if you’re lucky, it does eventually go somewhere.

Figure 2: This is how it actually went down.

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