Tag Archives: experimental

Last week I learned to use a new machine – a goniometer. One of the things a goniometer does is measure the contact angle of droplets on surfaces. You can dispense some liquid out of the dropper onto a flat surface, the vision system captures data, and the software analyzes what angle is formed between the droplet and the surface. Why is this useful? For my research, I needed to learn more about the surface properties of some materials I was interested in. If you know the contact angles of various known liquids on an unknown material, you can calculate things like the surface energy of the material. Then you can make some progress toward figuring out the work of adhesion on that surface, or the fracture energy between two surfaces. So I thought this would be easy. Put drop on surface, measure contact angle. But the key here is…

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There’s been an interesting back and forth on here where Miss Outlier discussed the conflicts of the theoretical versus the experimental in the week where we discussed interdisciplinary engineering and our struggles therein. Miss Outlier expressed her own point of view┬áin working with theoreticians. Cherish then responded with her post the model engineer a sort of defense of simulations. This was on my mind lately as I had a few separate pieces of analyses that I had to complete this week. Last month I asked the question of whether a design can be too robust. I talked about the issues inherent where an engineer is expected to make predictions on the future. Sometimes predictions that have critical safety connotations. These can be terrifying, especially to an early career engineer. In my experience I’ve been asked to do analyses that fall into two separate categories. The first is a theoretical prediction…

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