Feb. 28th, 2010

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My advisor recently got promoted to associate professor. At Harvard, this is a necessary but not sufficient step towards tenure; one is promoted to full professor upon being tenured. To celebrate we made a cake for group meeting on Thursday, drawing on the Science paper on hard-sphere clusters we recently published -- someone hit on the idea of making clusters out of mochi ice cream balls, and placing them in a cake microwell.

So on Wednesday evening one of my labmates came over with another sheet cake pan. We mixed up a double batch of a yellow cake recipe and let that bake; we also prepared a large quantity of buttercream frosting. After the cakes had cooled, we stacked them. I prepared a template by cutting a 9" x 13" piece of parchment paper, drawing a circle in the center, and then cutting it out. Using this as a guide, I cut out part of the top layer of the cake to make the microwell. The following day Dave made the clusters out of mochi and toothpicks, and the first-years bought M&M's to represent the depletant particles causing a short-range attraction and a chocolate scale bar. The end result is shown below the cut:

The colloidal cluster cake... )

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meanfreepath

August 2013

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