The Hall of Failure


with the Wing of Obsolescence


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Exhibit Hall #4 : Other Selections

name of piece: Channel electron multiplier
artist: Mark Gehrke, Garrett Piech, Scott Schappe
date of acquisition: 1998
description: The death of this CEM has yielded two insights: (1) Don't place the input of a CEM directly in front of a rubidium atom beam. (2) Don't try sending high voltage pulses to a CEM that was designed for DC operation.

name of piece: Deacceleration Stage
artist: John Boffard, Mark Lagus
date of acquisition: 1990
description: In an effort to get more He+ beam current for the fast-beam metastable source experiment, we tried to extract the beam at high energies and then deaccelerate it. The results were, at best, only a marginal increase in current.

name of piece: 'Quik Cool' System
artist: John Boffard, Mark Lagus
date of acquisition: 1991
description: The fast-beam metastable atom experiment, uses a cesium vapor target produced by heating cesium up to about 250°C. Located inside vacuum chamber, it takes over five hours for the cesium oven to cool down to the melting point of cesium. In case of a disaster we wanted to cool the oven off quickly, so we installed the 'Quik Cool' system. It consisted of two water cooled copper blocks mounted to the oven. The results: cooling time was reduced from five hours to three hours (please provide three hour notice of all impending disasters).

name of piece: 180° Mirror Mounts
artist: John Boffard, John Fons
date of acquisition: 1994, 1997
description: Mounts to hold an off-axis parabolic mirror. The mirror must be rotated between facing a vacuum chamber and a standard lamp. The first design used a nifty spring and step to allow rotation of exactly 180°. The piece on the left used this design, but was designed incorrectly (mirror rotated up-down instead of left-right). The second piece used the same rotation mechanism, but was found to be too unsteady. A third attempt (not pictured because it worked) used dowel pins to position the mirror. Years later, a larger mirror was purchased, requiring a new adapter. The third piece is an adapter with the dowel pins located 0.645" apart when they should be 0.626" apart.

name of piece: 100 Amp Fuse
artist: unknown
date of acquisition: 6:45PM CST, March 9, 1992
description: So one day while we were working, the lights went out in B618, well sort of. The overhead lights went out, but a desk lamp still worked, at least in some of the outlets in the room. And depending on which outlet you plugged the lamp into, you could sometimes make the wall clock work. It was strange. We had blown the 100A fuse on the neutral AC line. Our lab was fed with three phase power, the various outlets were fed from different pairs of the three phases. Any unbalance among the three phases is carried in the AC neutral line. Somehow, we had managed to plug almost everything in the lab into outlets fed from the same two phases, throwing things seriously out of balance.

name of piece: Mr Hankey Laser Diode Mount
artist: Len Keeler
date of acquisition: 1999
description: Mr. Hankey was a replacement laser diode mount. When we switched from 9 mm diodes to 5.6 mm diodes we built a new diode housing, rather than just modifying the old one (which worked). The Mr. Hankey mount, however, was flakey and the atom trap was 'crappy'. Suspecting microwave coupling problems with the Mr. Hankey laser mount, Mr. Hankey was dispatched to the Hall of Failure. He responded, "Howdy Ho!".

name of piece: KBr Beamsplitter
artist: Jeff Chilton
date of acquisition: March 10, 1999 8:10 AM (GMT-6)
description: After the 'Incident in B636', our $3669.90 KBr beamsplitter for the infrared FTS was converted into a number of smaller component parts. The parts include a $257.25 KBr window, some $0.10 springs, and a really spiffy addition to the Hall of Failure.

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last updated: March-10-1999