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Week 2

When light hits a fluorescent molecule, giving it energy, the molecule's electrons are excited. They release this energy as light with a longer wavelength. I finished reading about the effects of light on fluorescent whitening agents with a presentation to my lab group (Joe, Tawnya, Jami and Anna-Mai) and Paul on Wednesday. I was glad to be done with my presentation and begin work in the lab that afternoon. I began to learn about ways to measure light. The fluorometer we are using emits light that passes through a filter. Each sample is only exposed to chosen wavelengths. The sample then fluoresces emitting light that is measured in a photomultiplier tube. On Thursday, Joe taught us how to make a standard curve on the spectrometer and fluorometer. I have been working on the standard curve for FWAs in the fluorometer since then. We are trying to find the lowest limit they can be detected at using that instrument.

This weekend I went camping with my friend Floris and got to explore a whole different way of using light. Floris is an excellent photographer and I got to explore the Columbia River Gorge with him chasing down various waterfalls to photograph. In a way my camera is just another tool to measure light with. I definitely learned a lot more about photography from Floris. It was awesome to explore with someone who had researched the trails ahead of time as well. We scrambled around off trail to find some of the waterfalls or best views of them. I was pretty sure I would come back with poison oak, but so far so good. We also waded up some of Oneonta Gorge on Sunday which was spectacular. I'll post some photos eventually but right now the image files on my computer are too big so I'll have to figure out how to make them smaller first.