Underwater Discoveries – Revelation

Science Diary: Underwater Discoveries – Revelation

Music

JJ: “It’s about 3 o’clock in the morning here in San Diego, and the family is asleep. That’s why I’m whispering. I just woke up with this new idea.”

JM: Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Scripps Institution Oceanographer Jules Jaffe is preparing for a research voyage, which will use a new instrument to study microbes on the ocean floor. As the launch date is nearing, Jules is still coming up with ways to improve the instrument. And sometimes new ideas come in the middle of the night.

JJ: “Previously, I thought we could actually measure fluctuations in scattered light and infer what the gooiness, or viscosity, would be.”

JM: Scientists know very little about the environment that ocean microbes live in, even though these organisms are responsible for producing half the world’s oxygen. By studying how the laser light scatters as it hits particles in the water, Jules and his team might learn how dense or how viscous the water is.

JJ: “But, unfortunately, in the ocean there are lots of things that wouldn’t allow this to work. Things were getting stirred up, and I wouldn’t be able to tell whether that was due to what we call turbulence or whether the particles in the ocean were moving around due to the thermal fluctuations or temperature of the ocean. So, this new idea involves sticking a plate down and measuring the velocity profile. That are, things close to the plate aren’t going to move very much. Things further away will move more. And I’m really excited about this, but I’m going to try to get back to sleep now and see what we can work out with this in the morning. We’re still a couple weeks out from our cruise, so, hey, there’s plenty of time. Okay. Goodnight.”

JM: To hear more about Jules Jaffe’s work, visit our website pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Underwater Discoveries - Revelation

Shhhhh! Science Diarist Jules Jaffe wakes up in the middle of the night with a new idea.
Air Date:09/09/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Underwater Discoveries - Revelation

Music

JJ: "It's about 3 o'clock in the morning here in San Diego, and the family is asleep. That's why I'm whispering. I just woke up with this new idea."

JM: Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Scripps Institution Oceanographer Jules Jaffe is preparing for a research voyage, which will use a new instrument to study microbes on the ocean floor. As the launch date is nearing, Jules is still coming up with ways to improve the instrument. And sometimes new ideas come in the middle of the night.

JJ: "Previously, I thought we could actually measure fluctuations in scattered light and infer what the gooiness, or viscosity, would be."

JM: Scientists know very little about the environment that ocean microbes live in, even though these organisms are responsible for producing half the world's oxygen. By studying how the laser light scatters as it hits particles in the water, Jules and his team might learn how dense or how viscous the water is.

JJ: "But, unfortunately, in the ocean there are lots of things that wouldn't allow this to work. Things were getting stirred up, and I wouldn't be able to tell whether that was due to what we call turbulence or whether the particles in the ocean were moving around due to the thermal fluctuations or temperature of the ocean. So, this new idea involves sticking a plate down and measuring the velocity profile. That are, things close to the plate aren't going to move very much. Things further away will move more. And I'm really excited about this, but I'm going to try to get back to sleep now and see what we can work out with this in the morning. We're still a couple weeks out from our cruise, so, hey, there's plenty of time. Okay. Goodnight."

JM: To hear more about Jules Jaffe's work, visit our website pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.