RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

Science in Quarantine: Microscopy Migrates from Lab to Living Room

Francisco Salces shows off his homebuilt microscopy lab
Francisco Salces shows off his homebuilt microscopy lab.

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, the luckiest among us have simply been relegated to working from home. And many people have had to find creative ways to turn their home into an office, a classroom, or—in the case of experimental physicists—a makeshift lab.

In this episode of Relatively Certain, we bring you a story of one such physicist—University of Maryland physics graduate student Francisco Salces. Before the pandemic, he was developing a new way to measure how good a microscope is at taking pictures of cold atoms in his lab. At home, he figured out a way to continue his experiment on a shoestring budget, with the help of some questionable online merchandise and lots of duct tape.

This episode of Relatively Certain was produced by Dina Genkina, Chris Cesare, and Emily Edwards. Music featured in this episode includes Picturebook by Dave Depper, Organisms by Chad Crouch, and Gradual Sunrise by David Hilowitz. Relatively Certain is a production of the Joint Quantum Institute, a research partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and you can find it on iTunesGoogle PlaySoundcloud, and Spotify.

Relatively Certain and the Joint Quantum Institute do not endorse the products discussed in this episode.

Recent Podcast Episodes

An artists's rendering of an atom with galaxies embedded inside

There’s a big unsolved mystery in physics: The cosmic balance sheet for matter in our universe just doesn’t add up. Galaxies all over space move as though they are much heavier than they appear.

Topology—the mathematical study of shapes that describes how a donut differs from a donut hole—has turned out to be remarkably relevant to understanding our physical world.

Software just might be the unsung hero of physics labs.