by PhilipJ on 12 May 2006
We’ve been joking in my lab for the past few weeks about how I’ll probably cause massive rotor failure next time I have to use the centrifuge for a plasmid prep, but so far (fingers crossed) that hasn’t happened. But, it leads me to an interesting question to ask all of our readers:
What’s the most expensive piece of lab equipment you’ve ever broken?
I’ll fess up and admit that I scratched the surface of a 2.5” diameter gold mirror with a ball driver once, vertically along the centre of the whole mirror. Don’t pick up expensive optics in a hand that’s already holding a ball driver! Suffice to say it isn’t in use anymore.
The other piece of equipment I’ve broken (and originally didn’t know the price of) is a superconducting disk used to show off the Meissner effect (which I still find cool to this day). I somehow managed to drop the disk on the floor and it cracked into a number of pieces. Amazingly, I fit the bigger pieces together and zip-tied it back into disk shape, and it went about happily levitating magnets again, so I guess it wasn’t really broken in the end, but definitely a little uglier.
Share your own lab (mis)adventures in the comments!