RIMSKI – ‘Operation Pied Piper’

Untangling the Confusion in the Laser Mass Spectrometry Lab… 

Hello readers! Allow me to introduce myself, my name’s Mark and I’m one of the new additions to the research group this year. I’ll be working with the tuned laser spectrometers over the next three years. It’s my aim to keep you updated about exciting lab developments and I might even throw in the odd research group secret for those that follow closely!

This table normally houses the mass spectrometer- at the moment it houses bits and pieces of the mass spectrometer! (Stay tuned for more on that!)

The question is- where do I start?! Well, I’ve been working in the lab this week and have been busy familiarising myself with RIMSKI- the Resonance Ionisation Mass Spectrometer for Krypton Isotopes (try saying that quickly and you’ll find out why I call it RIMSKI all the time!).

The critical components of the machine are currently being upgraded and because of this there wasn’t a whole lot to do in terms of research. Instead I thought I’d take some time to learn about how everything in RIMSKI ticks.

Now you might think that learning about a machine would be quite easy, particularly given I’d been working with it last year… You’d be wrong! I started to delve into how everything was put together and was met by chaos incarnate. The mass of wires behind the machine was genuinely in danger of becoming sentient and wiping out the human race. Being the good scientist I am, I decided to thwart the end of civilisation and untangle the mess that was my newly inherited machine. The task was no small feat and, through the few days it took me, prompted many a visit from fellow group members to witness the undertaking; (Although I secretly think that most of the visits were just to make sure I hadn’t licked the high voltage supply…).

I can see the floor!… and a mass of new cable ties…

Several days, an awful lot of confusion and what seems like a few hundred cable ties later, the machine was tidy! You can see the new set up in the photos attached. I’ll be writing a post soon which will aim to explain a little about the machine and what we hope to do with it. Stay tuned!

Disclaimer: Several cable ties, a labeling machine and a roll of tape were seriously harmed in the making of this blog post.


About Mark Nottingham

Mark is a PhD student in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group at UoM. Primarily working on the RIMSKI and RELAX noble gas instruments.
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