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The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Hear-Here: a trip into the past

This week we made a trip to the machine shop on the other side of campus. It was my first time going and was I in for a treat. The purpose of the visit was to place an order with the shop to build us some new load cells and hemispherically seated pistons. We were getting quirky signals from our load cells and suspected that they had been overloaded and damaged. To test our suspicion we popped one into the Rockwell hardness tester to the right. We first had to try a bunch of standards, since we weren't entirely sure the tester still worked. But after getting consistent values with the known standards, we measured our load cell. Yikes!  It was far softer than it should be. Poor baby was broken. Good thing the shop was available to start on some new cylinders. We'll add the strain gauges and wiring to them next week.
 While we were over there we started poking around at some of the old machines. Check out these ancient drill presses. I think they still actually work. 
But this dirty little phone booth station in the middle of the shop was my favorite. When exactly those notes on the back wall were written probably nobody knows, but I bet they contain every important phone number in the NY and NJ area codes. I wouldn't throw them out either. Some things you just don't mess with. 
Like the Hear-Here.