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June 6, 2006
Vial Thirty-Three Rides Again
Well, I got my repeat experiment set up before leaving work today. I could think of one variable I hadn't controlled for head-to-head yet, so I set up an extra couple of vials for that one. I'll try to get them analyzed tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning, depending on how busy they are downstairs.
Getting this experiment going was a different feeling than when I ran it that Saturday. I was very eager and nervous that day, because I'd just had potentially great results and was ready to verify them as quickly as I could. (I had no way of knowing that the instrument needed for that was going to be out of service for two weeks, naturally). Today's repeat had some nervousness to it, but it was more along the lines of dread than the earlier anticipation.
I'm worried now that what I saw the first time is some kind of artifact, caused by something I haven't been able to anticipate. It looked very orderly, very clean, and quite believable, in its spectacular way. But yesterday's data had a more familiar look to it. It's really quite rare to get experimental results that are totally unequivocal - so many of them are a mixed, partly inexplicable bag. "Tell me - yes or no!" the experimentalist shouts, and the reply comes back "Dunno. . .sort of. . .I think. . .but maybe not, y'know?"
So by those standards, the first experiment, clean though it looked, is the suspicious anomaly. Here's hoping I'm wrong about being wrong.
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