Frequent readers of Test Cafe may recall my predictions for 2013, particularly Prediction #5, “She blinded me with science”. I predicted the continual adoption of modular instruments by the scientific community, driven by speed and size advantages. I recently spoke with Dr. Steven Shipman, who described a perfect example of this to me.
Shipman is a chemistry professor at New College of Florida. He’s a rotational spectroscopist. Since a molecule’s rotation is a function of its three dimensional shape, its rotational spectrum acts as a unique “molecular fingerprint”. Rotational spectroscopy has many applications, but Dr. Shipman’s research focuses on astrochemistry. He is trying to find out how and why complex molecules formed in interstellar space, and ultimately how our life-bearing planet came to be the way it is. Along the way, he also has interest in continually pushing the technology to make better and faster measurements. That’s where modular instrumentation comes in, in this case, AXIe.
So, to find out how Dr. Shipman increased test speed by a factor of 1000, read the rest of the article here: