This is a group for anyone interested in applied sciences, including optical and scanning electron microscopy, fermentation science, saponification, herbalism, astronomy and planetary science, and citizen science.
We started this Meetup because many people think science must be done in a lab with expensive equipment. We want to show how easy and fun scientific experiments can be. We will gather to do science, talk about news in the world of science, and have field trips to places like Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.
This group is open to people of all experience levels, from complete newbies to working scientists. Bring your curiosity and join us!
Also, please like our page on Facebook. Help us reach 100 likes by the end of July!
Every year, the UIUC chapter of ACM has an student-run conference called Reflections|Projections . One (rather excellent) speaker at the 2013 conference was the well-spoken (and wickedly-smart) Todd Fernandez , who spoke about the state of the semiconductor integrated circuit industry. As a nice bonus for those brave souls who asked, or answered, a question during his talk, he was giving out junked silicon wafers. Not being much of a brave soul myself, but realizing that the wafer would make for an awesome sample in our now-functioning Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), I answered a question about Moore’s Law and scored a wafer.
Saving you a trip to Wikipedia: the wafers are slices of an impressively large and pure single crystal of silicon (known as a boule) on which semiconductor devices (such as transistors) are fabricated. These devices are usually incredibly tiny and incredibly numerous.
What happens after that is that the SEM rasters a beam of electrons across the surface of the wafer sample and, in this particular case, utilizes its ability to detect secondary electrons kicked off the wafer by the beam. Because the surface is the important part and because the SEM’s resolution is so amazing, before we mounted the sample, we had to sterilize it in an acetone bath suspended in the space’s ultrasonic cleaner.
Now the cool part. Because, if you look at the picture below, you can easily see leads on the wafer that are 4 microns in width (and resolve gaps between the leads that are 2 microns wide). For reference’s sake, the diameter of a human hair is given as 100 microns on average. And that is awesome.
Many thanks to the exceptional Ryan Pierce, who helped me with this every step of the way.
Have you ever wished you could help direct investigations or do some hacking in areas like chemistry and biology (or others), but feel shut out of the scientific process because you don’t work in academia or industry?
Are you working in science within industry or academia, but feel locked into a narrow field of R&D that is dictated by conservative sources of funding either via business allocations to meet short-term profit imperatives or from government grants?
Open Science is the practice of making methodologies and results publicly accessibe as well as facilitating various degrees of distributed collaboration in the research process. “Hacking,” or altering the objects of study for various reasons, will be emphasized in our program for purposes that could range from art to biofuel development.
Please attend our meeting this Sunday and subsequent meetings every third Sunday of the month to help shape this nascent program. Early meetings will develop strategies for acquiring lab space and equipment, formating the program, and selecting initial group projects.
Who: Open to the public
Where: Pumping Station: One, 3354 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
When: This Sunday, December 18, 6pm (and every 3rd Sunday at 6pm)
ChiOpenSci‘s first meeting will be this Sunday, September 12 at 4pm!
Come and learn how you can be a part of open research and be a citizen scientist.
We’ll be discussing projects, open science tools, and defining goals for ChiOpenSci.
Where: Pumping Station: One 3354 N. Elston Ave
Cost: Free and open to the public
Who: Citizen scientists, professional scientists, enthusiasts, hobbyists, experimentalists, computationalists, theorists – interested in studying natural phenomena and studying problems via the scientific method and sharing their results.