Is this considered research experience?

Colorado155
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:21 pm

Is this considered research experience?

Postby Colorado155 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:00 pm

Hi,

In my first year (summer) of undergraduate study, I was lucky enough to get a lab position with one of my professors. His research is primarily in spectral hole burning. Essentially he tasked me with taking an old broken spectrometer and get it into working order. He asked me to solder the severed engine control cables, the retrofit a new slit onto the spectrometer (design a part, have it made and delivered to the university), research and buy a lamp with appropriate power and and then couple the lamp (using the best method) to the spectrometer. I was to then optimize and calibrate the system (swap out the generic lenses, buy coated lenses w/ different focal lengths) and to make sure the output (fiber, open beam) was appropriate/high enough to be used in spectral hole burning experiments.

As stupid as this sounds, can I include this when applying? I keep reading about other people's research and I feel this may be "below" that.

Thanks.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Don't worry about what others may or may not have done. I think you should include that in your application. Highlight the skills you have learned from the experience! =)

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:50 am

That's absolutely pertinent research experience. Loads of time in experimental physics is spent fiddling with finicky apparati, and that sounds like pretty much what you did.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby TakeruK » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:37 am

Absolutely, what you are describing is the majority of actual work of a researcher, especially the part about getting the instrument to work / calibrating it.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby Catria » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:23 pm

Now that you have the titular question answered, did that research experience make you like experimental physics?

Donavan
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:55 pm

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby Donavan » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:05 am

Hi.

I have something similar to this which culminated in an internal conference and poster presentation. It was lots of fiddling with a focused laser beam set-up and using it to thermally ablate material, and then investigate its electrical properties and do other characterisation methods. However, there's no publication to speak of as it remains an unsolved work.

I understand I should write it, but how should I go about writing such experiences?

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Is this considered research experience?

Postby TakeruK » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:58 am

I would list it under "experience" or "research" or whatever your heading is. I'd put something like "lab assistant" as the position (unless you have an official title). Then I would describe what you did below that, just like you did here.




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