Enter the Linear Cage

In comparison with the pathways between buildings in Northern New York (mostly shielded against the elements), I’m a bit disoriented by the semi-exposed stairwells and walkways of California. The mixture of features I associate with being inside (like the door with full glass window) and those I associate with being outside (like the tubular steel guard rails) makes for a juxtaposition.

Enter the Linear Cage

This Is the Laser

The laboratories of physical scientists across the planet have pulsed laser systems like this one, and many look quite similar: a collection of squat boxes covering optics, electronics, and beampaths. Above or below the surface of the table are additional boxes of electronics driving the lasers and detectors. This particular system is special to me for two reasons: (1) most modern laser tables don’t have rad wood grain paneling, and (2) this was the instrument I used during my sabbatical at Berkeley Lab last spring. Lots of good data emerged from its photomultiplier tube.

This Is the Laser

The Scary Door

With a campus as huge and old as Berkeley’s, it’s natural to expect that there would be some odd corners here and there. This particular back door, hiding in an out-of-the-way location at the back of Bowles Hall (and surrounded by creepy fences and trees) seems like the perfect place to hold the meetings of a secret society.

The Scary Door

Stadium Perspective

I had the chance to wander UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium when it was nearly empty one Saturday afternoon. The texture of the weathered concrete is so rough and irregular compared with the smooth, almost-glossy metal of the stands themselves. When free of student mass, it makes for a lovely study in perspective.

Stadium Perspective

Modern Texture

UC Berkeley’s Energy Biosciences Building looks pretty awesome at sunset and has a great staircase. More of that surreal, futuristic staircase is on display in today’s photo. What I really like about this image, though, is the sense of texture that it gives. The polished, precast concrete floor, the wood ceiling, the thick glass windows, the brushed steel of the elevator: every material is used in a way that best emphasizes its physical properties. The mixture of matte and gloss, rough and smooth, makes it at once a sophisticated and welcoming space.

Modern Texture

Artificial Photosynthesis

I’ve shown you the inside of the Energy Biosciences Building before, but I’m particularly happy with the way this shot captures the grandeur of all of this wood, steel, concrete, and glass. The sun casts the best shadows and refractory patterns through it all. (Well, maybe not THROUGH the concrete–but on it, anyway.)

Artificial Photosynthesis